Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, JUDGMENT SEATS, by SAMUEL VALENTINE COLE



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JUDGMENT SEATS, by            
First Line: O little flower, / o tiny golden sun
Last Line: Some judgment seat!
Subject(s): Critics & Criticism; Judges; Judgments; State Rights; Secession


I

O LITTLE flower,
O tiny golden sun,
Shining amid the grass
Where we wayfarers pass
So near thee, little one!
I look and stand in awe
For what but now I saw:
Thou saidst—I almost heard
Thy quiet word—
Thou saidst to one, "Draw nigh"
But to the next, "Go by";
And, lo, each straightway did
As he was bid!

II

O happy star,
O little silver world,
That comest up the blue,
Singing, when day is through
And winds are furled,
I tremble as I see
Thy large eye look on me!
Thou saidst, with gentle voice
Down calling through the shade,
To one thou saidst, "Rejoice:
Sing with me, Pure-in-Heart";
But unto one, "Depart";
And they obeyed.

III

O love-lit face,
O beautiful sweet face,
Limned on the canvas there,
How scarcely do I dare
Behold thy truth and grace!
For thou art saying, too,
What each must do—
Come near or go afar,
Whoe'er we are.
Some, therefore, look and stay,
Some look and turn away,
And all obey.

IV

What golden key,
What clue divinely spun,
Waits to reveal this power,
In face and star and flower,
That speaks and it is done?
Lo! all things good and true
That meet my eyes;
All deeds that others do
In love and sacrifice,—
Seem, by some high command,
Robed in strange light, and stand
Dividing men on sight
To left and right:
Where'er I turn my feet,
I find no neutral place,
No voiceless thing, but face
Some judgment seat!





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