The Corner

We’re Not Talkin’ John Wilkes

In a post earlier today, I mentioned William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. Our senior editor Rick Brookhiser says that he has frequent occasion to pass Salvation Army HQ in New York. Blazoned on the façade are these words from the founder:

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”

Rick also brought to notice the poem by Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931), “General William Booth Enters into Heaven”: Go here. The music-minded will know this poem through its setting by Charles Ives. I can hear it in my head now. You’re lucky I can’t sing it to you!

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