O brothers mine, take care! Take care! The great white witch rides out to-night. Trust not your prowess nor your strength, Your only safety lies in flight; For in her glance there is a snare, And in her smile there is a blight. The great white witch you have not seen? Then, younger brothers mine, forsooth, Like nursery children you have looked For ancient hag and snaggle-tooth; But no, not so; the witch appears In all the glowing charms of youth. Her lips are like carnations, red, Her face like new-born lilies, fair, Her eyes like ocean waters, blue, She moves with subtle grace and air, And all about her head there floats The golden glory of her hair. But though she always thus appears In form of youth and mood of mirth, Unnumbered centuries are hers, The infant planets saw her birth; The child of throbbing Life is she, Twin sister to the greedy earth. And back behind those smiling lips, And down within those laughing eyes, And underneath the soft caress Of hand and voice and purring sighs, The shadow of the panther lurks, The spirit of the vampire lies. For I have seen the great white witch, And she has led me to her lair, And I have kissed her red, red lips And cruel face so white and fair; Around me she has twined her arms, And bound me with her yellow hair. I felt those red lips burn and sear My body like a living coal; Obeyed the power of those eyes As the needle trembles to the pole; And did not care although I felt The strength go ebbing from my soul. Oh! she has seen your strong young limbs, And heard your laughter loud and gay, And in your voices she has caught The echo of a far-off day, When man was closer to the earth; And she has marked you for her prey. She feels the old Antaean strength In you, the great dynamic beat Of primal passions, and she sees In you the last besieged retreat Of love relentless, lusty, fierce, Love pain-ecstatic, cruel-sweet. O, brothers mine, take care! Take care! The great white witch rides out to-night. O, younger brothers mine, beware! Look not upon her beauty bright; For in her glance there is a snare, And in her smile there is a blight.
Listen, Lord: A Prayer
(A Prayer from God's Trombones)
O Lord, we come this morning Knee-bowed and body-bent Before Thy throne of grace. O Lord—this morning— Bow our hearts beneath our knees, And our knees in some lonesome valley. We come this morning— Like empty pitchers to a full fountain, With no merits of our own. O Lord—open up a window of heaven, And lean out far over the battlements of glory, And listen this morning. Lord, have mercy on proud and dying sinners— Sinners hanging over the mouth of hell, Who seem to love their distance well. Lord—ride by this morning— Mount Your milk-white horse, And ride-a this morning— And in Your ride, ride by old hell, Ride by the dingy gates of hell, And stop poor sinners in their headlong plunge. And now, O Lord, this man of God, Who breaks the bread of life this morning— Shadow him in the hollow of Thy hand, And keep him out of the gunshot of the devil. Take him, Lord—this morning— Wash him with hyssop inside and out, Hang him up and drain him dry of sin. Pin his ear to the wisdom-post, And make his words sledge hammers of truth— Beating on the iron heart of sin. Lord God, this morning— Put his eye to the telescope of eternity, And let him look upon the paper walls of time. Lord, turpentine his imagination, Put perpetual motion in his arms, Fill him full of the dynamite of Thy power, Anoint him all over with the oil of Thy salvation, And set his tongue on fire. And now, O Lord— When I've done drunk my last cup of sorrow— When I've been called everything but a child of God— When I'm done traveling up the rough side of the mountain— O—Mary's Baby— When I start down the steep and slippery steps of death— When this old world begins to rock beneath my feet— Lower me to my dusty grave in peace To wait for that great gittin'-up morning—Amen.