Louisa Sarah Bevington Poems >>
The Poet, And His Interpreters

FULL of songs he woke one morning,
Every song a weighty wonder
Holding universal being
Newly dressed in words of thunder.

"Men shall hear me; men shall listen
Through my song-speech sweetly seeing,
All the growing glory glisten
Spread abroad in boundless being.

Spread yet centred, knit yet flowing,
Constancy in revolution:
Still yet deathless; gliding, growing,
And its new name--Evolution.

'Tis because the truth is tortured,
Tinged by times and moods and manners,
Men reject the life of living,
Write large lies upon their banners;

And with hearts all mad with yearning
For a good they know not missing,
The inspiring essence spurning,
Toil and die without possessing.

I will bring them truth ungarbled,
Strike aside distorting lenses,
Methods, morals, metaphysics,
Things and thoughts, and souls and senses.

I will show a mighty oneness,
Every life-law underlying,
Make as nought the tyrant idols,
Give men hope for living, dying.

What can cure their mad emotion,
Yet not kill it in the curing?
How the voice of pain be silenced,
While the voice of joy enduring?

What can wrench the sting from living
With a knowledge of a dying?
What avail the heat of question
If there never come replying?

What?--until the roots of sadness,
Pressed too hard of life, grow rotten;
Till in grander grown emotion
Self die down and be forgotten.

I will make men's hearts grow eager
In the cause of law's own essence,
They shall fall in love with nature
With a passioned acquiescence.

Till there shall be but one sorrow
That can set the soul a-sighing;
Ignorance of law, or error
In its incomplete applying."

So the Poet set him thinking!
He would let no present blind him
To the tending of the future:
And he left a book behind him.

And the crowd went blindly onward,
Loving, hating, asking, solving;
And the little planet bore them
Through the days and nights revolving.

While the poem of the Poet
Waited praise that none would render;
Raised the bitter smile of cynic,
Set pain throbbing through the tender.

Till a little girl of twenty,
Full of reverence for sages,
Found the book and called her lover,
And they cut the yellow pages.

And they found a gem within it
In the musical May weather,
With their young hands intertwining
And their young cheeks pressed together.

For with loving hearts made gentle
They divined a holy meaning:
Not in vain the Poet's sowing
Since these joyed so in the gleaning.

Where the page was blank and yellow,
Of love's own untaught providing,
There they read a text and moral
That should serve their love for guiding.

And the Poet won his laurels
Though so long his fame had tarried,
For they told their babies of him
In the years when they were married.