A Hundred Years Since
When first you fluttered on this scene
In a May month just growing green,
And a young century turned fifteen,
What did the people say of you
As dubiously they glanced you through,
O North American Review ?
You had come to go? You had come to stay?
Or neither? Be that as it may
We know some things they did not say:
They did not say that you would see
The surging nations bond and free
Shape in this wise their history.
They did not say that in your run
Some deeds for freedom would be done
To pale the glory arms had won.
Nor did they, on the other hand,
Deem that some brass gods still would stand
When a whole century had been spanned.
Even you, a young philosopher,
Did not, perhaps, at all infer
That scientific massacre
For empire, step by step would climb
To horrors at this latter time
Undreamt of in your early prime.
What sane mind could suppose, indeed,
Blunt force again would supersede
The sway of grace, art, cult, and creed.
— Yet some may here and there be fraught
With things humane you long have taught
Unwitting if they effected aught.
For when we take good seed to throw
Broadcast afar, how much may grow,
How much may fail, we do not know;
And of your influence, what may dwell,
What die and work no kindly spell
In minds around, tongues fail to tell.
But may it still expand and last,
And make for binding Satan fast
Ere one more hundred years be passed!
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