The Christ Of The Andes Poem by Edwin Markham

The Christ Of The Andes

Rating: 2.7

After volcanoes husht with snows,
Up where the wide-winged condor goes,
Great Aconcagua, husht and high,
Sends down the ancient peace of the sky.

So, poised in clean Andean air,
Where bleak with cliffs the grim peaks stare,
Christ, reaching out his sacred hands,
Sheds his brave peace upon the lands.

There once of old wild battles roared
And brother-blood was on the sword;
Now all the fields are rich with grain
And only roses redden the plain.

Torn were the peoples with feuds and hates
Fear on the mountain-walls, death at the gates;
Then through the clamor of arms was heard
A whisper of the Master’s word.

'Fling down your swords; be friends again:
Ye are not wolf-packs: ye are men.
Let brother-counsel be the Law:
Not serpent fang, not tiger claw.'

Chile and Argentina heard;
The great hopes in their spirits stirred;
The red swords from their clenched fists fell,
And heaven shone out where once was hell!

They hurled their cannons into flame
And out of the forge the strong Christ came.
Twas thus they molded in happy fire
The tall Christ of their hearts desire…

O Christ of Olivet, you husht the wars
Under the far Andean stars:
Lift now your strong nail-wounded hands
Over all peoples, over all lands
Stretch out those comrade hands to be
A shelter over land and sea!

Frank Avon 28 September 2014

This poem is just important today as it was when it was written - indeed, more so. How one wishes the fights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Syria could hear and heeds these words: Ye are not wolf-packs: ye are men. Let brother-counsel be the Law: Not serpent fang, not tiger claw. This is my favorite Markham poem. Both Man with a Hoe and his Lincoln poem verge too much on the abstract. The images and sentiments of this one stay close to the earth.

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Edwin Markham

Edwin Markham

Oregon City, Oregon
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