Rebuke

By Nora May French

The tortured river-banks, the toiling piers--
   I walked thereby as older grew the day,
And sick with sorry clamor in mine ears,
   Heart-weary turned my steps and went my way.

"O place full-voiced of wretchedness!" I cried.
   (The sun had set, the dusk was closing in)
"O place where laboring Life goes heavy-eyed,
   Compound of grime and discord, strife and sin!"

I turned me back, and lo, a miracle!
   For misty violet lay along the land.
The shining river in mysterious spell
   (Divinely touched by some transmuting hand)

A path of wonder was, and on it stirred,
   (Black-shaped, and jeweled with a crimson spark)
A ship that slowly moved; and, faintly heard,
   A cheery song rose blithely to the dark.