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C. J. Rhodes, buried in the Matoppos, April 10, 1902
HEN that great Kings return to clay,
Or Emperors in their pride,
Grief of a day shall fill a day,
Because its creature died.
But we we reckon not with those
Whom the mere Fates ordain,
Dreamer devout, by vision led
Beyond our guess or reach,
The travail of his spirit bred
So huge the all-mastering thought that drove-
His faith before the crowd.
It is his will that he look forth
The granite of the ancient North-
There shall he patient make his seat (As when the Death he dared), And there await a people's feet
In the paths that he prepared.
There, till the vision he foresaw
Living he was the land, and dead,
(Died March 27, 1900)
ITH those that bred, with those that loosed the strife,
He had no part whose hands were clear of
But subtle, strong, and stubborn, gave his life
Later shall rise a people, sane and great,
Forged in strong fires, by equal war made one; Telling old battles over without hate
Not least his name shall pass from sire to son.
He may not meet the onsweep of our van
In the doomed city when we close the score; Yet o'er his grave-his grave that holds a manOur deep-tongued guns shall answer his once more!
HEN I was a King and a Mason-a Master
I cleared me ground for a palace such as a
I decreed and dug down to my levels. Presently, under
I came on the wreck of a palace such as a King had
There was no worth in the fashion-there was no wit in the plan
Hither and thither, aimless, the ruined footings ran— Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone: 'After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known.'
Swift to my use in my trenches, where my well-planned ground-works grew,
I tumbled his quoins and his ashlars, and cut and reset them anew.
Lime I milled of the marbles: burned it, slacked it, and
Taking and leaving at pleasure the gifts of the humble
Yet I despised not nor gloried; yet, as we wrenched them
I read in the razed foundations the heart of that builder's
As he had risen and pleaded, so did I understand
The form of the dream he had followed in the face of the thing he had planned.
When I was a King and a Mason-in the open noon of my pride,
They sent me a Word from the Darkness-They whispered and called me aside.
They said "The end is forbidden.' They said "Thy use is fulfilled,
And thy palace shall stand as that other's-the spoil of a King who shall build.'
I called my men from my trenches, my quarries, my wharves, and my shears.
All I had wrought I abandoned to the faith of the faith
Only I cut on the timber, only I carved on the stone: 'After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known!'