Heard (Henderson), Josephine D.
|THE EARTHQUAKE OF 1886.|
WITH angry brow and stately tread,
This mighty Warrior came;
With thundering throat his forces led,
With breath almost flame.
And eyes of penetrating glance,
That pierce through every vein,
As soldier pierced by soldier's lance,
Earth groaned and writhed in pain.
The fearless eagle in his nest
Upon the mountain's height,
Arose with wonder in his breast,
And quivered with affright.
Old ocean troubled in his bed,
At first the shores forsook--
Returning, all his furies led,
And crept into each nook.
Brave-hearted men like statues stood
Powerless to strike a blow;
Their homes became as kindling wood,
Their city's walls laid low.
While mothers clasped their babes in arms,
And sped with panting breath;
With faces full of dread alarm,
They sought to fly from death.
Husband and wife in long embrace
In mutest wonder stood;
Each horror read in other's face,
And knelt and prayed to God.
Death reaped a harvest as he rode
On wings of every wind;
He slew the young, the brave and good.
And some grown old in sin.
The very stars their light refused
To witness scene like this;
Fair Lunar hid away confused,
And veiled herself in mist.
Roar after roar, peal after peal,
The fierce bombardment went,
'Till nature like a drunkard reeled,
Her strongest breastworks rent.
"Surrender !" comes from every lip;
"We yield," from every breast;
Ourselves of selfishness now stript,
We are humbled in the dust.
In meek humility we bowed
And smiling kissed the rod,
That while it smote us, bore us up
Near to the throne of God.