Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DREYFUS, by EDWIN MARKHAM



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DREYFUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A man stood stained! France was one alp of hate
Last Line: And shrug the shoulder for reply to god.
Subject(s): Dreyfus, Alfred (1859-1935); Jews; Justice; Judaism


I

A MAN stood stained! France was one Alp of hate,
Pressing upon him with its iron weight.
In all the circle of the ancient sun,
There was no voice to speak for him—not one.
In all the world of men there was no sound
But of a sword flung broken to the ground.
"'Tis done!" they said, "unless a felon soul
Can tear the leaves out of the Judgment Scroll."

Hell laughed a little season, then behold
How one by one the gates of God unfold!
Swiftly a sword by Unseen Forces hurled,
And then a man rising against the world!

II

Oh, import deep as life is, deep as time!
There is a Something sacred and sublime,
Moving behind the worlds, beyond our ken,
Weighing the stars, weighing the deeds of men.

Take heart, O world of sorrow, and be strong:
There is One greater than the whole world's wrong,
Be hushed before the high, benignant Power
That goes untarrying to the reckoning hour.

O men that forge the fetter, it is vain;
There is a Still Hand stronger than your chain,
'Tis no avail to bargain, sneer, and nod,
And shrug the shoulder for reply to God.





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