When with clanging and with ringing
Comes the year's initial day,
I can feel the rhythmic swinging
Of the world upon its way;
And though Right still wears a fetter,
And though Justice still is blind,
Time's beyond is always better
Than the paths he leaves behind.
In our eons of existence,
As we circle through the night,
We annihilate the distance
'Twixt the darkness and the light.
From beginnings crude and lowly,
Round and round our souls have trod
Through the circles, winding slowly
Up to knowledge and to God.
With each century departed
Some old evil found a tomb,
Some old truth was newly started
In propitious soil to bloom.
With each epoch some condition
That has handicapped the race
(Worn-out creed or superstition)
Unto knowledge yields its place.
Though in folly and in blindness
And in sorrow still we grope,
Yet in man's increasing kindness
Lies the world's stupendous hope;
For our darkest hour of errors
Is as radiant as the dawn,
Set beside the awful terrors
Of the ages that have gone.
And above the sad world's sobbing,
And the strife of clan with clan,
I can hear the mighty throbbing
Of the heart of God in man;
And a voice chants through the chiming
Of the bells, and seems to say,
We are climbing, we are climbing,
As we circle on our way.
Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911.
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