The men-made gods

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Said the Kaiser’s god to the god of the Czar:
   ‘Hark, hark, how my people pray.
Their faith, methinks, is greater by far
Than all the faiths of the others are;
   They know I will help them slay.’

Said the god of the Czar: ‘My people call
   In a medley of tongues; they know
I will lend my strength to them one and all.
Wherever they fight their foes shall fall
   Like grass where the mowers go.’

Then the god of the Gauls spoke out of a cloud
   To the god of the King nearby:
‘Our people pray, tho’ they pray not loud;
They ask for courage to slaughter a crowd,
   And to laugh, tho’ themselves may die.’

And far out into the heart of Space
   Where a lonely pathway crept,
Up over the stars, to a secret place,
Where no light shone but the light of His face,
   Christ covered His eyes and wept.

from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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