Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Modern Politician / Archibald Lampman

         
The Modern Politician

What manner of soul is his to whom high truth
Is but the plaything of a feverish hour,
A dangling ladder to the ghost of power!
Gone are the grandeurs of the world's iron youth,
When kings were mighty, being made by swords.
Now comes the transit age, the age of brass,
When clowns into the vacant empires pass,
Blinding the multitude with specious words.
To them faith, kinship, truth and verity,
Man's sacred rights and very holiest thing,
Are but the counters at a desperate play,
Flippant and reckless what the end may be,
So that they glitter, each his little day,
The little mimic of a vanished king.

--
Archibald Lampman
from The Poems of Archibald Lampman, 1900

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Archibald Lampman (by George Dance)

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