Jesus, if your good Samaritan
Had come along the road to Jericho
An hour earlier; if he had heard
The cries for help; if he had found those thieves
Half-killing that unhappy traveler, –
Would he have waited, peeping round the turn,
To give the helpless victim time to offer
His coat, and cloak also, and other cheek?
What would a neighbor do? – O Son of Man,
That day you call the nations into judgement,
Do not forget – we gave two pence for Belgium.
Jesus, were you thinking of the Germans,
Or Turks, or Austrians, or French, or English,
Or Russians, or Italians, when you said,
“ Be not afraid of them that kill the body,
But cannot kill the soul: fear rather him
Who may destroy both body and soul in hell“ ?
Or were you thinking of old Master Mammon,
Who laughs to see his puppets, Peace and War,
Obedient to his hand that pulls their strings,
Dancing his Dance of Death? O Prince of Peace,
How shall we slay the slayer of the soul?
How shall we know your peace from Mammon’s peace?
Jesus, when we’re set on your left hand
Among the goats, we wonder will it be
Because we took up arms and did our bit,
Killing our quota, reddening the shambles?
Or will it be because we always said –
America first ?
Florence Converse, SCHC, 1917