The Arena Part 11

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The estimate of man's personal agency in history is necessarily raised when the faculties he has utilized in gaining his ends are inquired into. Such a study seems to lead toward an alteration in the accepted idea of divine control in matters of history when it suggests this intention--that the divinity of a right control shall be shown through man. Such a study shows that he is sufficiently endowed with a spiritual nature, not only for this purpose, but for any other; and it suggests that, as his faculties bring him into direct connection with some All-knowledge from which every kind of intelligence may be drawn, he is expected to use his opportunities; also that the natural consequences of mistakes will not be rectified except through the intelligence supplied to further demand.




[17] From advance sheets of "Poems of the New Time," by Miles Menander Dawson, The Humboldt Library, Publishers: New York.

Cloth, 12mo, $1.00.

She stands beside her mate, companion-wise, Erect, self-poised, with clear, straightforward eyes.

For what she knows he is she holds him dear, And not for what she fancies him--with fear.

Brave spirit! Disillusionized, she lifts What blinder women bear as heaven's ill gifts.

She asks but, ere she reproduce a man, He truly be one, so a woman can.

She gives not for the asking, nor as one Who does unpleasant things that must be done.

Nay, he who half-unwilling love receives Knows not the full-orbed joy she freely gives.

Emanc.i.p.ated, on firm feet she stands, And all that man exacts of her demands; The new morality, the art of life, And not obedience, holds her as wife.

Hail, the new woman! By her choices she Determines wisely what mankind shall be.

She will not with eyes open be beguiled To choose a tainted father for her child.



It is a sad, sad sight.--_Carlyle._

O stars! as the flakes of a snowstorm How ye fly and fall and drift!

Swift snowing of suns out of darkness, Whirled by winds of force and whiffed!

Fly! fall! but the wind the Almighty Still behind you always runs, Still pushes you onward together, Fixed each sun in drift of suns.

Fixed, ay, to the vision of mortal Never change hath shown in you; Lands, seas, and their kingdoms and races All have changed, but ye are true-- Still true to the old constellations, Such as when the forebrain first Uplifted itself to their glories With this human spirit's thirst.

Calm! still! though in every sparkle Motions like the thunderbolt, Wide whirlings of worlds in their sunlight, Planet's wheel and comet's volt, All hang, as it were, in a dewdrop Frozen to a steadfast gleam; Time, place, dwindled down to a glitter, Whimseys of an instant's dream.

Drift! drift! all the universe drifting Round some sun too vast for thought!

On! on! awful maelstrom of matter Whirling in a gulf of naught!

Whirl! wheel! and my soul like a seabird Flies across and dips and flees-- Wild wings of my soul, like the seabird's, Tossed and lost upon the seas!



Too long, too long on the mountain's brow You linger, O storm-cloud! Know you not I, the suffering lowland, need you now Where the scorching sun glares hot?

You deluge the barren cliffs of chalk While wither the gra.s.s and the fruitful grain, And the red rose, shrivelling, dies on its stalk With a smothered cry for rain.

You lavish your wealth on the lordly height That knows not a miser's need therefor,-- With a smile I must take what is mine by right As the gift true souls abhor.

But the rain that is mine by the love of G.o.d, By the grace of the mountain a gift to me, Of what avail to the parching sod, Since it runneth down to the sea?

O cloud, I charge you to right my wrongs!

Be just with the bounty of G.o.d's own hand, And scatter the rain where the rain belongs, On the hot and thirsty land.

I charge you, cloud, by the love of G.o.d, That you pour His gift on the humble plain Till the myriad mouths of the parching sod Drink deep of the blessed rain.



I am a Radical, and this my faith: The aim and hope of all true citizens Are justice and real happiness for all.

Some are content--I know not why--to sit Among the sleepy worshippers who fill The gilded temple of conservatism, And sitting, awestruck, there they think they serve.

I am too busy for idolatry.

I carry in my hand a naked sword, And pity, roused for one, stays not my hand When prompt, sure blows mean freedom for a score.

That is my faith, and I am not afraid To face my Maker when my name is called.


Our Totem.

Carlyle has remarked upon the significance of symbolism. All nations seek a sign. The sign becomes the visible expression of the highest thought. It is made into an emblem around which the given people march by day and encamp by night. Thus have come all the totems which mankind have lifted up, from the brazen snake in the desert to the Stars and Stripes on the mountain.

Symbolism has its beauty and also its ugliness. In some cases the symbol is happily conceived. It is benign; it expresses hope, truth, fidelity, aspiration, even immortality. Behold the egg of the Egyptians and their circle expressive of undying life and eternity. Note the owl of the Athenians. Note the sweet lily of ancient Provence, adopted by France as the emblem of purity and national peace. Note the Irish shamrock--that delicate green trifolium which has signified so much of union and hope to an enthusiastic and failing race. On the other hand, note the serpent of the Aztecs, the crawling reptiles of Malaysia and India, the savage beasts and carnivorous birds adopted as the symbols of race-life and purpose by the coa.r.s.e barbarians of northern Europe, and preserved on the flags and banners of their descendants to the present day.

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The Arena Part 11 summary

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