The Path to Public Service at SEAS
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To the Editor of the Crimson:
At sixty-six I did not need your name
To tell that you'd already won to fame:
The careless, youthful twinkle in you eye
Remained as symbol for, and reason why.
Your mind was still as keen to seek and find
Those scraps of truth by others left behind. . .
Sufficed the hearing and the sight to know
That this great spirit's home lay here below.
This man amassed no venom as he grew
To pour upon a censure only true.
He did not live to hate and hate to live.
While wadding back the joy he well could give.
He quickly found his hold--more slowly learned
To scale the heights at first but ill-discerned;
But finally his efforts lived to show
What dignity the human soul can know:
The immortality of such a man
Rests here on earth, for die it will nor can.
Predestination found no harbor here,
Nor helplessness, one knows, nor phthisic fear:
Long words, like these, above him wove no spell
Although he knew their derivation well. . .
That day before me shook no massive head
A-tremble with the groans of fancied dead;
Not here the timid, faithless demagogue
To hide behind a self-created fog.
Instead I heard a humanist, the best,
Who spoke ad hominem and hoped the rest.
I did not have to read his "Bible Stories"
Or scan a "Square and Cube of Hebrew Mores"
A "Philological" or some such tract,
To sense he'd scratched the surface of his fact. . .
I do not mean to mock the Serabit,
Eusebius Pamphili--not a bit!
Mr. Lake, I merely state again your guess
That your works soon will join the general "mess."
And this despite the broadness of your view
That held to human terms the facts you knew;
You dared to think the dignity or Truth
Might well survive a night or two with Ruth;
Your human scheme gave every type a place--
The only face you saved was Tobit's face. . . .
Elijah, Moses, Balaam all were played
With skill--for prophet-like, you also swayed.
Yot all your understanding of the saints
Has left you free of customary taints:
I sought in vain that intellectual glitter
I felt, instead, your features helped make clear
Why children might alone come heaven near;
As those were left by Matthew, Mark and John,
Those words by Robert Herrick have lived on:
"Here a little child I stand
Having up my little hand;
Cold as paddocks though they be
Here I lift them up to thee,
For a benison to fall
On our meat, and on us all."
The Little Child ;who mumbled out his grace
Must be suprised to see it in this place. . . .
But when in years to come he knows him well
Who soon will live where living spirits dwell,
He will, I'm sure, in this Men see a trace
Of his own youthfulness, and youthful grace. David Simboli '40
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