Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PAGE FROM AMERICA'S PSALTER, by WILLARD WATTLES



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A PAGE FROM AMERICA'S PSALTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Across the bitter centuries I hear the wail of men
Last Line: If thou couldst come again to us as once in bethlehem.
Variant Title(s): Thy Kingdom Come
Subject(s): Jesus Christ


Across the bitter centuries I hear the wail of men:
"Oh, would that Jesus Lord, the Christ, would come to us again."
We decorate our altars with ceremonious pride,
With all the outward shows of pomp His worship is supplied,
Great churches raise their mighty spires to pierce the sunlit skies,
While in the shadow of the cross we utter blasphemies.

We know we do not do His will who lessoned us to pray,
"Our Father grant within our lives Thy Kingdom rule today."
The prayer He taught us, once a week we mouth with half-shut eye,
While in the charnel-house of words immortal meanings die.
Above our brothers' frailties we cry "Unclean! Unclean!"
And with the hands that served her shame still stone the Magdalene.

We know within our factories that wan-cheeked women reel
Among the deft and droning belts that spin from wheel to wheel.
We know that unsexed childhood droops in dull-eyed drudgery—
The little children that He blessed in far-off Galilee—
Yet surely, Lord, our hearts would grow more merciful to them,
If Thou couldst come again to us as once in Bethlehem.





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