Yet she is consecrated, bound, and doomed
To sacrificial death; but thou art sworn
To live and lead my host,—Hast thou not sworn?
Only if thou wilt keep thy word to me!
Break with this idol of iniquity
Whose shadow makes a darkness in the land;
Give her to me who gave me back to thee;
And I will lead thine army to renown
And plant thy banners on the hill of triumph.
But if she dies, I die with her, defying Rimmon.
[Cries of “Spare them!
Release her! Give us back
our Captain!” and “Sacrilege! Let them die!” Then
silence, all turning toward the King.]
Is this the choice? Must we destroy the bond
Of ancient faith, or slay the city’s living hope!
I am an old, old man,—and yet the King!
Must I decide?—O let me ponder it!
[His head sinks upon his breast.
All stand eagerly
looking at him.]
Ruahmah, my Ruahmah! I have come
To thee at last! And art thou satisfied?
RUAHMAH: [Looking into his face.]
Beloved, my beloved, I am glad
Of all, and glad for ever, come what may.
Nothing can harm me,—since my lord is come!
THE LITTLE-NECK CLAM
A modern verse-sequence, showing how a native American subject, strictly realistic, may be treated in various manners adapted to the requirements of different magazines, thus combining Art-for-Art’s-Sake with Writing-for-the-Market. Read at the First Dinner of the American Periodical Publishers’ Association, in Washington, April, 1904.
THE ANTI-TRUST CLAM
For McClure’s Magazine
The clam that once, on Jersey’s
Was like the man who dug it, free,
Now slave-like thro’ the market clanks
In chains of corporate tyranny.
The Standard Fish-Trust of New York
Holds every clam-bank in control;
And like base Beef and menial Pork,
The free-born Clam has lost its soul.
No more the bivalve treads the sands
In freedom’s rapture, free from guilt:
It follows now the harsh commands
Of Morgiman and Rockabilt.
Rise, freemen, rise! Your wrath is
Call on the Sherman Act to dam
The floods of this devouring Trust,
And liberate the fettered Clam.
THE WHITMANIAC CLAM
For the Bookman
Not Dante when he wandered by the river
Not Burns who plowed the banks and braes of bonnie Ayr,
Not even Shakspere on the shores of Avon,—ah, no!
Not one of those great bards did taste true Poet’s Fare.