To dreary deserts from the world away,
Who scourge the flesh, and meditate and pray,
And for each earthly thought do penance dire
Until all human sympathies expire;
Who sacrifice God's precious gifts and say
That from the bitter ashes, dead and gray,
Shall spring the glowing flames of sacred fire.
But cold the ashes are, no flames arise.
When hearts are dead no fervent pulse can beat,
No warm blood flow. Oh, fools are they, and blind,
Who, scorning earth, think thus to scale the skies!
Such scorn (would they could know!) but weights the feet.
He loves God best who best doth love his kind.
__Ellen P. Allerton.
Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)