The Forerunner (1:1): "Arrears" (Poem, Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

The Forerunner: 1:1 (November 1909): Table of Contents

Our gratitude goes up in smoke,
--In incense smoke of prayer;
We thank the Underlying Love,
--The Overarching Care--
We do not thank the living men
--Who make our lives so fair.

For long insolvent centuries
--We have been clothed and fed,
By the spared captive, spared for once,
--By inches slain instead;
He gave his service and is gone;
--Unthanked, unpaid, and dead.

His labor built the world we love;
--Our highest flights to-day
Rest on the service of the past,
--Which we can never pay;
A long repudiated debt
--Blackens our upward way.

Our fingers owed his fathers dead--
--Disgrace beyond repair!
No late remorse, no new-found shame
--Can save our honor there:
But we can now begin to pay
--The starved and stunted heir!

We thank the Power above for all--
--Gladly we do, and should.
But might we not save out a part
--Of our large gratitude,
And give it to the power on earth--
--Where it will do some good?

Originally published in Forerunner: 1:1 (November 1909).

Etext from Project Gutenberg.

This public domain text has been presented as found (with some minor format changes); this website and its owners are not responsible for errors, substantive and/or minor.

The Forerunner: 1:1 (November 1909): Table of Contents

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by; feel free to post comments.

Due to spam, all blog comments are moderated by admin.