By the Aurelian Wall and Other Elegies

by Bliss Carman




WE are only common people,
And he was a man like us.
But he loved his fellows before himself;
And he died for me and you,

To redeem the world anew


From cruelty and greed—
For love the only creed,
For honor the only law.

There once was a man of the people,
A man like you and me,


Who worked for his daily bread,
And he loved his fellows before himself.

But he died at the hands of the throng
To redeem the world from wrong,
And we call him the Son of God,


Because of the love he had.

And there was a man of the people,
Who sat in the people's chair,
And bade the slaves go free;
For he loved his fellows before himself.


They took his life; but his word
They could not take. It was heard
Over the beautiful earth,
A thunder and whisper of love.

And there is no other way,


Since man of woman was born,
Than the way of the rebels and saints,
With loving and labor vast,

To redeem the world at last
From cruelty and greed;

For love is the only creed,
And honor the only law.