THE MANY-MANSIONED HOUSE
AND OTHER POEMS


By
EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON




 

PARABLES

GRANDFATHER TO GRANDSON



AND did you think the war was past
When the long cannonade was done,
And all we homebound soldiers cast
Hope’s glances on the blessing sun?
     I tell you that the war shall last

5

     Till every citadel be won.

And did you think was Lincoln dead
Because his mouldering length of clay
Lifts nevermore the brooding head
To eye the slowly brightening day?

10

     I tell you that his blood was shed
     That he might, living, lead the way.

And did you think he does not lead
Because the chains he broke of yore
Maddened scarce less than those that Need

15

Clanks terribly nigh Dives’ door?
     I tell you Dives shall be freed
     From dread when Lincoln leads no more.

And did you think that this is Peace,
When every rose in Pleasure’s hair

20

Shakes direful as some blood-red piece
Torn from the heart of hot despair?
     I tell you Pleasure’s just release
     Comes when her roses all shall share.

And did you think Columbians see

25

As nothing but a sounding phrase
The “All men were created free
And equal” of the Fathers’ days? [Page 73]
     I tell you their sincerest glee
     Laughs over all whom that dismays.

30


And did you think you could desist
From service in the changeful fight,
Or that your weapons need assist
Neither the arms of Wrong nor Right?
     I tell you All must here enlist,

35

     There is no neutral and no flight. [Page 74]