When in the even ways of life
The old world jogs along,
Our little coloured flags we flaunt:
Our little separate selves we vaunt:
Each pipes his native song.
And jealousy and greed and pride
Join their ungodly hands,
And this round lovely world divide
Into opposing lands.
But let some crucial hour of pain
Sound from the tower of time,
Then consciousness of brotherhood
Wakes in each heart the latent good,
And men become sublime.
As swarming insects of the night,
Fly when the sun bursts in,
Self fades, before love’s radiant light,
And all the world is kin.
God, what a place this earth would be
If that uplifting thought,
Born of some vast world accident,
Into our daily lives were blent,
And in each action wrought.
But while we let the old sins flock
Back to our hearts again,
In flame, and flood, and earthquake shock,
Thy voice must speak to men.