A Challenge.

A poem by Walter R. Cassels

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
My heart is true as steel,
Steady still in woe and weal,
Strong to bear, though quick to feel--
Take my hand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
Only my own ease seek I,
I am deaf to Pity's cry,
If men hunger, let them die--
Traitor! stand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
I've a kiss for maiden fair,
I've a blow for who may dare,
I've a song to banish care--
Take my hand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
I'm your servant whilst you're great,
As you sink, my cares abate,
When you're poor you have my hate,--
Traitor! stand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
If you trust me, I'll be true,
If you slight me, I'll slight you,
If you wrong me, you shall rue--
Take my hand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
I can work with any tools--
Clothe myself by stripping fools--
Bend the knee whoever rules--
Traitor! stand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
I've a heart that hates all wrong,
Aids the weak against the strong,
Loves the Truth, and seeks it long--
Take my hand!

What art thou--friend or foe?
Stand! stand!
I forgive no woman's sin,
Hunt her with self-righteous mien,
Never take her, mourning, in
From the desert of her sin--
Traitor! stand!

What art thou--friend or foe!
Stand! stand!
I've a heart that melts at sorrow,
I've a store the poor may borrow
I'm the same to-day, to-morrow--
Take my hand!

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