Bernard O'Dowd

(11 April 1866 – 1 September 1953 / Beaufort)

Our Duty Poem by Bernard O'Dowd


Yet what were Love if man remains unfree,
   And woman's sunshine sordid merchandise:
If children's Hope is blasted ere they see
   Its shoots of youth from out the branchlets rise:
   If thought is chained, and gagged is Speech, and Lies
Enthroned as Law befoul posterity,
   And haggard Sin's ubiquitous disguise
Insults the face of God where'er men be?

Ay, what were Love, my love, did we not love
   Our stricken brothers so, as to resign
   For Its own sake, the foison of Its dower:
That, so, we two may help them mount above
   These layers of charnel air in which they pine,
   To seek with us the Presence and the Power?

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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