To Conscripts

“Compel them to come in.”—St. Luke’s Gospel
You “made a virtue of necessity”
   By divine sanction; you, the loth, the grey,
The random, gentle, unconvinced; O be
   The crowned!—you may, you may.
You, the compelled, be reasted! You, the caught,
   Be freemen of the gates that word unlocks!
Accept your victory from that unsought,
   That heavenly paradox.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 14, 2001; not revised.