John Brooks Wheelwright
Come Over And Help Us (A Rhapsody) - Poem by John Brooks Wheelwright
Our masks are gauze / and screen our faces for those unlike us only,
Who are easily deceived. / Pierce through these masks to our unhidden tongues
And watch us scold, / scold with intellectual lust; / scold
Ourselves, our foes, our friends; / Europe, America, Boston; and all that is not
Boston; / till we reach a purity, fierce as the love of God; - / Hate.
Hate, still fed by the shadowed source; / but fallen, stagnant fallen;
Sunk low between thin channels; rises, rises; / swells to burst
Its walls; and rolls out deep and wide. / Hate rules our drowning Race.
Any freed from our Tyrant; / abandon their farms, forsake their Country, become American.
We, the least subtle of Peoples, / lead each only one life at a time, -
Being never, never anything but sincere; / yet we trust our honesty
So little that we dare not depart from it, - / knowing it to need habitual stimulation.
And living amid a world of Spooks, / we summon another to us
Who is (in some sort) our Clown, - / as he affords us amusement.
O! sweet tormentor, Doubt! longed-for and human, / leave us some plausible
Evil motive, however incredible. / The Hate in the World outside our World
(Envious, malicious, vindictive) / makes our Hate gleam in the splendor
Of a Castrate / who with tongue plucked out; / arms, legs sawed off;
Eyes and ears, pierced through; / still thinks / thinks
By means of all his nutriment, / with intense, exacting Energy, terrible, consuming.
Madness, we so politely placate / as an every-day inconvenience
We shun in secret. / Madness is sumptuous; Hate, ascetic.
Those only who remain sane, / taste the flavor of Hate.
Strong Joy, we forbid ourselves / and deny large pleasurable objects,
But, too shrewd to forego amusement, / we enjoy all joys which, dying, leave us teased.
So spare us, sweet Doubt, our tormentor, / the Arts, our concerts, and novels;
The theater, sports, the exotic past; / to use to stave off Madness,
To use as breathing spells, / that our drug's tang may not die.
If with less conviction, / with some result, some end, -
So pure ourselves; so clear our passion; / pure, clear, alone.
The New Englander leaves New England / to flaunt his drab person
Before Latin decors / and Asiatic back-drops.
Wearies. / Returns to life, -life tried for a little while.
A poor sort of thing / (filling the stomach; emptying the bowels;
Bothering to speak to friends on the street; / filling the stomach again;
Dancing, drinking, whoring) / forms the tissue of this fabric.-
(Marriage; society; business; charity; - / Life, and life refused.)
The New Englander appraises sins, / and finds them beyond his means, and hoards
Likewise, he seldom spends his goodness / on someone ignoble as he,
But, to make an occasion, he proves himself / that he is equally ignoble.
Then he breaks his fast! / Then he ends his thirsting!
He censors the Judge. / He passes judgment on the Censor. / No language is left.
His lone faculty, Condemnation, -condemned. / Nothing is left to say.
Proclaim an Armistice. / Through Existence, livid, void, / let silence flood.
Ask the Silent One your question. / (He is stupid in misery
No more than the talkative man, who talks through his hat.) / Ask the question.
If he replied at all, / it would be to remark that he never could despise
Anyone so much as himself / should he once give way to Self-pity.
A different act of faith is his, - / the white gesture of Humility.
He knows his weakness. / He is well-schooled / and he never forgets the shortest
Title of his Knowledge. / The jailer of his Soul sees Pride. / He sees
Tears, never. / The Silent One is so eaten away
He cannot make that little effort / which surrender to external Fact
Requires, / but looks out always with one wish, - / to realize he exists.
Lo! a Desire! / A Faint motive! / A motive (however faint) beyond disinterestedness.
Faint. / It is faint. / But the boundary is clear. / Desire, oh desire further!
Past that boundary lies Annihilation / where the Soul
Breaks the monotonous-familiar / and man wakes to the shocking
Unastounded company of other men. / But the Silent One would not pass
Where the Redmen have gone. / He would live without end. That, - / the ultimate nature of Hell.
Comments about Come Over And Help Us (A Rhapsody) by John Brooks Wheelwright
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You