Hope To The End ...... POEMS

The Mills of the Gods

He was the slave of Ambition
And he vowed to the gods above
To sell his soul to perdition
For Fortune, Fame, and Love.

"Three Wishes," he cried,
And the Devil replied:
"Fortune is a fickle one,
Often wooed but seldom won,

Ever changing like the sun;
Still, I think it can be done.
You have a friend, a rich one too;
Kill him! His wealth is willed to you."

Ambition fled. He paused awhile,
But, daunted by the Devil's smile,
He killed his friend to gain his aim,
Then bowed his head in grief and shame;

But the Devil cried, "It's all in the game.
You wanted Fortune, Love, and Fame,
And so, I came.
Three wishes through your life shall run,
Behold, I've given you Number One."

And God on high, with a watchful eye,
Looked down on the ways of man,
With their hopes and fears through the weary years
Since the days of the world began.

And the man---he prayed, for the soul betrayed
Had breathed a parting call:
"Though the mills of the gods grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small.
"

Urged by the spur of Ambition,
With the Devil still as his guide,
He now sought social position,
For wealth had brought him pride.

"Bring Fame," cried the man,
So the Devil began:
"Fame is but an accident,
Often sought but seldom sent,

Still, I think we're on the scent.
You know a genius gone insane;
Go steal the product of his brain.
The man obeyed, then cried, "Begone!

From crime to crime you lead me on,
To kill a friend whose smile was glad,
To rob a genius driven mad
Through want. Oh God! Am I that bad?"

But the Devil cried, "What luck you've had!
You're famous, lad!
Three wishes run your whole life through,
Behold, I've given you Number Two."

And God looked down with an angry frown
Till Satan fled His scorn.
For the Devil may play with the common clay,
But genius is heaven-born.

And the man grew bold with his Fame and Gold,
And cried, "Well, after all,
The mills of the gods grind slowly,
If they ever grind at all.

Men, good or bad, are but human,
And he, like the rest, wanted love.
So the Devil soon brought him the woman
As fair as an angel above.

"I love you," he cried,
But the woman replied,
"Love is such an empty word,
Fancy fleeting like a bird,

You have Wealth and Fame, I've heard—
Those things to be preferred."
He gave her both. The wealth she spent,
And then betrayed him, so Fame went.

But Love came not, in his despair;
She only smiled and left him there,
And he called her "The Woman Who Didn't Care,"

But the Devil cried, "You've had your share,
The game ends there.
Two of your wishes came through me,
But the Mighty God keeps Number Three."

And God grew stern as the mills they turned,
That grind before they kill,
Till, staggering blind, with wandering mind,
And the glare of an imbecile,

From day to day he begs his way,
And whines his piteous call,
"The mills of the gods grind slowly,
Yet they grind exceeding small."

Charlie Wagg

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad"
--- ancient Greek saying

"The love of money is the root of all evil"
1 Timothy 6:10


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