The Wages

Don Marquis

Earth loves to gibber o’er her dross,
  Her golden souls, to waste;
The cup she fills for her god-men
  Is a bitter cup to taste.

Who sees the gyves that bind mankind
  And strives to strike them off
Shall gain the hissing hate of fools,
  Thorns, and the ingrate’s scoff.

Who storms the moss-grown walls of eld
  And beats some falsehood down
Shall pass the pallid gates of death
  Sans laurel, love or crown;

For him who fain would teach the world
  The world holds hate in fee—
For Socrates, the hemlock cup;
  For Christ, Gethsemane.

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