Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EASTERN GOD, by DORA SIGERSON SHORTER

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AN EASTERN GOD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I saw an eastern god to-day
Last Line: "o guard my love, where'er he be."
Alternate Author Name(s): Sigerson, Dora; Shorter, Mrs. Clement
Subject(s): Idols; Prayer

I SAW an Eastern God to-day;
My comrades laughed; lest I betray
My secret thoughts, I mocked him too.
His many hands (he had no few,
This God of gifts and charity),
The marble face, that smiled on me,
I mocked, and said, "O God unthroned,
Lone exile from the faith you owned,
No priest to bring you sacrifice,
No censer with its breath of spice,
No land to mourn your funeral pyre;
O King, whose subjects felt your fire,
Now dead, now stone, without a slave,
Unfeared, unloved, you have no grave.
Poor God, who cannot understand!
And what of your fair Eastern land,
What dark brows brushed your dusky feet,
What warm hearts on your marble beat,
With many a prayer unanswered?"
My comrades laughed and passed. I said,
"If in those lands you wander still,
In spirit, God, and work your will,"
I whispered in the marble ear
So low—because the walls might hear—
The painted lips they smiled at me—
"O guard my love, where'er he be."

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