Friday, May 10, 2019

The Torchbearer

"The Torchbearer"

The God of the great endeavor 
gave me a torch to bear. 
I lifted it high above me 
in the dark and murky air.

Straightway with loud hosannas 
the crowd acclaimed its light, 
And followed me as I carried my torch 
through the dark and starless night.

Til mad with peoples' praises 
and drunken with vanity, 
I forgot it was the torch that drew them 
and fancied they followed me.

And my arm grew sore and weary 
upholding the shining load, 
And my tired feet went stumbling 
over the hilly road.

I fell with the torch beneath me, 
in a moment the flame was out. 
But lo, from the throng a stripling 
sprang forth with a mighty shout,

Caught up the torch as it smouldered 
and lifted it high again, 
Til fanned by the winds of heaven 
it fired the souls of men.

As I lay alone in the darkness, 
the feet of the trampling crowd, 
Passed over and far beyond me, 
their praises proclaimed aloud.

And I learned in the deepening shadow 
this glorious verity, 
'Tis the torch the people follow, 
who ere the bearer be.