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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

November 23

To Philip Massinger, “A Stranger”

By Charles Edward Russell (1860–1941)

(Born November 23, 1583)

ALONE thy spirit went, thy thoughts alone,

Scorner of courts and pomps and tinsel kings,

Watchman of morning and the light that brings

Freedom to men, crushing of tyrant’s throne,

And retribution for the people’s moan!

Beneath the shadow of the brooding wings

In gloom and sorrow were thy wanderings,

And men to him that loved them gave—this stone;

But now to us no more “a stranger” thou;

From lands beyond thy dreaming come acclaim

And hail of “Brother,” after all these years—

“Brother and seer!” Sweet face and mournful brow

Are known and loved of all men, as thy name

And sad soul-song and story, read through tears.