[It is the spontaneous utterance of the universal conscience.
- Elihu Burritt, “The Empire of Public Opinion”]
Remember that day, Elihu,
when you stood at your forge as the earth
shook underfoot. A steam-locomotive,
come to change the world.
Foot-traveler by choice, you walked out
to see what was left after the passing
of the Iron Dragon, and found a printing press
already spreading the news.
In not so many years, the Trans-Atlantic-Telegraph
would spread it even faster. You imagined
John of Patmos transported to your time, declaring
there was no more sea to separate
the continents, there was time no longer
between the event and the whole globe’s knowing it.
How quickly things can change,
yet some things seem to ever stay the same.
What word would you spread, Elihu?
You say Slavery at last is dead. But War –
destroyer of the soul – remains. Let the people
speak. Let it be God’s word. Peace.