An Invalid



I care not what his name for God may be,
Nor what his wisdom holds of heaven and hell,
The alphabet whereby he strives to spell
His lines of life, nor where he bends his knee,
Since, with his grave before him, he can see
White Peace above it, while the churchyard bell
Poised in its tower, poised now, to boom his knell,
Seems but the waiting tongue of liberty.
  
For names and knowledge, idle breed of breath,
And cant and creed, the progeny of strife,
Thronging the safe, companioned streets of life,
Shrink trembling from the cold, clear eye of death,
And learn too late why dying lips can smile:
That goodness is the only creed worth while.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on March 05, 2023

36 sec read
3

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABBAABBA CDDCEE
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 632
Words 120
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 8, 6

John Charles McNeill

John Charles McNeill (1874-1907) was a Wake Forest alumni and one of North Carolina's most celebrated poets. His published works include Songs of Merry and Sad and Lyrics From the Cotton Land, the latter of which was published posthumously. more…

All John Charles McNeill poems | John Charles McNeill Books

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