Edgar Lee Masters

(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950 / Kansas / United States)

Filipinos, Remember Us - Poem by Edgar Lee Masters

You, if it fall to you to take
From us the lamp that Athens gave,
Fill it with mercy for our sake,
And light us gently to the grave.

The Goth and Vandal rendered not
For evil good --but all in vain
Have we, your victors, prayed and taught
If through you freedom bleeds again.

Bound home, but blown across the sea
In earth that clings about his feet,
The whinchat bears the seedling tree,
And plants the sterile lands with wheat.

But we --we shipped with slime for freight,
Unknown to us what in it grew;
And brought untoward to our hate
The germ of Liberty to you.

When you have armed and joined the East
To swell the Peril which affrights
Our bloody conscience at the feast,
Where Fate the ancient curse re-writes;

When the White Peril, slumber bound,
Gorged full, the sport of bottle flies,
Awakes to find you on his ground
Puissant, cynical and wise;

Kicking his childish lies and frauds
'Round infamy's quiescent yard;
And raking from the wall the gawds
Despite the dull and drunken guard;

Or battering down the entrance door
Long shut, while yours was opened wide,
To forage in our golden store,
Our rich possessions to divide;

To us it were but poor amends
Our sons with hatred to entreat;
Remember us, who were your friends
Right in the battle's blood and heat.

For our sakes, centuries sunk in sleep,
Who strove to stave the certain doom,
Our brothers' sons forgive, and keep
The flower of Liberty in bloom.

Move not in blindness, as of old
The unconscious Hun devoured the land;
You must, with history's page unrolled,
Be god-like in your great command.

Yes, if it fall to you to take
From us the lamp that Athens gave,
Fill it with gladness for our sake,
Restore the weak and free the slave:

Fill every place of waste with love,
And every land of woe with light,
Till Peace, the pentecostal dove,
Descend and consecrate your might


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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