Fifty years & Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about Fifty years & Other Poems.

    A wedge so slender at the start—­
    Just twenty slaves in shackles bound—­
    And yet, which split the land apart
    With shrieks of war and battle sound,
    Which pierced the nation’s very heart,
    And still lies cankering in the wound.

    Not all the glory of your pride,
    Preserved in story and in song,
    Can from the judging future hide,
    Through all the coming ages long,
    That though you bravely fought and died,
    You fought and died for what was wrong.

    ’Tis fixed—­for them that violate
    The eternal laws, naught shall avail
    Till they their error expiate;
    Nor shall their unborn children fail
    To pay the full required weight
    Into God’s great, unerring scale.

    Think not repentance can redeem,
    That sin his wages can withdraw;
    No, think as well to change the scheme
    Of worlds that move in reverent awe;
    Forgiveness is an idle dream,
    God is not love, no, God is law.


    O, brothers mine, take care!  Take care! 
    The great white witch rides out to-night,
    Trust not your prowess nor your strength;
    Your only safety lies in flight;
    For in her glance there is a snare,
    And in her smile there is a blight.

    The great white witch you have not seen? 
    Then, younger brothers mine, forsooth,
    Like nursery children you have looked
    For ancient hag and snaggled tooth;
    But no, not so; the witch appears
    In all the glowing charms of youth.

    Her lips are like carnations red,
    Her face like new-born lilies fair,
    Her eyes like ocean waters blue,
    She moves with subtle grace and air,
    And all about her head there floats
    The golden glory of her hair.

    But though she always thus appears
    In form of youth and mood of mirth,
    Unnumbered centuries are hers,
    The infant planets saw her birth;
    The child of throbbing Life is she,
    Twin sister to the greedy earth.

    And back behind those smiling lips,
    And down within those laughing eyes,
    And underneath the soft caress
    Of hand and voice and purring sighs,
    The shadow of the panther lurks,
    The spirit of the vampire lies.

    For I have seen the great white witch,
    And she has led me to her lair,
    And I have kissed her red, red lips
    And cruel face so white and fair;
    Around me she has twined her arms,
    And bound me with her yellow hair.

    I felt those red lips burn and sear
    My body like a living coal;
    Obeyed the power of those eyes
    As the needle trembles to the pole;
    And did not care although I felt
    The strength go ebbing from my soul.

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Fifty years & Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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