Robert Laurence Binyon

(1869-1943 / England)

There Is Still Splendour - Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon

O when will life taste clean again? For the air
Is fouled: the world sees, hears; and each day brings
Vile fume that would corrupt eternal things,
Were they corruptible. Harsh trumpets blare
Victory over the defenceless; there
Beauty and compassion, all that loves the light,
Is outcast; thousands in a homeless night
Climb misery's blind paths to the peak, Despair.
Not only martyr'd flesh, but the mind bleeds.
There's nothing left to call inhuman, so
Defaced is man's name by the things men do.
O worse, yet worse, if the world, seeing this,
The hideous spawn of misbegotten creeds,
Grow used, drugged, deadened, and accept the abyss.

There is still splendour: the sea tells of it
From far shores, and where murder's made to lurk
In the clean waters; there, men go to work
Simply, upon their daily business, knit
Together in one cause; they think no whit
Of glory; enough that they are men. To those
Who live by terror, calmly they oppose
What wills, dares, and despises to submit.
And the air tells of it: out of the eye's ken
Wings range and soar, a symbol of the free,
In the same cause, outspeeding the swift wind.
Millions of spirits bear them company.
This is the splendour in the souls of men
Which flames against that treason to mankind.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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