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THE REFORMER, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: A man once stood before a frowning wall
Last Line: And deified his name to after-times.
Subject(s): Desire; Flowers; Heaven; Lies; Love; Paradise

A MAN once stood before a frowning wall
Whereon was writ a lie since ancient days,
And threw his heart's blood by the cupful straight
Against the legend, so to wipe it out,
Tapping his veins of all their purple yield
In his desire. At last he grew so weak
That, tottering-limbed, he heaved glazed eyes to heaven,
Sighed like a weary child, smiled once, and fell.

And when his dust was mingled with the mold
That burgeons into flowers, the people woke
One morn, and looked upon the wall, to see
A clean erasure of the glozing words
Had grieved the man so, he that calmly slept,
Oblivious alike of loves and lies
That make our human story.

Then there ran
A whisper, soon a cry, across the land:
"God urged him to the act, and he was glad
To spill his blood and make us clearer-eyed."
Whereat the very folk who carelessly
Passed by that day he drained his throbbing strength
And paled his flesh, upreared a cenotaph
And deified his name to after-times.

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