Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PROGRESS?, by EDITH O'HARA

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PROGRESS?, by            
First Line: O cain, how didst thou feel at sight of brother abel at thy feet?
Last Line: Sin!
Subject(s): Cain; Punishment; Sin

O Cain, how didst thou feel at sight of brother Abel at thy feet?
What thoughts did surge within thy soul at this strange sequel to thy wrath?
Ofttimes in childish glee thou felled him and exulted at the feat,
But laughingly he quickly rose, nor followed dire aftermath.

But now the blow came not in ecstasy of sport or childish gee;
It came from passion hitherto unknown -- strange prelude to strange end.
Response was none to fan the flame -- Cain's rage died down -- he bent his knee
To closer bring his gaze to that prone form -- his brother and his friend.

O dreadful sight! The glassy eye no answ'ring glance on him bestowed;
No hand reached out to clasp his own -- no smile to cheer his troubled soul.
And this was Death! The Death foretold by God -- the penalty man owed
For sin -- and his had been the hand to take of Sin the dreadful toll.

Ah, Cain, thou hadst not known the penalty that follows lustful hate
Or else thy hand thou wouldst have stayed. Excuse was thine; but who can plead
For pardon now when he makes war on brother man that he may sate
His passion, gratify his pride, or satisfy his sinful greed?

We know the ills that follow in the train of conflict dread;
We know the consequence of passion bridled not; we know too well
The grief of hearts that sorrow through the years for their dear dead --
We know that war makes what was heav'nly peace a replica of hell.

Oh, ye who prate of progress which this world has made with passing years,
How doth the strife of brother nations better strife of next of kin?
How justify the right that comes with might at price of orphans' tears?
O modern Cains! You know! No ignorance can you plead -- you know the

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