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Poetry: The Reformer

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All grim and soiled and brown with tan, I aw a Strong One, in his wrath, Smiting the godless shrines of man Along his path. Tho Church beneath her trembling dome Essayed in vain her ghostly charm: Wealth shook within his gilded home With pale alarm. Fraud from his secret chambers fled Before the sunlight bursting in: Sloth drew her pillow o'er her head To drown the din. "Spare," Art implored, " yon holy pile : That grand, old, time-worn turret spare;" Meek Reverence, kneeling in the aisle, Cried out, "Forbear! " Gray-bearded Use, who, deaf and blind, Groped for his old accustomed stone, Leaned on his staff, and wept, to find His seat o'erthrown. Young Romance raised his dreamy eyes, O'erhung with paly locks of gold, " Why smite," he asked, in sad surprise, "The fair, the old?" Yet louder rang the Strong One's stroke, Yet nearer flashed his ax's gleam; Shuddering and sick of heart I woke, As from a dream. I looked: aside the dust cloud rolled- The Waster seemed the Builder too ; Up-springing from the ruined Old I saw the New, 'Twas but the ruin oi' the bad - The wasting of the wrong and ill : Whate'er of good the old time had Was living still. Calm grew the brows of him I feared; The frown which awed me passed away, And loft behind a smile which cheered Like breaking day. Green gre the grain on battle-plains O'er swarded war mounds grazed the cow; The slave stood forging from his chains, The spade and plow. Where frowned tho fort, pavilions gay And cottage windows, flower entwined, Looked out upon the peaceful bay And hills behind. Thro' vine-wreathed cups with wine once red; The lights on brimming crystal fell, Drawn, sparkling, from the rivulet head Ami mossy well. Through prison walls, like Heaven sent hope, Fresh breezes blew, and sunbeams strayed. And with the idle gallows-rope The young child played. Where the doomed victim in his cell Had counted o'er tho weary hours, Glad school-girls, unanswering to the bell, Came crowned with flowers. Grown wiser for the lessons given, I fear no longer, ror I know That, where the share is deepest driven, The best fruits grow. The outworn right, tho old abuse, The pious fraud transparent grown, The good held captive in the use Of Wrong alone - These wait their doom, from that great law Which makes tho past time serve today; And fresher life the World shall draw From their decay. Oh ! backward looking son of time ! - The new is old, the old is new, The cycle of a change sublime Still sweeping through. So wisely taught the Indian seer : Destroying Seva, forming Brahm, Who wake by turns Earth's love and fear, Are one, the same. As idly as in that old day Thou mournest, didst thy sires repine, So, in his time, thy child grown gray, Shall sigh for thine. Yet, not tho loss for them or thou The eternal step of Progress beats To that great anthem, calm and slow, Which God repeats! Take heart! - the Waster builds again - A charmed life old goodness hath; The tares may perish- but the grain Is not for death. God works in all things ; all obey His first propulsion from the night : Ho, wake and watch ! - the world is gray With morning Iight ! Fountain, for 1847. An acre is 4,480 square yards, or 69 yards, 1 foot, 8 1/2 inches each way.