Kriterion: A Reply to Judge McFarland.

     I see the spire,
         I see the throng,
     I hear the choir,
         I hear the song;
I listen to the anthem, while
It pours its volume down the aisle;
  I listen to the splendid rhyme
  That, with a melody sublime,
  Tells of some far-off, fadeless clime
         Of man and his finality,
         Of hope, and immortality.

     Oh, theme of themes I
         Are men mistaught?
     Are hopes like dreams,
         To come to naught?
Is all the beautiful and good
Delusive and misunderstood?
And has the soul no forward reach?
And do indeed the facts impeach
The theories the teachers teach?
         And is this immortality
         Delusion, or reality?

     What hope reveals
         Mind tries to clasp,
     But soon it reels
         With broken grasp.
No chain yet forged on anvil's brink
Was stronger than its weakest link;
  And are there not along this chain
  Imperfect links that snap in twain
  When caught in logic's tensile strain?
         And is not immortality
         The child of ideality?

     And yet -- at times --
         We get advice
     That seems like chimes
         From paradise;
The soul doth sometimes seem to be
In sunshine which it cannot see;
  At times the spirit seems to roam
  Beyond the land, above the foam,
  Back to some half-forgotten home.
         Perhaps -- this immortality
         May be indeed reality.

Divider line of thick olive-green leaves

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