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    Night Sentries

      Ever as sinks the day on sea or land,
      Called or uncalled, you take your kindred posts.
      At helm and lever, wheel and switch, you stand,
      On the world's wastes and melancholy coasts.
            Strength to the patient hand!
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there by Light!

      Now roars the wrenching train along the dark;
      How many watchers guard the barren way
      In signal-towers, at stammering keys, to mark
      The word the whispering horizons say!
            To all that see and hark --
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      On ruthless streets, on byways sad with sin --
      Half-hated by the blinded ones you guard --
      Guard well, lest crime unheeded enter in!
      The dark is cruel and the vigil hard,
            The hours of guilt begin.
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      Now storms the pulsing hull adown the sea:
      Gaze onward, anxious eyes, to mist or star!
      Where foams the heaving highway blank and free?
      Where wait the reef, the berg, the cape, the bar?
            Whatever menace be,
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      Now the surf-rumble rides the midnight wind,
      And grave patrols are on ocean edge.
      Now soars the rocket where the billows grind,
      Discerned too late, on sunken shoal or ledge.
            To all that seek and find,
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      On lonely headlands gleam the lamps that warn,
      Star-steady, or ablink like dragon eyes.
      Govern your rays, or wake the giant horn
      Within the fog that welds the sea and skies!
            Far distant runs the morn:
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      Now glow the lesser lamps in rooms of pain,
      Where nurse and doctor watch the joyless breath,
      Drawn in a sigh, and sighing lost again.
      Who waits without the threshold, Life or Death?
            Reckon you loss or gain?
      To all, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      Honor to you that guard our welfare now!
      To you that constant in the past have stood!
      To all by whom the future shall avow
      Unconquerable fortitude and good!
            Upon the sleepless brow
      Of each, alert and faithful in the night,
            May there be Light!

      Harper's                                    George Sterling


    The Swordless Christ

    Vicisti, Galilee

      Aye, down the years, behold, he rides,
      The lowly Christ, upon an ass;
      But conquering? Ten shall heed the call,
      A thousand idly watch him pass.

      They watch him pass, or lightly hold
      In mock lip-loyalty his name:
      A thousand -- were they his to lead!
      But meek, without a sword, he came.

      A myriad horsemen swept the field
      With Attila, the whirlwind Hun:
      A myriad cannon spake for him,
      The silent, dread Napoleon.

      For these had ready spoil to give.
      Had reeking spoil for savage hands:
      Slaves, and fair wives, and pillage rare:
      The wealth of cities: teeming lands.

      And if the world, once drunk with blood,
      Sated, has turned from arms to peace,
      Man hath not lost his ancient lusts;
      The weapons change; war doth not cease.

      The mother in the stifling den,
      The brain-dulled child beside the loom,
      The hordes that swarm and toil and starve,
      We laugh, and tread them to their doom.

      They shriek, and cry their prayers to Christ;
      And lift wan faces, hands that bleed:
      In vain they pray, for what is Christ?
      A leader -- without men to lead.

      Ah, piteous Christ, afar he rides:
      We see him, but the face is dim.
      We, that would leap at crash of drums,
      Are slow to rise and follow him.

      The Forum           Percy Adams Hutchison


    What of the Night?

      What of the night
      And the eventual silences?
      Art thou not cold with the knowledge of decay
      And the uncompromising reaches of the earth?
      What of the night
      When the tune falters and the blood chills?
      When thou art one with the grass
      And the underbrush of the world,
      Wilt thou forget the names of flowers,
      The rhythm of song and the lips, still balmy with the breasts of women?
      When thou and the fog on the hilltop are as brother and sister,
      Wilt thou forget utterly the ways of men,
      The clash of swords and the sting of wine,
      The dim horizons and the grace of girls?
      When thou art alone eternally
      What of the night?

      Where will God be
      When thou art swathed in silence;
      When the wreckage of dreams has crushed thee
      And the lust for springtimes dissolved thee?
      Wilt thou have visions only of the dawn
      And autumn sunsets?
      Will the memory of women's faces haunt thy grave?
      Will the odor of blue flowers find thy dust?
      When thou art choking on the calm indifference of youth
      And the everlasting beauty of trees,
      Wilt thou dream only of the June,
      The love of women and the great democracy of men?

      When thou hast fought and failed,
      And thy brow has withered laurelless,
      And thy name has been effaced by the insatiable winds,
      And thou hast gone out at the Western gate
      To join the laggards of the dead,
      Wilt thou crave only the withheld success,
      The transitory fame of twilight years?
      Will thy soul cry out only for the song,
      The red dawn and the glad triumph of love?

