The Coming Man


Dublin Core


The Coming Man


I exist, and yet of what avail am I;
What poor human need leans on me?
What aid am I to fellow weakness?
The iron hoof of nations has trod upon me,
As upon the worm that crawls the ground;
But unlike the worm, I turn not crushed.
The contumely, scorn, malice, hatred
Of the would-be Gods of Earth--they see no further,
Have been heaped upon me,
Tho' I wear the bright image of my Maker.
I look round upon the undefinable present;
I look back into the dim misty past;
I strive to penetrate the unknown future;
To find a satisfaction or even a present quiet;
This is a discontent that stirs within.
It may be an attribute of the soul,
That bids me yearn for some other state.
I rouse from apathy my grim sluggish self,
And shake off the accumulated dust of cycles
Wherein man and mission till now have lain.
I break the chains that have been clanging
Down through the dim vault of ages;
I gird up my strength--mind and arm,
And prepare for the terrible conflict,
I am to war with principalities, powers, wrongs,
With oppressions,--with all that curse humanity.
I am resolved. 'Tis more than half my task;
'Twas the great need of all my passed existence.
The glooms that have so long shrouded me,
Recede as vapor from the new presence,
And the light-gleams--it must be life
So brightens and spreads its pure rays before,
That I read my Mission as 'twere a book.
It is life--life in which none but men,
Not those who only wear the form can live,
To give this life to the World--to make men 
Out of the thews and sinews of oppressed slaves,
Of the feeble, of the strong, the high, the good
If such there be. Of oppressors, rulers--
To try them in the crucible and in the furnace
Of stern, vigorous, earnest truth from God
Is my high Commission.


William J. Wilson


1:2, p. 58




William J. Wilson, “The Coming Man,” Periodical Poets, accessed May 17, 2024,


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>