The Sin of the Atom

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Sin of the Atom
by William James Roe

God was lonely—silent space
Was his sole abiding place—
On the lips of darkness yet
Kiss of love had not been set;

Then by darkness, Power’s bride
This poor dust was vivified,
And the first-born daughter, Light,
Spun the planets from the night;

With her distaff sat to spin
Cords of force to hold them in;
Cords remotest cycles feel
In the whirling of her wheel—

So, forever, toiling thus,
Light has tarried virtuous;
But the atom scornful stood
In his new, free hardihood,

And before thy life began
On this planet, conscious man,
By the atom disobeyed
Was the law envenomed made.

In the Eden of our race
So was wrought the first disgrace;
Niw the atom’s guilty stains
Course, death-laden, through our veins:—

There our long and bitter plaint;
There the leper’s fearful taint;
There the sudden poison pang
Of the cruel cobra’s fang;

There the atom’s shameless sin
Let the rabies’ virus in,
And his rebel hardihood
Poisoned nature’s perfect blood.

Mortal! so some prouder race
Yet may mourn for thy disgrace,
In some cycle vast and great
That thou canst not estimate

Man! what knowest thou of man?
What of God’s divinest plan?
Fool! thou dost not, canst not know
How life’s pulses throbbing go,—

Canst not tell how far thou art
From the beat of nature’s heart;
Nor what nobler veins thy sin
Lets the death-drop virus in.

Yet, in spite of all thou dost,
Light is true, and God is just;
Though temptation may not plead,
Nor thy sorrows intercede,

Though the sting my vision saw
Was of death that poisoned law,
And the horror sin has done
Through the deathless cycles run,

In some subtle, perfect way
Out of darkness comes the day;
In some vast alembic, filled
With the false is truth distilled.