Demos Triumphant

PROSPERO touched the lips of Caliban;
And to speech, calling, answered timid thought,
Which made the loutish fingers deft, and taught
The fierce heart patience. Shrewd the master’s plan;
But on a day was lifted the long ban Of fear, — when the wand, broken, no spell wrought,
And Ariel vanished. Then the master sought
Where he had left a slave, and found a man.
And Prospero was afraid, expecting death
From one he thought mad with remembered wrong;
And cursed his broken wand and vagrant elf.
But Caliban said gently: “Of thy breath
Was born the spirit which has made me strong.
Caliban spares thee lest he shame himself.”