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  The Traveller  


Bristling with steeples, high against the hill,
Like some great thistle in the rosy dawn
It stood; the Town-of-Christian-Churches, stood.
The Traveller surveyed it with a smile.
'Surely,' He said, 'here is the home of peace;
Here neighbour lives with neighbour in accord;
God in the heart of all.    Else why these spires?'
(Christmas season, and every bell ringing.)

The sudden shriek of whistles changed the sound
From mellow music into jarring noise.
Then down the street pale hurrying children came,
And vanished in the yawning Factory door.
He called to them:    'Come back, come unto Me.'
The Foreman cursed, and caned Him from the place.
(Christmas season, and every bell ringing.)

Forth from two churches came two men, and met,
Disputing loudly over boundary lines,
Hate in their eyes, and murder in their hearts.
A haughty woman drew her skirts aside
Because her fallen sister passed that way.
The Traveller rebuked them all.    Amazed,
They asked in indignation, 'Who are you,
Daring to interfere in private lives?'
The Traveller replied, 'My name is CHRIST.'
(Christmas season, and every bell ringing.)

       - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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