I Cannot Stand and Wait
How can I serve who am too old to fight?
I cannot stand and wait
With folded hands, and lay me down at night
In restless expectation that the day
Will bring some stroke of Fate
I cannot help to stay
Once, like the spider in his patterned web,
Based on immutable law,
Boldly I spun the stands of arduous thought,
Now seeming naught,
Rent in the sudden hurricane of war.
Within my corner I will take my place,
And grant me grace
Some delicate thing to perfect and complete
With passionate contentment, as of old
Before my heart grew cold.
This in the Temple I will dedicate,
A widow’s mite,
Among more precious gifts, obscured from sight
By the majestic panoply of state.
But when triumphal candles have burned low
And valorous trophies crumbled into dust,
Perchance my gift may glow,
Still radiating some sacrificial joy
Amid the ravages of moth and dust.
|This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).|