Poetry of Kansas
 

A Reverie.

The sun has sunk beneath the sea
Of green that crowns the western fields,
And busy, active thought now yields
To images of reverie.
 
I saw at morn of this same day
A poor man, blind, with sorrow bent;
The few to him their pity lent,
The many pushed him from the way.
 
At noon there comes another sight__
A prisoner condemned to death;
The gaping crowd with common breath
Proclaim: "I knew; it serves him right."
 
A woman, hopeless and forlorn,
Sits gazing at the turbid stream,
While those who shared her life's young dream,
Now passing turn their heads in scorn.
 
I stepped within a holy Place,
And thought removed from worldly care
To find a purer, brighter air__
Some radiance from the Throne of Grace.
 
But here a band in holy dress,
Convened in name of truth and right,
With tears of penitent delight,
The faults of other creeds confess.
 
Kind charity, 'tis for thy sake
I rouse me from this idle dream;
Alas, in vain! the visions seem
Less true in sleep than when I wake
 
How many hope to gain renown
By injuring another's name;
Or strive to climb:he steeps of fame
By crowding other people down.
 
Too many zealots think to swell
The praise of God by idle sound:
By dealing deep damnation round,
And hurling rivals down to hell.
 
But as I ponder thus alone,
An unseen spirit speaks to me:
"The faults which you in others see
Are but reflections of your own;
 
Judge hot, but render unto all
A word of hope, a deed of love,
And pray to Him, who rules above,
That unto each the best befall."
___William Simpson Jenks
 
Sunflowers
Selected by Arthur Richmond Marsh
(Lawrence: Journal Publishing Co. 1888)
Pages 135-136
 
September 5, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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