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Careless of pain, so it led to God,
Seemed the hunger-pang and the poor man's wrong,
The weak ones trodden beneath the strong.
Should the worm be chooser?—the clay withstand
The shaping will of the potter's hand?
In the Indian fable Arjoon hears
The scorn of a god rebuke his fears:
‘Spare thy pity!’ Krishna saith;
“Not in thy sword is the power of death!
All is illusion,—loss but seems;
Pleasure and pain are only dreams;
Who deems he slayeth doth not kill;
Who counts as slain is living still.
Strike, nor fear thy blow is crime;
Nothing dies but the cheats of time;
Slain or slayer, small the odds
To each, immortal as Indra's gods!”
So by Savannah's banks of shade,
The stones of his mission the preacher laid
On the heart of the negro crushed and rent,
And made of his blood the wall's cement;
Bade the slave-ship speed from coast to coast,
Fanned by the wings of the Holy Ghost;
And begged, for the love of Christ, the gold
Coined from the hearts in its groaning hold.
What could it matter, more or less
Of stripes, and hunger, and weariness?
Living or dying, bond or free,
What was time to eternity?
Alas for the preacher's cherished schemes!
Mission and church are now but dreams;
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