The universe was stirred as by an unseen Force,
Planets upon their orbits slackened speed, and even hurrying comets on their course
Paused, peering through the vastnesses of space,
And listened curiously. The imperturbable, calm face
Of Father Time displayed an eager flush--
A light reflected from a distant dawn.
Upon the world there came a sudden hush;
All nature stood in silence. Winds and seas
And ancient forests of long-whispering trees
Were stilled. And then there broke
Upon the astonished air, the terrible, deep beauty of His voice--
The voice of God, who spoke
And called to judgment--Germany!
'Thou spirit of a wonderful great land'
(Thus spake the Voice),
'Dowered by Me with genius and with might,
Thou, who wert meant to bring the world more light,
And make the races of the earth rejoice
With thy colossal part of beauty and of art,
What hast thou done, O thou ungrateful one,
With all the benefits bestowed on thee?
Hast thou not sought with secret plan and plot
For half a hundred years to rule the world
And gain dominion over land and sea,
Though in the dust My holy laws were hurled?
Hast thou not profanated My own Name,
Saying that I was with thee--I, the God
Of all the universe--while verdant sod
Turned crimson with the blood thy minions spilled--
The blood of women and of children killed
In devil-schemes of frightfulness? Has not
The splendid vigour of Teutonic thought
Been wrenched from its high altitude, and brought
Down to Satanic levels? Mind and soul,
Which might have made thee comrade of My sons
(The great archangels of the worlds of Space),
Hast thou not turned from their immortal goal
To fashion blatant guns? Still worse!
Hast thou not brought upon the world the curse
Of hatred, and compelled aspiring lands
To dip in human blood unwilling hands
To save their women's virtue--forced their fall
Down to thy level, in the bitter fight
For decency and right? Yea: all
Of these black crimes are marked against thy score--
And more--still more!
'Until this cycle of the world's life ends
Thou shalt walk through earth's pathways without friends,
Bearing thy self-made burden of men's hate,
Uncrowned, dishonoured, while about thee rise
Stupendous structures reaching to the skies--
The New Republic's Allied Brotherhood,
Whose highways lead to Universal Good.
Thou shalt pass humbly down them to the gate
Of Time's next cycle.'
'Then what after?' 'Wait!
Justice will claim reprisals soon or late.'
Poems of affection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1920.
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