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The house is still.
The very pictures on the walls have lost their painted
The place seems new and strangely vacant.
I see the old brown Chinese figure in the panel facing me;
he has a look of stupid blankness that is utterly new.
The three big dogs asleep here at my feet—
What cabalistic word will be required to rouse them from
their almost deathlike slumbers?
So still—so still the house—
My heart so still.
And I might lift my head and speak and move about and
change all this,
But that I know what thing has made it so;
Whose absence the place can feel,
Whose voice is heard no more.
And I think of the great free-sounding melodies that filled
Great silhouettes that passed—
And clear full living tones that live no longer.
This is the lifeless vacuum left by the passage of the storm.
What have I to do with the world?
What has the world to do with me—
Who know now that in the end I must have traffic
Only with the things of my own spirit. -
Prophet of joy!
Before ever the deed lived, you came.
Be the fulfilment what it was, I do prostrate myself for love and lay here at your feet my heart of thanks.
Prophet of evil!
It is now your hour!
A VOICE BREAKS IN UPON THE SILENCE
Winding through some unsensed aerial channel,
With subtle solace and challenging, it comes—
Suddenly I know that it is there:
Whatever the day bring forth, that will I greet—
Having drunk divinely, divinely, of the dawn!
Helen Louis Birds
Heaven's mass is sung,
Tomorrow's mass is sung
In a spirit tongue
By wind and dust and birds:
The high mass of liberty,
While wave the banners red,
Sung round the soap-box— . o
A mass for soldiers dead.
When you leave your faction in the once-loved hall,
Like a true American tongue-lash them all;
Stand then on the corner under starry skies,
And get you a gang of the worn and the wise. -
The soldiers of the Lord may be squeaky when they rally,
The soldiers of the Lord are a queer little army;
But the soldiers of the Lord, before the year is through,
Will gather the whole nation, recruit all creation,
To smite the hosts abhorred and all the heavens renew;
Enforcing with the bayonet the thing the ages teach—
Free speech !
Down with the Prussians, and all their works!
Down with the Turks!
Down with every army that fights against the soap-box—
The Pericles, Socrates, Diogenes soap-box,
The old-Elijah, Jeremiah, John-the-Baptist soap-box,
The Rousseau, Mirabeau, Danton soap-box,
The Karl-Marx, Henry-George, Woodrow-Wilson soap-box.
We will make the wide earth safe for the soap-box,
The everlasting foe of beastliness and tyranny,
Platform of liberty—Magna Charta liberty,
Andrew Jackson liberty, bleeding-Kansas liberty,
New-born Russian liberty:
Battleship of thought, the round world over,
Loved by the red-hearted,
Loved by the broken-hearted,
Fair young amazon or proud tough rover;
Loved by the lion, -
Loved by the lion,
Loved by the lion!—
Feared by the fox.
Death at the bedstead of every Kaiser knocks.
The Hohenzollern army shall be felled like the ox.
The fatal hour is striking in all the doomsday clocks;
The while, by freedom's alchemy,
Beauty is born.
Ring every sleigh-bell, ring every church bell,
Blow the clear trumpet and listen for the answer—
The blast from the sky of the Gabriel horn.
Hail the Russian picture around the little box:
Troops in files,
Generals in uniform,
Mujiks in their smocks,
And holy maiden soldiers who have cut away their locks.
All the people of the world, little folk and great, Are tramping through the Russian Soul as through a city gate, As though it were a street of stars that paves the shadowy deep; And mighty Tolstoi leads the van along the stairway steep.
But now the people shout:
“Hail to Kerensky—he hurled the tyrants out!”
And this my song is made for Kerensky,
Prophet of the world-wide intolerable hope—
There on the soap-box, seasoned, dauntless,
There amid the Russian celestial kaleidoscope,
Flags of liberty, rags and battlesmoke.
Come let us praise battling Kerensky!
Bravo! bravo!— f
Comrade Kerensky, thunderstorm and rainbow,
Comrade Kerensky, bravo, bravo!