When Nature wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man.
When Nature wants to mould a man
To play the noblest part;
When she yearns with all her heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall praise –
Watch her method, watch her ways!
How she ruthlessly perfects
Whom she royally elects;
How she hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which only Nature understands
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands!
How she bends, but never breaks,
When his good she undertakes. . . .
How she uses whom she chooses
And with every purpose fuses him,
By every art induces him
To try his splendour out –
Nature knows what she’s about.
When Nature wants to take a man,
And shake a man,
And wake a man;
When Nature wants to make a man
To do the Future’s will;
When she tries with all her skill
And she yearns with all her soul
To create him large and whole . . .
With what cunning she prepares him!
How she goads and never spares him,
How she whets him, and she frets him,
And in poverty begets him . . .
How she often disappoints
Whom she sacredly anoints,
With what wisdom she will hide him,
Never minding what betide him
Though his genius sob with slighting and his pride may not forget!
Bids him struggle harder yet.
Makes him lonely
So that only
God’s high messages shall reach him,
So that she may surely teach him
What the Hierarchy planned.
Though he may not understand,
Gives him passions to command.
How remorselessly she spurs him
With terrific ardour stirs him
When she poignantly prefers him.
When Nature wants to name a man
And fame a man
And tame a man;
When Nature wants to shame a man
To do his heavenly best . . .
When she tries the highest test
That she reckoning may bring
When she wants a god or king!
How she reins him and restrains him
So his body scarce contains him
While she fires him
And inspires him!
Keeps him yearning, ever burning for a tantalizing goal –
Lures and lacerates his soul.
Sets a challenge for his spirit,
Draws it higher when he’s near it
Makes a jungle, that he clear it;
Makes a desert that he fear it
And subdue it if he can –
So doth Nature make a man.
Then, to test his spirit’s wrath
Hurls a mountain in his path
Puts a bitter choice before him
And relentlessly stands o’er him.
“Climb, or perish!” so she says. . . .
Watch her purpose, watch her ways!
Nature’s plan is wondrous kind
Could we understand her mind . . .
Fools are they who call her blind.
When his feet are torn and bleeding
Yet his spirit mounts unheeding,
All his higher powers speeding,
Blazing newer paths and fine;
When the force that is Divine
Leaps to challenge every failure and his ardour still is sweet
And love and hope are burning in the presence of defeat . . .
Lo, the crisis! Lo, the shout
That must call the leader out.
When the people need salvation
Doth he come to lead the nation. . . .
Then doth Nature show her plan
When the world has found – a MAN!