Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ONE THING I DO', by AMOS RUSSEL WELLS



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ONE THING I DO', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When nehemiah built his wall
Last Line: And that is their one thing
Subject(s): Persistence


[Read at the celebration of Dr. Francis K. Clark's sixtieth birthday anniversary.]

When Nehemiah built his wall,
And even friends would flee,
Hanballat raised a threatening call.
And said, "Come down to me."
"I have a task I cannot shirk,"
He answered with a frown.
"I am about a mighty work.
And I cannot come down."

When Paul. the many-geniused man,
Philosopher and sage.
The traveller, the artisan,
Lord of the burning page.
Was lured by goals of rainbow hue,
By fair Ambition's bid,
He answered, "This is the one thing I do,"
And that One Thing he did.

So this, our Nehemiah bold.
Our Paul of steady flame.
With purpose firm as theirs of old.
Has one unshifting aim;
One aim, in whose compelling sphere
All iithers are impearled;
One goal, one tSHk. one passion dear:
The Young Hearts of the World!

When glittering charms of golden wealth
Would turn hin feet awide.
When crafty visions brought by stealth
The garlandings of pride.
He thrust away the tempting crown.
The promise untrue,
And answered. I cannot come down.
For this One Thing I do."

When Ease enticed his weariness
And bade him rest awhile;
When Doubt, the quaking sorceress,
Beset him with her guile;
When Slander, hid behind a mask,
Attacked with venomed sting.
He answered, "I've a glorious task,
And I must do This Thing."

When dear delights of lovely home,
And scenes that fondest are.
Forbade his wistful heart to roam
On toilsome Journeys far.
These pleasures he was strong to leave.
Though all his being bled:
"I have a purpose to achieve,
I do One Thing," he said.

When gray Casaandras told their fears,
When even friends were dumb.
When iterant tasks of thirty years
Grew dully wearisome.
Amid the calm, amid the storm.
Whatever skies might be.
"I have a duty to perform.
One Thing I do," said he.

And still, though sixty years have rolled
Their devious night and day.
By that one high resolve controlled
He treads a steadfast way:
And still al>ove his silvered head
His banner never furled.
And written on it, white and red.
"The Young Hearts of the World."

Ah, Francis Clark, whom we acclaim
For this One Thing you do,
Who holds himself to one great aim.
Holds God to one aim, too;
Holds God to one, and Christ to one.
And all the choirs that sing.
"Well done, thou faithful one, well done!"
And that is their One Thing.





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