Josephine Bell

A Tribute

Published: The Masses, August, 1917;
HTML: for in March, 2002

[Note: This poem is one of the eight items cited for violation of the Espionage act from the August issue of The Masses, causing the magazine to fold. It is a tribute to Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman.]

Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman
Are in prison,
Although the night is tremblingly beautiful
And the sound of water climbs down the rocks
And the breath of the night air moves through
     multitudes and multitudes of leaves
That love to waste themselves for the sake of
     the summer.

Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman
Are in prison tonight,
But they have made themselves elemental forces,
Like the water that climbs down the rocks:
Like the wind in the leaves:
Like the gentle night that holds us:
They are working on our destinies:
They are forging the love of the nations:
Tonight they lie in prison.