Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/292

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Which, pointing to the ruddy gray Of failing fire, by current stirred,

Spake low and soft, and strangely sweet ; " O mortal, thou hast greatly erred.

"Who keeps that wondrous metronome

Of beating heart without thy care ? Who keeps the body safe in sleep,

And wakes it to the morning fair? You carved your lot ? you asked for work ?

For capital your hands were all ? Who kept that right arm strong and sound ?

Who bade the rich man heed your call ?

"Behold !" The rosy ashes stirred

A country-boy stood sad and shy Before the mighty merchant-prince,

With restless hands and drooping eye. The while, until he turned, approved,

A white-winged angel waited there, Though neither boy nor master knew

The fair shape of a mother s prayer.

Again the drifting ashes shone :

" There go your ships safe to the land ; See you, above the tallest mast,

The guidance of a shining hand ? You make your boast no missing ship

Was ever marked from off your list : Who gave the wild wind to your hand

From out that mighty hollow fist?

�� �