|Lord, save my soul alive from books and men!
I have been crushed again and yet again
For standing squarely out against a world
Of dogma from the desk and rostrum hurled
At heads, unbent and impious, ___ such as mine ___
That will not with a ready grace incline
To hear the learned few's stale parrotings
Of dead men's wisdom.
Oh, but here are thingsMore worth than these, my masters, more than these!
The lilac hedge in April, if you please!
The wild crab apple at its beauty's best
Aloof upon the links; against the west
The tall dark pine trees in a solemn row;
The glistening red roofs of the hill a-glory
Against an autumn rain, and, strange and white,
North Hollow, when the sleet falls over night.
And these things quicken me to living ___ these!
Tonight I saw the sun set through the trees,
And after that the creeping mists from gray
Grew grayer yet and deeper until they
Had blurred the valley lights and softened down
To half-dimmed stars the white light of the town,
And far above it all, serenely high,
A little young moon in the western sky.
On these ___ not books ___ Lord, let my spirit thrive!
By these ___ not men ___ Lord, save my soul alive!
The Call of Kansas and Other Poems
Esther M. (Clark) Hill
(Cedar Rapids: Torch Press. __)