Let me not sit
Idly awaiting what is mine to win,
Blinded in wit,
Lord Jesus, rend these walls of self and sin;
Beat down the gate, that I may enter it.
What is a home? A guarded space,
Wherein a few, unfairly blest,
Shall sit together, face to face,
And bask and purr and be at rest?
Where cushioned walls rise up between
Its inmates and the common air,
The common pain, and pad and screen
From blows of fate or winds of care?
Where Art may blossom strong and free,
And Pleasure furl her silken wing,
And every laden moment be
A precious and peculiar thing?
And Past and Future, softly veiled
In hiding mists, shall float and lie
Forgotten half, and unassailed
By either hope or memory,
While the luxurious Present weaves
Her perfumed spells untried, untrue,
Broiders her garments, heaps her sheaves,
All for the pleasure of a few?
Can it be this, the longed-for thing
Which wanderers on the restless foam,
Unsheltered beggars, birds on wing,
Aspire to, dream of, christen “Home”?
No. Art may bloom, and peace and bliss;
Grief may refrain and Death forget;
But if there be no more than this,
The soul of home is wanting yet.
Dim image from far glory caught,
Fair type of fairer things to be,
The true home rises in our thought,
A beacon set for men to see.
Its lamps burn freely in the night,
Its fire-glows unchidden shed
Their cheering and abounding light
On homeless folk uncomforted.
Each sweet and secret thing within
Gives out a fragrance on the air,—
A thankful breath, sent forth to win
A little smile from others’ care.
The few, they bask in closer heat;
The many catch the farther ray.
Life higher seems, the world more sweet,
And hope and Heaven less far away.
So the old miracle anew
Is wrought on earth and proved good,
And crumbs apportioned for a few,
God-blessed, suffice a multitude.
THE LEGEND OF KINTU.
When earth was young and men were few,
And all things freshly born and new
Seemed made for blessing, not for ban,
Kintu, the god, appeared as man.
Clad in the plain white priestly dress,
He journeyed through the wilderness,
His wife beside. A mild-faced cow
They drove, and one low-bleating lamb;
He bore a ripe banana-bough,
And she a root of fruitful yam:
This was their worldly worth and store,
But God can make the little more.
The glad earth knew his feet; her mould
Trembled with quickening thrills, and stirred.
Miraculous harvests spread and rolled,
The orchards shone with ruddy gold;
The flocks increased, increased the herd,
And a great nation spread and grew
From the swift lineage of the two,
Peopling the solitary place;
A fair and strong and fruitful race,
Who knew not pain nor want nor grief,
And Kintu reigned their lord and chief.