Lazarus’ Long Wait

Lazarus’ Long Wait

By Alexander Cochrane.

Still he lingers where wealth and fashion

Meet together to dine or play;

Lingers, a matter of vague compassion,

Out in the darkness, across the way.

Out beyond the warmth and the glitter

And the light where luxury’s laughter rings,

Lazarus sits where the wind is bitter,

Receiving his EVIL THINGS.


Still you find him, where breathless, burning,

Summer names upon Square and Street,

When the fortunate ones of the earth are turning

Their steps to meadows and flowerlets sweet.

For, far away from the wide green valley,

And the bramble patch where the white-throat sings,

Lazarus sweats in his crowded alley,

Receiving his EVIL THINGS


And all the time from a thousand rostrums

Wise men preach upon him and his woes,

Each with his bundle of noisy nostrums

Torn to tatters twist “Ayes” and “Noes.”

Sage and Socialist, gush and glamor,

Yet little relief their wisdom brings

For there is nothing for him out of all this clamor,

Nothing but EVIL THINGS.


Legal commissions, creeds, convictions,

Learnedly argue and write and speak,

But the happy issue of his aftlictions –

Lazarus waits for it week by week.

Still he seeks it today, tomorrow,

In purposeless pavement wanderings

Or dreams it, a huddled heap of sorrow,

Receiving his EVIL THINGS.


And some will tell you of Evolution,

And social science thereto, and some

Look forth to the parable’s retribution,

When the lot is changed in the life to come.

To the trumpets sound and the great Awakening

To ONE with hearing upon his wings,

In the House of the many mansions, making

An end of the EVIL THNGS,

In the name of knowledge the world grows healthier,

In the name of Freedom the world grows great,

And men are wiser and men are wealthier,

But Lazarus lies at the rich man’s gate.

Lies, as he lay through human history,

Through fame of heroes and pomp of Kings,

At the rich man’s gate, abiding mystery,

Receiving his EVIL THINGS.