I see it all now: when I wanted a king,
’T was the kingship that failed in myself I was seeking.

— LOWELL

Is there a voice that can pierce the hideous welter
Of sound that has quenched the old song of the spheres?
Is it that man has reared him a house without shelter
For wanderers blindly unled through a forest of fears?
Alas for the want of a leader! Oh where to find him,
Kingly of mien and thought — all waiting his voice
In world and nation and town! What hordes behind him
Would rally with hope, what sunken hearts would rejoice!
Seek him within: it is you, it is I, that are wanting!
Whom shall we know for a chief who never have seen
One in our hearts, nor marched with the songs of his chanting —
Songs of the selfless, generous, brave, and serene?
Be it He of the Cross, be his form of another making —
Only be sure that each in his soul sees clear
The shape of a leader all worthy to follow, uptaking
His arms when the long-waited captain of men shall appear.
For what were a leader with none that are ripe for the leading,
To hail him as chief, to fare in his starlit way?
Seek him and make him within, his image heeding,
Till shadow be substance, and darkness the splendor of day!
M. A. DEWOLFE HOWE