      Wilt thou indeed forget the days of pain,
      The ineffectual prayers,
      The lies of time and the bitterness of defeat?
      Or, remembering these things,
      Wilt thou forget the hands of women and the rude love of men,
      And be glad of thy dark quietude?

      When thou art part of the impending gloom,
      I deem that life will seem to thee
      In no such wise, --
      But rather thou wilt dream it as a whole;
      Not as a song, nor yet a broken bell;
      But all that thou hast been -- the great tears,
      The rain, the kisses and the flutes,
      The old sorrows and the hills at dawn,
      Much laughter and much grief and the stern fight.
      And thou shalt know how all of life is gain --
      The gold of youth, the gray defeat of age --
      How in the soul's inharmony there lies
      The incoherent unity of things.

      The Forum                                      Willard Huntington Wright


    A Threnody

    In Memory of the Destruction of Messina by Earthquake

      Sicilian Muse! O thou who sittest dumb
      Amid the sodden fields and ways forlorn,
      Where once the herdsmen singing, watched their kine
      Breast-deep in fragrance, odorous eve and morn;
      Stranger to thee, yet led by love I come,
      A suppliant sable-stoled, to mix with thine
      My tears, and at thy shrine
      Kindle a funeral torch for Sicily:

      Editor's note: This poem is so bad, I refuse to continue to type it. It goes on for 5 pages in the Anthology, and it just gets worse. If you have a burning need to see the rest of this tripe, send me mail and I will send you a Xerox. The conclusion, which is the least offensive part of the poem, is:

      Now fails the song, and down the lonely ways
      The last low echoes die upon the breeze.
      I lay my lyre upon the moveless knees
      Of her who by the hollow roadway stays,
      In anguish waiting for her children slain
      That shall not come again
      With springtime, leading the new lambs to graze.
      They come no more; but while o'er hill and plain
      The twilight darkens, and the evening rose
      Aloft on Ætna glows,
      Silent she sits amid the sodden leas,
      With eyes that level on the ocean haze
      Their unobserving stae, as seaward gaze
      The eyes of stolid caryatides.
      Scribner's                                      Louis V. Ledoux


    November

      Hark you such sound as quivers? Kings will hear,
      As kings have heard, and tremble on their thrones;
      The old will feel the weight of mossy stones;
      The young alone will laugh and scoff at fear.
      It is the tread of armies marching near,
      From scarlet lands to lands forever pale;
      It is a bugle dying down the gale;
      It is the sudden gushing of a tear.
      And it is hands that grope at ghostly doors;
      And romp of spirit children on the pave;
      It is the tender sighing of the brave
      Who fell, ah! long ago, in futile wars;
      It is such sound as death; and, after all,
      'Tis but the forest letting dead leaves fall.

      The Bellman                          Mahlon Leonard Fisher


    Salutation

      Did you choose the journey, friend?
      No, nor I;
      But to make it cheerfully,
      Let us try.
      When the day is dark, I pray,
      Sing a song to cheer the way,
      For tomorrow we will be
      One day nearer to the sea.

      Did you choose the journey, friend?
      No, nor I;
      But we know the end will come
      By and by.
      All today we bear the load
      Up the weary winding road,
      But tomorrow we may be
      At the Inn in company.

      The Independent      Ruth Sterry


    Here Lies Pierrot

      The moon's ashine; by many a lane
      Walk wistful lovers to and fro;
      It must be like old days again;
      How they do love! Here lies Pierrot.

      She loved me once, did Columbine.
      It sets my dusty heart aglow
      Merely to lie and dream how fine
      Her semblance was, -- Here lies Pierrot!

      Her perfumed presence, silks and lace,
      Did madden men and wrought them woe;
      For me alone her witching grace.
      Where is she now? Here lies Pierrot.

      We two walked once beneath the moon --
      Yellow it hung, and large and low --
      And listened to the tender tune
      Of nightingales, -- Here lies Pierrot!

      Our foolish vows of passion shook
      The very stars, they trembled so.
      How it comes back, her soft, shy look,
      Now I am dead! Here lies Pierrot!

      These other men and maids, who stroll
      Through moonlit poplar trees arow,
      Does each play the enchanted rôle
      We phantoms played? Here lies Pierrot!

      O joy, that I remember yet
      Sweet follies of long ago!
      Dear heaven, I would not quite forget!
      The moon's ashine; Here lies Pierrot!

      Scribner's                  Richard Burton


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