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For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the
martyr stands, On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his
hands; Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling
fagots burn, While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe
return To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden
'T is as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves Of a legendary virtue carved upon our fathers'
graves, Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light
a crime; Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by
men behind their time? Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make
Plymouth rock sublime?
They were men of present valor, stalwart old icono
clasts, Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the
But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking that
hath made us free, Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, while our tender
spirits flee The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them across the sea.
They have rights who dare maintain them; we are
traitors to our sires, Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit
altar-fires; Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in
our haste to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral
lamps away To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of
to-day? New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient
good uncouth; They must upward still, and onw ward, who would keep
abreast of Truth; Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must
Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the
desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's bloodrusted key.
BY FITZ HUGH LUDLOW
And unceasing bewailed him of Fate
And the old man sang him an old, old song,
voice so clear and strong
When we want, we have for our pains
The promise that if we but wait
When strawberries seemed like red heavens,
Terrapin stew a wild dream, When
brain was at sixes and sevens,
Then I gazed with a lickerish hunger
I've a splendid blood-horse, and a liver
That it jars into torture to trot;
I can buy boundless credits in Paris and Rome,
When no home but an attic he'd got - he'd got.
How I longed, in that lonest of garrets,
For the ground to grow two pecks of carrots,
A rosebush - a little thatched cottage
Ah! now, though I sit on a rock,
I have shared one seat with the great;
But the lips that kissed and the arms that caressed,
Had they only not come too late - too late.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
BY WILLIAM HAINES LYTLE
I am dying, Egypt, dying,
Ebbs the crimson life-tide fast,
Gather on the evening blast;
Thou, and thou alone, must hear.
Though my scarr'd and veteran legions
Bear their eagles high no more,
Strew dark Actium's fatal shore, Though no glittering guards surround me,
Prompt to do their master's will, I must perish like a Roman,
Die the great Triumvir still.
Let not Cæsar's servile minions
Mock the lion thus laid low; 'Twas no foeman's arm that fell’d him,
'Twas his own that struck the blow; His who, pillow'd on thy bosom,
Turn'd aside from glory's ray, His who, drunk with thy caresses,
Madly threw a world away.
Should the base plebeian rabble
Dare assail my name at Rome, Where the noble spouse, Octavia,
Weeps within her widow'd home, Seek her; say the gods bear witness
Altars, augurs, circling wings — That her blood, with mine commingled,
Yet shall mount the thrones of kings.
As for thee, star-eyed Egyptian,
Glorious sorceress of the Nile, Light the path to Stygian horrors
With the splendors of thy smile.
Let his brow the laurel twine;