Mine and Thine (1904)/Civilization

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For other versions of this work, see Civilization.


Old as the race of man, 
 Young as the child new-born,
From glooms Plutonian
 I mount to paths of morn;
And as I move o'er vale and hill,
 Before me flees the night,
For on into the darkness still
 I bear my light.

The desert stayed me long
 Its fancied worth to tell;
The savage, subtle and strong,
 Opposed me, and he fell:
But the savage learned from conflict past
 To battle and succeed,
And the foolish desert came at last
 To bloom indeed.

I halt not for the maimed,
 I wait not for the blind;
My foot is never lamed,
 Whoe’er may lag behind:
I hasten on, like the wind of God,
 To the conquest He ordains:
Parting the human from the clod,
 Undoing chains.

The thing that hindereth
 My progress as I pass,
Is withered in my breath
 Like parchèd summer grass.
I hasten on, like the wind of God,
 That must unfettered blow,
Wooing the blossom from the sod
 Where'er I go.

I taught the Hindoo throng
 To worship: I awoke
The Pyrrhic phalanx strong,
 To break the Persian yoke:
I set great Pharaoh's captives free,
 The Tarquin's pride down-hurled,
And in a child of Galilee,
 O'er came the world!