For joy of speech that hails right
And stirs up men to stand and fight,
I sought a poem of fervent power.
In lands of glimm’ring lakes and streams
I heard one speaking mighty themes
And stopped—to hear this piping flower.
She sang a song of living truth—
That Freedom feeds eternal youth
And Reason is its regal sire:
“Such heroes these, who held as fact
That righteousness is in each act
That hurls a happy life up higher.
“And should a foe step in his way
It is Man’s saving right to slay,
To banish him to Never, ever.
“For, when the Can’ts who hate all life
Up-gather stones for hurling strife,
Their joints of arms and hands we’ll sever.
“And severed, too, must be each will
From body-meat turned round to kill;
A well-cooked sleep their ashen earning.
“Foes of self, all foes of Man,
So many foes since thought began,
Are no back under rocks returning.”
So brave a speech filled up my ears,
So fierce her mood, sweet summer tears
Slid down my cheeks and splashed my fingers.
Sudden, coming, passing by,
A sparkling stream is her bright eye;
Her poem within her bearing lingers.
And I, who rise to worship such,
I make no reach, I need not touch,
But wave, as equal, to her spirit.
She stops, she glances, nods and smiles,
Then points across the lake for miles.
A flag is there, fair winds do cheer it.
Oh, such a flag I’ve never seen;
It is not blue or red or green,
But purest burnished gold, blazing!
“That flag,” she says, “reflects your mind,
Your first-born self that is not blind,
The life-proud light of you amazing.”
Then downward to a boat she strode
And shot out to her flag’s abode;
I followed her with eyes ignited.
Beyond the hills and far away
I think of her this wint’ry day—
Her flag, her voice, her poem, united!