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HERBERT EDWARD PALMER

b.1880

947                                                   Ishmael

   And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the
wilderness and became an archer
.GENESIS XXi. 20.

AND Ishmael crouchd beside a crackling briar
Blinded with sand, and maddend by his thirst,
A derelict, though he knew not why accursed.
And lo! One saw, and strung the dissonant lyre,
Made firm his bow unto the arrows spire,
And gave him dates and wine. Then at the first
Flushings of dawn Ishmael arose, and burst
To triumphing freedom, ran, and eased desire.
His domain was the desert. None tamed him.
None bought nor sold his spirit, though his hand
Drippd red against the dawn and sunset stain.
Thrones melted, kingdoms passd to the worlds rim.
But Ishmael scourged the lion in Paran land,
And kept his faith with God. And he will reign.

948                                        Woodworkers Ballad

ALL that is moulded of iron
Has lent to destruction and blood;
But the things that are honourd of Zion
Are most of them made from wood.
Stone can be chiselld to Beauty,
And iron shines bright for Defence;
But when Mother Earth ponderd her duty
She brought forth the forest, from whence
Come tables, and chairs, and crosses,
Little things that a hot fire warps,
Old ships that the blue wave tosses,
And fiddles for music, and harps;
Oak boards where the carved ferns mingle,
Monks shrines in the wilderness,
Snug little huts in the dingle,
All things that the sad poets bless.
King Arthur had a wood table;
And Our Lord blessed wood; for, you see,
He was born in a wooden stable,
And He died on a wooden tree;
And He sailed in a wooden vessel
On the waters of Galilee,
And He workd at a wooden trestle
At His wonderful carpentry.

Oh, all that is moulded of iron
Has lent to destruction and blood;
But the things that are honourd of Zion
Are most of them made from wood.

 

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