Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
The Swordless Christ

By Percy Adams Hutchison

(American poet, born 1875)
“Vicisti Galilaee”

AY, down the years behold he rides,
   The lowly Christ, upon an ass;
But conquering? Ten shall heed the call,
   A thousand idly watch him pass:
They watch him pass, or lightly hold        5
  In mock lip-loyalty his name:
A thousand—were they his to lead!
  But meek, without a sword, he came.
A myriad horsemen swept the field
  With Attila, the whirlwind Hun;        10
A myriad cannon spake for him,
  The silent, dread Napoleon.
For these had ready spoil to give,
  Had reeking spoil for savage hands;
Slaves, and fair wives, and pillage rare:        15
  The wealth of cities: teeming lands.
And if the world, once drunk with blood,
  Sated, has turned from arms to peace,
Man hath not lost his ancient lusts;
  The weapons change; war doth not cease.        20
The mother in the stifling den,
  The brain-dulled child beside the loom,
The hordes that swarm and toil and starve—
  We laugh, and tread them to their doom.
They shriek, and cry their prayers to Christ;        25
  And lift wan faces, hands that bleed:
In vain they pray, for what is Christ?
  A leader—without men to lead.
Ah, piteous Christ afar he rides!
  We see him, but the face is dim;        30
We that would leap at crash of drums
  Are slow to rise and follow him.

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