The martyr was pinioned and bound to the stake,
Dark-robed priests the torch applying;
The flames wrapped his form like the folds of a snake,
And Truth retreated, sighing;
“Is justice then dead? Must wrong e’er prevail?
Can seed from these ashes flourish?”
And a whispered reply came borne on the gale —
“Wait! Justice its growth shall nourish.”
The patriot stood on the scaffold’s plank,
A victim to tyranny’s craving;
His blood by the soil was eagerly drank,
And tyranny’s banner kept waving.
Again weeping Truth raised her questioning cry —
“Lord, why art thou so long appearing?”
And louder returned the distant reply —
“The day for the harvest is nearing!”
The slave awaited the hangman’s grasp,
And boldly avowed confession
That he dared to give voice to the speechless gasp
Of poverty under oppression.
But Truth had no need to renew her prayer —
The harvest was ripe for the reaper!
And millions of voices were filling the air
As the sickle stuck deep and deeper.
(An unpublished poem)
From: Open vistas : a bi-monthly of life and letters, December 1925.