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.
A Prayer of the Peoples
(From “The Present Hour”)

By Percy Mackaye

(American poet and dramatist, born 1875)
GOD of us who kill our kind!
Master of this blood-tracked Mind
Which from wolf and Caliban
Staggers toward the star of Man—
Now, on Thy cathedral stair,        5
God, we cry to Thee in prayer!
Where our stifled anguish bleeds
Strangling through Thine organ reeds,
Where our voiceless songs suspire
From the corpses in Thy choir—        10
Through Thy charred and shattered nave,
God, we cry on Thee to save!
Save us from our tribal gods!
From the racial powers, whose rods—
Wreathed with stinging serpents—stir        15
Odin and old Jupiter
From their ancient hells of hate
To invade Thy dawning state.…
Lord, our God! to whom, from clay,
Blood and mire, Thy peoples pray—        20
Not from Thy cathedral’s stair
Thou hearest:—Thou criest through our prayer
For our prayer is but the gate:
We, who pray, ourselves are fate.

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