ALL space and all that breathes bear witness; truth
It is indeed; Thou art, and dost remain.
How could I know that God was or was not,
Where Reason's reckonings shifted hour by hour?
The peerer at planets, the counter-up of plants,
Heard nothing there of Nature's infinite music;
To-day I witnessing acknowledge realms
That I once thought the mummery of the Church.
We, manacled in the chains of day and night!
Thou, moulder of all time's atoms, builder of aeons
Let me have leave to ask this question, one
Not answered by the subtleties of the schools,
That while I lived under the sky-tent's roof
Like a thorn rankled in my heart, and made
Such chaos in my soul of all its thoughts
I could not keep my tumbling words in bounds.
Oh, of what mortal race art Thou the God?
Those creatures formed of dust beneath these heavens?
Europe's pale checks are Asia's pantheon,
And Europe's pantheon her glittering metals.
A blaze of art and science lights the West
With darkness that no Fountain of Life dispels;
In high-reared grace, in glory and in grandeur,
The towering Bank out-tops the cathedral roof;
What they call commerce is a game of dice
For one, profit, for millions swooping death.
There science, philosophy, scholarship, government,
Preach man's equality and drink men's blood;
Naked debauch, and want, and unemployment
Are these mean triumphs of the Frankish arts
Denied celestial grace a nation goes
No further than electricity or steam
Death to the heart, machines stand sovereign,
Engines that crush all sense of human kindness.
-Yet signs are counted here and there that Fate,
The chess-player has check-mated all their cunning.
The Tavern shakes, its warped foundations crack,
The Old Men of Europe sit there numb with fear;
What twilight flush is left those faces now
Is paint and powder, or lent by flask and cup.
Omnipotent, righteous, Thou; but bitter the hours,
Bitter the labourer's chained hours in Thy world!
When shall this galley of gold's dominion founder?
Thy world Thy day of wrath, Lord, stands and waits.