Denis Florence MacCarthy

(26 May 1817 - 7 April 1882 / Dublin / Ireland)

Advance! - Poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

God bade the sun with golden step sublime,
Advance!
He whispered in the listening ear of Time,
Advance!
He bade the guiding spirits of the stars,
With lightning speed, in silver shining cars,
Along the bright floor of his azure hall,
Advance!
Sun, stars, and time obey the voice, and all
Advance!

The river at its bubbling fountain cries,
Advance!
The clouds proclaim, like heralds through the skies,
Advance!
Throughout the world the mighty Master's laws
Allow not one brief moment's idle pause;
The earth is full of life, the swelling seeds
Advance!
And summer hours, like flowery harnessed steeds,
Advance!

To man's most wondrous hand the same voice cried,
Advance!
Go clear the woods, and o'er the bounding tide
Advance!
Go draw the marble from its secret bed,
And make the cedar bend its giant head;
Let domes and columns through the wondering air
Advance!
The world, O man! is thine; but, wouldst thou share,
Advance!

Unto the soul of man the same voice spoke,
Advance!
From out the chaos, thunder-like, it broke,
'Advance!
Go track the comet in its wheeling race,
And drag the lightning from its hiding-place;
From out the night of ignorance and fears,
Advance!
For Love and Hope, borne by the coming years,
Advance!'

All heard, and some obeyed the great command,
Advance!
It passed along from listening land to land,
Advance!
The strong grew stronger, and the weak grew strong,
As passed the war-cry of the world along-
Awake, ye nations, know your powers and rights-
Advance!
Through hope and work to Freedom's new delights,
Advance!

Knowledge came down and waved her steady torch,
Advance!
Sages proclaimed 'neath many a marble porch,
Advance!
As rapid lightning leaps from peak to peak,
The Gaul, the Goth, the Roman, and the Greek,
The painted Briton caught the wing`ed word,
Advance!
And earth grew young, and carolled as a bird,
Advance!

O Ireland! oh, my country, wilt thou not
Advance?
Wilt thou not share the world's progressive lot?-
Advance!
Must seasons change, and countless years roll on,
And thou remain a darksome Ajalon?
And never see the crescent moon of Hope
Advance?
'Tis time thine heart and eye had wider scope-
Advance!

Dear brothers, wake! look up! be firm! be strong
Advance!
From out the starless night of fraud and wrong
Advance!
The chains have fall'n from off thy wasted hands,
And every man a seeming freedman stands;-
But, ah! 'tis in the soul that freedom dwells,-
Advance!
Proclaim that there thou wearest no manacles;-
Advance!

Advance! thou must advance or perish now;-
Advance!
Advance! Why live with wasted heart and brow?-
Advance!
Advance! or sink at once into the grave;
Be bravely free or artfully a slave!
Why fret thy master, if thou must have one?
Advance!
Advance three steps, the glorious work is done;-
Advance!

The first is COURAGE-'tis a giant stride!-
Advance!
With bounding step up Freedom's rugged side
Advance!
KNOWLEDGE will lead thee to the dazzling heights,
TOLERANCE will teach and guard thy brother's rights.
Faint not! for thee a pitying Future waits-
Advance!
Be wise, be just, with will as fixed as Fate's,-
Advance!


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010



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