Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IDOLS, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

IDOLS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They made them idols in the elder days
Last Line: Salute the mystery beyond their ken.
Subject(s): God; Idols; South Sea Islands

THEY made them idols in the elder days,
Idols and images of brass and stone,
To bow before their image when the praise
Should go, O God, to Thee and Thee alone.

Yet who shall say how much of tender trust,
Of deep-heart adoration and desire
Was hid behind these symbols of the dust
That rose like smoke to dim the central fire?

How often, in those heathen hearts, indeed,
Ardent and upwardly there must have burned
A flame of worship, an imperious need
To clasp and kiss the thing toward which they yearned.

Midst of the mystic Orient to-day,
Far in the north, or where the great South Seas
Circle the islands, gather still to pray
The myriad folk whose faith is like to these.

Rebuke them not: even as a root at birth
Feels upward to the light, these simple men
Foredream the flower and darkly from the earth
Salute the mystery beyond their ken.

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