We step aside from our Scriptural exploration of the Sacred Heart to listen to a poet, Alice Meynell, from her 1917 collection, ‘A Father of Women’. There was much to be wrathful about, much to shed a tear for. To continue to fight for justice, all the while believing there is nothing, springs from a special courage acknowledged here by Alice Meynell, friend of the rough sleeping drug addict and insightful poet, Francis Thompson. Thirty years on and the Welfare State was coming to existence in the United Kingdom.
I dreamt (no “dream” awake—a dream indeed)
A wrathful man was talking in the park:
“Where are the Higher Powers, who know our need
And leave us in the dark?
“There are no Higher Powers; there is no heart
In God, no love”—his oratory here,
Taking the paupers’ and the cripples’ part,
Was broken by a tear.
And then it seemed that One who did create
Compassion, who alone invented pity,
Walked, as though called, in at that north-east gate,
Out from the muttering city;
Threaded the little crowd, trod the brown grass,
Bent o’er the speaker close, saw the tear rise,
And saw Himself, as one looks in a glass,
In those impassioned eyes.