by Edward Everett Hale
Give me white paper!
This which you use is black and rough with smears
Of sweat and grime and fraud and blood and tears,
Crossed with the story of men's sins and fears,
Of battle and of famine all these years,
When all God's children had forgot their birth,
And drudged and fought and died like beasts of earth.
"Give me white paper!"
One storm-trained seaman listened to the word;
What no man saw he saw; he heard what no man heard.
In answer he compelled the sea
To eager man to tell
The secret she had kept so well!
Left blood and guilt and tyranny behind --
Sailing still West the hidden shore to find;
For all mankind that unstained scroll unfurled,
Where God might write anew the story of the World.