The Secret Key and Other Verses

The Wheels of the System

George Essex Evans

WHERE is God, whilst all around us sounds the jarring of the wheels,
When the cry of human anguish starwards thro’ His glory steals?
There is neither hope nor pity underneath the moving wheels.

Woe to him who slips or falters whilst the wheels are moving on!
Woe to him who stays to breathe him when the goal is nearly won!
There they lie—and lie for ever—over whom the wheels have gone!

O, my brothers! draw we nearer to the dream the poet sings?
War, red war, and rapine ruleth underneath the shows of things.
Underneath the mask of Mercy there are whips of many stings.

Here in silence, reft of slumber, with sad heart I dream and doubt;
Star by star the night is waning, star by star the night goes out:
But the bitter strife of all things ceases not within, without.

Beat by beat the cold light groweth, beat by beat the morn comes in
With his crimson robes about him like a royal Paladin:
But the bitter strife of all things ceases not without, within.

O’er the peaceful face of Nature smiles serene the gracious sun,
And men smile and hide their tactics when the battle has begun—
Tear the clumsy masks asunder and behold what things are done!

For the wheels go on for ever, crushing thro’ the human hives,
And the goal the victor reaches rests upon a million lives,
And the motive shall not profit—it is only Power survives!

Where weak women starve and sicken, dying in the paths they trod,
Where strong men are bent and broken underneath the System’s rod,
Will you smile and prate and tell me, “This is still the will of God?”

But I hear like distant thunder welling deep from out the sky,
Tortured with the grief of ages, an exceeding bitter cry:
“There is none can stay them ever, were he mightier than I.”

Deeper laws than Love are hidden in the power that runs through this,
All the fiery wheels of Heaven through the seas of ether hiss,
Star, and sun, and planet rolling onward through the black abyss.

Wail no more, O fellow workers, for the aid He fails to lend.
Stricken with a deathless sorrow for the ills He cannot mend,
God, the Worker, fights in silence for the good He cannot send.

Not the Lord of Love, creator of all grief, and pain, and crime,
But a god-like soul ennobled, battling for a goal sublime,
Thro’ the bloodshed of the aeons forward to the happier time.

Thine the world to mould and make it free for all from rim to rim,
Thine to fight and toil and triumph over every problem grim,
To create and cure, and conquer, working onwards, on with Him.

Face to face with iron systems, face to face with endless odds,
Where the wheels of Heaven forever race beneath His chariot-rods!
Soul of Man, whate’er thy sorrow, is thy burden more than God’s?

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