George Reginald Margetson’s “The Call to Duty”

I subscribe to “Poem-a-Day,” which means I get a poem every morning in my email inbox.

Sometimes it is by a poem from the Caribbean I have not read, as it was this morning: Kittian writer George Reginald Margetson (1877-c. 1952).

George Reginald Margetson was born in 1877 in Saint Kitts. He arrived to the United States in 1897, where he eventually settled in Boston. The author of four books, which include Songs of Life (Sherman, French & Company, 1910), The Fledgling Bard and the Poetry Society (R.G. Badger, 1916), and England in the West Indies (R.G. Badger, 1906), he died around 1952. 

The Call to Duty

George Reginald Margetson
The morning breaks upon the shore,
The day from slumber doth awake,
Bestir, ye ships of life, and shake
The drowsy anchor for the oar.

Let Indolence with night retire,
Spread out Industry’s swelling sail,
Let Commerce catch the morning gale,
And cheer her hearth and trim her fire.

Let Journalism ope the strife,
And wield her unembarrassed pen,
And paint the daring deeds of men,
With all the tints and taints of life.

Let Science with her aspect bold
Resume her firm, unflinching march,
In undiscovered fields to search,
The hidden treasures to unfold.

Philosophy of mind profound,
With doubting step now take the field,
And strive to break the mystic shield,
The deeper depths of truth to sound.

Let Art uprear her stately head,
Employ her brush and dye at ease,
And fling her colors to the breeze,
And round her shaded influence shed.

Let Agriculture’s lowly train,
With willing heart and nimble hand,
Sweep onward like a learned band,
And spread profusion o’er the plain.

Let Justice spread her gilded wing
O’er each oppressed race of man,
Bid slavery lose her deadly ban,
While all the bells of freedom ring.

Let Knowledge with her myriad plumes
Bespangle all her prosperous land,
Let Love and Truth go hand in hand,
And lay the tracks with sweet perfumes.

Let pompous Pride with tuneful ear,
And wanton Wealth with piercing eye,
Search o’er the vale of Poverty,
Where dwell the creatures of Despair.

Let Charity with liberal hand
Spread far and wide her ample store,
Possess the rich, anoint the poor,
And heal the sufferings of the land.

Let sweet Religion lift her voice,
And bid melodious anthems swell,
Jehovah’s praises forth to tell,
Till all the world His name rejoice.

Let Music with bewitching sound
Her full-grown symphonies employ,
Proclaim the genial burst of joy,
And charm the toiling host around.

Let Poesy from sleep awake,
And touch her strings and rouse her lyre,
And roll celestial balls of fire,
Till all shall act for Duty’s sake.

Let dove-eyed Peace with balmy breath
Exhale and waft her influence far,
And lull the brazen notes of war,
And soothe the bitter pangs of death.

Let each act well his chosen art,
In perfect concord with the whole,
Let streams of progress onward roll,
Back to the Source that gave them start.

So I wanted to share it. You can access Margetson’s complete Songs of Life here.

To subscribe to Poem-a-Day, which I would highly recommend, as it is beautiful and free, go here.

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