Thursday, July 14, 2016

CIVILIZATION, a poem

OLD as the race of man,
     Young as the child new-born,
From glooms Plutonian
     I mount to paths of morn;
And as I move o'er vale and hill,
     Before me flees the night,
For on into the darkness still
     I bear my light.

The desert stayed me long
     Its fancied worth to tell;
The savage, subtle and strong,
     Opposed me, and he fell:
But the savage learned from conflict past
     To battle and succeed,
And the foolish desert came at last
     To bloom indeed.

I halt not for the maimed,
     I wait not for the blind;
My foot is never lamed,
     Whoe'er may lag behind:
I hasten on, like the wind of God,
     To the conquest He ordains:
Parting the human from the clod,
     Undoing chains.

The thing that hindereth
     My progress as I pass,
Is withered in my breath
     Like parchèd summer grass.
I hasten on, like the wind of God,
     That must unfettered blow,
Wooing the blossom from the sod
     Where'er I go.

I taught the Hindoo throng
     To worship: I awoke
The Pyrrhic phalanx strong,
     To break the Persian yoke:
I set great Pharaoh's captives free,
     The Tarquin's pride down-hurled,
And in a child of Galilee,
     O'ercame the world!
"Civilization" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

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