THE TRAVELER

Bristling with steeples, high against the hill,
Like some great thistle in the rosy dawn,
It stood; the Town-of-Christian-Churches, stood.
The Traveler surveyed it with a smile.
"Surely," He said, "here is the home of peace;
Here neighbor lives with neighbor in accord,
God in the heart of all; else why these spires?"
(Christmas season, and every bell ringing.)

The sudden shriek of whistles changed the sound
From mellow music into jarring noise.
Then down the street pale hurrying children came.
And vanished in the yawning factory door.
He called to them: "Come back, come unto Me."
The foreman cursed, and caned Him from the place.
(Christmas season, and every bell ringing.)

Forth from two churches came two men, and met,
Disputing loudly over boundary lines,
Hate in their eyes, and murder in their hearts.
A haughty woman drew her skirts aside
Because her fallen sister passed that way.
The Traveler rebuked them all. Amazed,
They asked in indignation, "Who are you,
Daring to interfere in private lives?"
The Traveler replied, "My name is CHRIST."
(Christmas season, and every bell ringing.)

World Voices by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York : Hearst's International Library Company 1916.


Back to Poem Index