At Perry, September 16, 1893.

A poem by Freeman Edwin Miller

Crowds! Crowds! Crowds!
Suddenly here as if come from the clouds
That faded away as they came;
Mad acres of people aflame
With thirst for a morsel of land;
Wild hunters of fortune, whose game
Is ever escaping the hand;
Vast, countless, uncountable throngs
With restless, unrestable feet,
That hurry the ways, full of agonized wrongs,
For the conquest of happiness sweet;
Wild seas of ambition whose waves of desire
On their obstacles mighty continually beat,
Where neither the shore nor the ocean is fixed;
Like thunderous songs of a choir,
Whose murmurs in music repeat;
And confusion and chaos are terribly mingled and mixed.

Dust! Dust! Dust!
Borne in the arms of the gathering gust,
And whirled on the wings of the wind,
The eyes feel the blight of the blind,
And horror comes into the heart;
For nature is far more unkind
Than the thousands that struggle apart.
Dark, wild, inescapable dust,
In fiercest, untamable clouds,
That men into misery helplessly thrust,
And bury in agony-shrouds;
A simoom of sorrow whose pestilent breath
To the strong and the weak, to the young and the old,
Brings despair that is reckless of possible gain,
And the awfullest anguish of death;
Till the soul in its rage uncontrolled,
Droops low in the horrible sickness and sorrow of pain.

But out from the clouds,
Out from the agonized dust that enshrouds;
True kings shall arise who shall reign
In homes on the populous plain!
Great cities shall gather and grow
In glories that never shall wane,
Far over the valleys below.
With merry yet measureless might
They conquer the waste with the gladness that brings
To the desert the newest delight.
The barren shall bloom as the rose, and the land
That is sleeping, a wilderness wasted and wild,
And dreaming to welcome its master's command,
Shall leap at the touch of his hand,
His voice shall obey as a child!

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