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By an Evolutionist

         
      The Lord let the house of a brute to the
              soul of a man,
          And the man said, ‘Am I your debtor?’
      And the Lord–‘Not yet; but make it as
              clean as you can,
          And then I will let you a better.’

       

            I.

      If my body come from brutes, my soul
              uncertain or a fable,
          Why not bask amid the senses while the
              sun of morning shines,
      I, the finer brute rejoicing in my hounds,
              and in my stable,
          Youth and health, and birth and wealth,
              and choice of women and of wines?

       

            II.

      What hast thou done for me, grim Old Age,
              save breaking my bones on the rack?
          Would I had past in the morning that
              looks so bright from afar!

       

              OLD AGE

      Done for thee? starved the wild beast that
              was linkt with thee eighty years back.
          Less weight now for the ladder-of-heaven
              that hangs on a star.

       

            I.

      If my body come from brutes, tho’ somewhat
              finer than their own,
          I am heir, and this my kingdom. Shall
              the royal voice be mute?
      No, but if the rebel subject seek to drag
              me from the throne,
          Hold the sceptre, Human Soul, and rule
              thy province of the brute.

       

            II.

      I have climb’d to the snows of Age, and I
              gaze at a field in the Past.
          Where I sank with the body at times in
              the sloughs of a low desire,
      But I hear no yelp of the beast, and the
              Man is quiet at last,
          As he stands on the heights of his life
              with a glimpse of a height that is higher.
       


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