An Invalid

A poem by John Charles McNeill

I care not what his name for God may be,
Nor what his wisdom holds of heaven and hell,
The alphabet whereby he strives to spell
His lines of life, nor where he bends his knee,
Since, with his grave before him, he can see
White Peace above it, while the churchyard bell
Poised in its tower, poised now, to boom his knell,
Seems but the waiting tongue of liberty.

For names and knowledge, idle breed of breath,
And cant and creed, the progeny of strife,
Thronging the safe, companioned streets of life,
Shrink trembling from the cold, clear eye of death,
And learn too late why dying lips can smile:
That goodness is the only creed worth while.

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