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form-writer, with a weather eye on the polls, is likely to utter any very challenging truth. After the votes have been counted, the country has still to speak its mind on the vital issues.

It is as dangerous to attempt to interpret a people as to indict a people. I do not purpose to suggest, much less to write, the nation's inaugural. Without discussing any of the major problems that confront the incoming administration, I should like to venture the statement of three or four general assertions I think the nation has in mind.

I think the American people would like to say to Mr. Harding: We hope you will reorganize the Federal Government in the interest of greater simplicity and efficiency. The departments are hopelessly scrambled now. They overlap in disconcerting fashion. There must be vast waste that we have no right to permit in these difficult times of financial strain. But our concern for reorganization is not simply a matter of the saving of a few dollars. We want our Federal Government organized simply and clearly in order that we can follow its workings. It is a Chinese puzzle to us now. When we finally get the impression that bad and wasteful work is being done in Washington, we cannot put our finger on the man who is to blame. Responsibility is too widely scattered now. We have n't time to play Sherlock Holmes in a search for the man to blame. Reorganize the departments in order that we will know whom to blame and whom to praise when bad work or good work is done. You are obligated to report to us, through our representatives, the "state of the union," but we want an understandable organization, in order that we can read your report more easily.

We hope you will make politics deal with realities. We are not interested in the wire pullings of party politicians. We are not interested in glittering generalities. We are interested in food and clothing and shelter in production in industrial peace in education-in realities. Make politics deal with realities!

We hope you will not try to be the brains of the United States. We have been drawn to you in these weeks by

your honest modesty of bearing. You have frankly said that you did not intend to try to do all the thinking for the country, that you hoped to play impresario to the best minds of the nation. That way lies good leadership. But even an impresario must dominate his artists, not be dominated by them. There is a half-way house between superman and slave. That half-way house should be the White House.

We hope you will turn your back upon all temptation to use the suicidal powers of repression, however menacing certain interests may attempt to make the restlessness of our time appear. If we place a strait-jacket upon the mind of the nation, we shall stagnate and die. We must have complete freedom of speech, press, and assembly. We are not a rattle-brained folk. We can be trusted to listen even to dangerous doctrine. We are less afraid of a few radicals than even one censor. We hope you will meet the menace of radicalism by removing the incentives to radicalism rather than by clubbing the results of radicalism.

And we hope you will distinguish between opposition to imperialism and opposition to international coöperation. We do not want to sell the soul of our country to any league of imperialisms masquerading in the livery of a league of free nations, but we will have less and less patience with partizan politicians who would drag world politics to the level of ward politics. We are in no mood to play the rôle of a swashbucklering nation going it on its own in an interdependent world. We want to play our part in a more decent ordering of the world. In all the fume and fret about the League of Nations it may be that some have been imperious and some have been petty, but in a democratized League of Nations we see the only escape from a world of competing armaments and periodic wars. We hope you will contrive to determine a foreign policy for us that will awaken our idealism and not turn us into a nation of confirmed cynics.

These are a few things I think the American people would like to say to Mr. Harding as he assumes his high office.

The Song of Rain and the Homes of the Dead

By CONSTANCE CAMPBELL

All night the gray rains moved upon the waters;
They pass and leave no mark.

We stirred, and felt the soft earth fibers swelling
In the cool and humid dark.

We felt the night lie thick in tangled gardens;
We heard the slow rain soak the sodden grass;
We, who were dreaming of the gods, awakened:
(God of the darkness, hear!)

We felt the night lie stagnant on the marshes;
Around the wild duck's nest the water gleaming;
The puff-ball grow upon the sick morass,
The smooth pale ovals slip into the mere;
The water rising, and the rushes growing;
The gray-green ovals waver down the mere;
Dark water sucking, and the wind a-blowing.

All the night long the gray rain soaked the grasses,

All the night long soft fibers moved below.

We stirred and ached with spring, were damp and swelling,

And felt the rushes grow.

We heard the wind blow over waste, gray spaces,

The furtive water creeping in the bogs.

We might not rest by night; we sighed and whispered:

(God of the darkness, hear!)

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Upon the waters gray,

A ripple like a ghost upon the grasses.

We heard low flutes a-down the rain-soaked hollow,
Playing the water-rune.

Life of the swamp and woodland,

Life, on bare hill-top and in rain-soaked hollow,
The indrawn sigh as death breathed forth again,
We are your green ears creeping forth to listen,
Your damp, white mouths that gobble in the rain.
We are the flutes of life death softly fingers;

We are the vital breath,
The murmur of the sigh of life that lingers
In the dark flutes of death.

THE ROMFORD PRANG
CONCORD

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Articles and pictures are copyrighted and must not be reprinted without special permission

"Oh, my brown man of the woods"

Illustrating "Wolf's-Head and Eye-for-Bane"

An Open Letter to Century Readers.

George M. Richards Frontispiece W. Morgan Shuster 675 Karle Wilson Baker 679 . Charles S. Brooks 690 James C. Andrews 695 Nancy Barr Mavity 701 William Harris Arnold 702 W. Douglas Newton 711 Robert Palfrey Utter 720 Edmund Blunden 724 Robert Davis 725 Harry A. Franck 737 Charles Hanson Towne Drawings by Thomas Fogarty 745 Albert Kinross 754 Ralph D. Paine

759 H. Belloc 767

Leon Fleischman

768

Beth Cheney-Nichols 776 Herbert Adams Gibbons 777 Ben Kutcher 785 Glenn Frank 786 John K. Barnes Advertising pages

The index for Volume CI, November, 1920, to April, 1921, inclusive, has been prepared, and will be sent free of charge, on request.

The Porch-Swing. A story..

Illustration by George Avison

Circus Days...

Illustrations by John R. Neill

Wolf's-Head and Eye-for-Bane. A story

Illustration by George M. Richards (see frontispiece) The Home-Maker. Verse.

A Book-Hunter's Garner.

Menena.

A story.

Illustrations by Clarence Rowe Of Stone Walls.

Almswomen. Verse..

A Conjugal Bolshevist. A story.

Illustrations by C. F. Peters

Uruguay: a Progressive Republic.

1921

No. 6

Loafing Down Long Island..

II. Along Sunlit and Moonlit Roads. A Disciple. A story..

Lost Ships and Lonely Seas

VI. Four Thousand Miles in an Open Boat Tarantella. Verse.

The Fly. A story

Spring. Verse...

The International Whirlpool

Dare America Remain a Minority Stockholder? "L'Allée" by Paul Verlaine. Drawing by.

The Tide of Affairs..

Investment and Banking

THE CENTURY MAGAZINE is published monthly at 35 cents a copy, or $4.00 a year in the United States, $4.60 in Canada, and $5.00 in all other countries (postage included). Publication and circulation office, Concord, N. H. Editorial and advertising offices, 353 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y. Subscriptions may be forwarded to either of the above offices. Pacific Coast office, 327 Van Nuys Building, Los Angeles, California.

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All material herein published under copyright, 1921, by The Century Co. Title registered in the United States Patent Office. Entered as second-class matter August 18, 1920, at the United States post-office, Concord, N. H., under the act of March 3, 1879; entered also at the Post Office Department, Ottawa, Canada.

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