Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Man

(a poem copied in college, title and author unknown...
for T; maybe this is what all the past has been for...)

when Nature wants to drill a man,
and thrill a man,
and skill a man;
when Nature wants to mold a man
to play the noblest part,
when she yearns with all her heart
to create so great and bold a man
that all the world shall praise--
watch her method, watch her ways!
how she ruthlessly perfects
whom she royally elects;
how she hammers him and hurts him,
and with mighty blows converts him
into trial shapes of clay
which only Nature understands--
while his tortured heart is crying
and he lifts beseeching hands--
how she bends, but never breaks,
when his good she undertakes...
how she uses whom she chooses
and with every purpose fuses him,
by every art induces him
to try his splendor out--
Nature knows what she's about.

when Nature wants to take a man,
and shake a man,
and wake a man;
when Nature wants to make a man
to do the future's will;
when she tries with all her skill
and she yearns with all her soul
to create him large and whole...
with what cunning she prepares him!
how she goads and never spares him,
how she whets him and she frets him
and in poverty begets him...
how she often disappoints
whom she sacredly anoints,
with what wisdom she will hide him,
never minding what betide him
though his genius sob with slighting
and his pride may not forget,
bids him struggle harder yet;
makes him lonely
so that only
God's high messages shall reach him,
so that she may surely teach him
what the Hierarchy planned.
though he may not understand
gives him passions to command--
how remorselessly she spurs him,
with terrific ardor stirs him
when she poignantly prefers him!

when Nature wants to name a man,
and fame and a man,
and tame a man,
when Nature wants to shame a man
to do his heavenly best...
when she tries the highest test
that her reckoning may bring--
when she reins him and restrains him
so his body scarce contains him
while she fires him
and inspires him,
keeps him yearning,
ever burning for a tantalizing goal--
lures and lacerates his soul,
sets a challenge for his spirit,
draws it higher when he's near it--
makes a jungle, that he clear it;
makes a desert, that he fear it
and subdue it if he can--
so doth Nature make a man.
then to test his spirit's wrath
hurls a mountain in his path--
puts a bitter choice before him,
"climb or perish," so she says...
watch her purpose, watch her ways!

Nature's plan is wondrous kind
could he understand her mind...
fools are they who call her blind.
when his feet are torn and bleeding
yet his higher powers speeding
blazing newer paths and fine;
when the force that is divine
leaps to challenge every failure
and his ardor still is sweet
and love and hope are burning
in the presence of defeat...
lo, the crisis! lo, the shout!
when the people need salvation
doth he come to lead the nation...
thus doth Nature show her plan
when the world has found--
a Man!




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