O Lord, in Thy Ledgers of Heaven,
'Midst entries three-billions-and-three,
Let One Line of Credit be given,
To the Bards Who Have Blasted and Striven
To make this humanity gee!
There is praise for the deacons seraphic,
There are harps for the saints in the pews;
In the census of souls and their traffic
Keep a space for the Bards Who Are Graphic
And abrupt in expressing their views!
For Thou knowest that each is a prophet,
And that fervour abides in his curse;
O Lord, lest the Wowsers should scoff it,
Keep a page or a small corner of it
For the praise and reward of each prophet
Exploding in Verse!
Yes, Lord, 'midst the rust and corrosion --
'Midst the dross and the slush and the flam;
There is need for the Priests of Explosion;
So, here, I give notice of motion
Ere the Books of Eternity slam!
It is moved that a saint's white apparel
Be reserved for the Bard Who Goes Bang;
Keep a harp and a crown -- keep a barrel
For the Bard with a Fuse to his Carol,
And whose psalm stirs the herd with its clang!
Yea, Thou knowest that Man needs a spasm
To arouse him from slumber and worse;
When his feet graze the edge of the chasm --
Then, to waken the stiff protoplasm,
There is need for a Bard with a Spasm
In days when the hearts of the Chosen
Were estranged from the worship of Thee;
When the faith of old Judah was frozen,
Didst Thou send them a score or a dozen
Of Bishops in full panoply?
Nay, Thine hand from the earth mixed a Singer --
Into dust didst Thou breathe forth Thy soul;
And the Bard who was fierce and a stinger --
He was sent as Thine own challenge-flinger,
And he dragged stupid Man to Thy goal!
Wherefore, Lord, in a day that is cruder --
Yea, when Man breathes his prayers to the Bourse;
As Thou blest then the Wakers of Judah,
Keep a crown for the Bards Who Are Ruder --
Who are Blasting an age that is cruder
With Brimstone in Verse!
Keep, I pray, a fair saint-ship in Heaven
For the Bards Who Explode With a Vim;
They have toiled and have called and have striven --
Unto each let a halo be given;
Also, save them a harp and a hymn!
They are Thine -- 'tis Thy spirit volcanic
Which inspires them to howl and to smite;
They are foes to creed aldermanic --
And in days when the earth quakes with panic
There is need for the Saint Who can Fight.
For Thou knowest that he is a Preacher,
Shoving hard at Inanity's hearse;
In the Day when each wakened beseecher
Calls aloud, Thou shalt say: "Bring the Teacher --
There is room 'mid the stars for the Preacher Who Blasted in Verse!"
First published in The Bulletin, 12 October 1911