Alice Duer Miller

Strange Gods

Alice Duer Miller was a writer from the U.S. whose poetry actively influenced political opinion. Her feminist verses made an impact on the suffrage issue, and her verse novel The White Cliffs encouraged U.S. entry into World War II. She also wrote novels and screenplays.

THE great religions, like men great of mind,
Draw to them even those of hostile view.
Many a barbarian in Athens knew
The temple porches who was grossly blind
To any god save one long left behind -
Some hideous idol on a mountain blue,
For whom his heart ached, timorous and true,
And, lonely in the Parthenon, repined.
But home returning over difficult seas
To his own people, had he no regret?
No envy for those Greeks who bent their knees
Only where beauty and religion met?
Could he forget the temple and the trees?
Could he the grey-eyed Pallas so forget?