Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Vachel Lindsay

Repin Ilya Yfimovich (1844-1930)
Portrait of Leo Tolstoy as a Ploughman on a Field (1887, Moscow, The Tretyakov Gallery)

Tolstoi is plowing yet. When the smoke-clouds break,
High in the sky shines a field as wide as the world.
There he toils for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake.

Ah, he is taller than clouds of the little earth.
Only the congress of planets is over him,
And the arching path where new sweet stars have birth.

Wearing his peasant dress, his head bent low,
Tolstoi, that angel of Peace, is plowing yet;
Forward across the field, his horses go.

-written by Vachel Lindsay on the sinking of the Lusitania,appearing in the Chicago Herald, May 11, 1915.
vach1.jpg (17223 bytes)

Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)
Photo Source:


I saw St. Francis by a stream
Washing his wounds that bled.
The aspens quivered overhead.
The silver doves flew round.

Weeping and sore dismayed
"Peace, peace," St. Francis prayed.

But the soft doves quickly fled.
Carrion crows flew round.
An earthquake rocked the ground.

"War, war," the west wind said.


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