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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