Brotherhood

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   When in the even ways of life
      The old world jogs along,
   Our little coloured flags we flaunt:
   Our little separate selves we vaunt:
      Each pipes his native song.
   And jealousy and greed and pride
      Join their ungodly hands,
   And this round lovely world divide
      Into opposing lands.

   But let some crucial hour of pain
      Sound from the tower of time,
   Then consciousness of brotherhood
   Wakes in each heart the latent good,
      And men become sublime.
   As swarming insects of the night,
      Fly when the sun bursts in,
   Self fades, before love’s radiant light,
      And all the world is kin.

   God, what a place this earth would be
      If that uplifting thought,
   Born of some vast world accident,
   Into our daily lives were blent,
      And in each action wrought.
   But while we let the old sins flock
      Back to our hearts again,
   In flame, and flood, and earthquake shock,
      Thy voice must speak to men.

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