Oh, not for the great departed
Who formed our country’s laws,
And not for the bravest-hearted
Who died in freedom’s cause;
And not for some living hero,
To whom all bend the knee,
My muse shall raise her song of praise,
But for the Man to be.
For out of the strife which women
Are passing through today,
A man that is more than human
Shall surely be born, I say;
A man in whose pure spirit
No dross of self will lurk,
A man who is strong to cope with wrong,
A Man who is proud to work.
A man with hope undaunted,
A man with God-like power,
Shall come when he is wanted,
Shall come at the needed hour.
He shall silence the din and clamor
Of clan disputing clan,
And toil’s long fight with purse-proud might
Shall triumph through this Man.
I know he is coming, coming,
To help, to guide, to save.
Though I hear no martial drumming
And see no flags that wave.
But the great soul-travail of woman,
And the bold, free thought unfurled,
And heralds that say he is on the way,
The coming Man of the world.
Mourn not for the vanished ages
With their grand, heroic men,
Who dwell in history’s pages
And live in the poet’s pen.
For the grandest times are before us,
And the world is yet to see
The noblest work of this old earth
In the Men that are to be.
Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired;
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.
Then die! that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair!
- Edmund Waller