THE MESSAGE FROM GALILEE
Listen, ye sons of the morning,
Hearken! Oh, Christian land,
Hush, while ye hear the warning
Borne from a distant land ;—
Not with Trade’s sordid plunder,—
Not with the march of men,—
Not with the steel-deck’s thunder,
Cometh the Christ again.
Strength to the strong who conquer
By the rifle’s fitful glare;
But love and faith be the anchor
Of a people who trust in prayer;
Shall the muster of armed legions
Shall powder and blood make clear
To the dwellers in darkened regions
What American hearts hold dear?
I know that the Briton slumbers
On the Indian tiger’s skin
With never a thought of the numbers
Of the tiger’s jungle kin
I know that across the borders
Sharp mown by the scythe of war
The Cossack carries the orders
Of his master—the Russian czar.
I know,—but why should I reckon
The empires that Force hath known ?—
Go where their graveyards beckon
And dig for their story of stone;
This is the voice of Palmyra,—
Smothered in desert sand,—
This of Phœnician Tyra,—
Sunk where her ships were manned;
The beauty of buried Damascus,
The glory of Greece and of Rome,
Rise from their graves to ask us :—
"Does America seek our doom?
"We sailed" say they "with the current;
"We ‘followed the flag’ afar;
"We poured our youth like a torrent
"In the tide of foreign war.
"Ours was the loftiest passion
"The ages had yet unrolled
"Ours the latest fashion
"Whether of gods or of gold;
"The torch of civilization,
"By might of sword and spear
"We bore to remotest nation
"Behold us buried here!
"Go on in the road of conquest,
"Go on in the path of blood,—
"And still the wails of the vanquished
"With Psalms ye sing to your God
"Go—load your Christ in a cannon
"With the powder prisms of hell,—
"In the battery of Mammon
"It shall serve its purpose well."
And up from the heathen altars
That perished so long ago,
From the places where Christian martyrs
Died that the faith might grow;
From the ashes and scattered embers
Of a people who murdered Paul
Came a message my soul remembers,—
"Your fate is the fate of us all !"
Oh mother-land, true and tender,
Say to the isles of the sea;
"Ye are ransomed not to surrender,
"Ye are ransomed to make you free;
"By the memories, dear and olden,
"Of Yorktown and Bunker Hill,—
"By the grace of the Rule that is Golden
"We grant you freedom still."
Then listen, ye sons of the morning,
Awaken, oh patriot band,
Pray tonight for the dawning
Of light in our Christian land ;—
Pray,—and work,—for the wonder—
In the islands of the sea—
That needs no cannon’s thunder—
The gospel of Galilee.