Voices Of Freedom (1)

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THIS WORLD IS FULL OF BEAUTY.


THERE lives a voice within me, a guest-angel of my heart,
And oft its lispings win me, till sweet tears a-trembling start
Up evermore it springeth like some hidden melody,
And evermore it singeth this sweet song of songs to me
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds above,
And if we did our duty, it might be full of love!

Night's starry tenderness doth dower, with glory evermore,
Morn's budding, bright, melodious hour, comes sweetly as of
        yore,
But there be million hearts accurst, where no sweet sunbursts
        shine,
And there be million hearts athirst for God's immortal wine,
Yet, this world is full of beauty, as other worlds above,
And if we did our duty, it might be full of love!

If trustful faith and kindness past as coin twixt heart and heart
How through the eyes tear-blindness, should the sudden soul
        upstart,
The dreary, dim, and desolate, should wear a sunny bloom,
And Love should spring from buried Hate, like flowers o'er
        Winter's tomb,
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds, above,
And if we did our duty, it might be full of love!

Were Truth our utter'd language, Angels might talk with men,
And God-illumined earth, should see the golden age again,
The burthened heart should soar again, like morn's young
        prophet-lark,
And Misery's last tear wept of men, quench Hell's last cunning
        spark.
For this world is full of beauty, as other worlds above,
And if we did our duty, it might be full of love!

There's plenty round us smiling, why awakes this cry for
        bread?
Why are the millions toiling, crusht, and clad in rags, unfed!
The sunny hills and valleys richly blush with fruit and grain,
But the paupers in the palace rob their own life's brother-men,
Yet this world is full of beauty, as other world's above,
And if we done our duty, it might be full of love!

Dear God! what hosts are trampled 'mid this killing crush for
        gold
What noble hearts are sapt of love, what spirits lose life's
        hold!
Yet, what a world it might be, there is space for every one,
Millions of acres wait the seed, and food rots in the sun,
Oh! this world is full of beauty, as other worlds above,
And if we did our duty, it might be full of love!

The leaf-tongues of the forest, and the flow'r-lips of the sod—
The happy birds that hymn their raptures in the ear of God.
And the summer wind that bringeth music over land and sea,
Have each a voice that singeth this sweet song of songs to me,
This world is full of beauty, as other worlds above,
And if we did our duty, it might be full of love!

 

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THE THREE SPIRITS.


THEY were three Spirits, fresh from God's own hand!
Whose eyes had drunken in heaven's blinding splendours,
And locks bedropt rich dews of Paradise;
They had worn vestures of the undefiled
At spirit spousals, sang the nuptial song!
Sat down with gods and heroes, held high converse
With Milton, and the mighty men of old—
Divine old Socrates, and deathless sages,
The martyr'd prophets, and the warrior-saints,
Who fought as we do now, and wrestled down,
Doubt's grim despairs, with pangs and quenchless
        yearnings.
Glory tiarad their immortal brows!
Their lips were yet alive with seraph-fire;
Arch-beautifuller ne'er took mortal mould,
They lookt a fore-taste and fore-feel of Heaven.
Christ-like they came, to wear old Earth's life-harness,
And yoke their fiery sun-steeds in her furrows—
Impulst, as with a world's propellant might.
They came to battle, toil in tears, and pray
"Our Father" with the family of men.
Twas midnight in the husht and moonlit land,
The heavens had on their silver robe of stars,
And earth had on her silver robe of dew—
These souls first lookt like smiles of God, thro' eyes
Where struggling heaven-light shone, half-drown'd in tears,
As wet sunbeams strike on a watery world!
They grew sweet babes: where fond hearts set Love's
        throne,
Heaven breathed about them: Angels sang to them:
And joy was with them in their innocence!
Their dawn of being broaden'd into day,
And they had sprung to manhood unaware.
The lusty blood ran brave fire in their veins,
Life's surging waves, with them, were at mad-plunge,
And plough'd the passionate heart with tempest-beat.
Then high thoughts burst like battle on their souls,
Rousing and stern, as in the noon of flight,
The clarion's clangour smite a sleeping host,
And gorgeous dreams swept o'er them glory-clad!
Sinew and thew was strung, to win at least
The table-land that girds the mount of Fame.
And one went down to moil in Mammon's mine,
Athirst for gold, thenceforth in his warpt heart,
The Devil at death-grips set himself to God—
And day by day worm'd out some trace divine!
Day unto day, gold rotted out the soul!
Still he delved on for gold! sweet! damning! gold!
The poor man's sweat, and bravery's blood, congealed!
Gold, hued with hell-light! ringing out hell-music,—
And he waxt wealthy! all around him rose
The hoarded heaps, like trophies after battle,
Or tribute-treasure, flung at Monarchs' feet!
He turn'd to what he fed on, dust to dust!
The angel plumes once moulted, grew no more!
The God dwarft in him, and his heart was hoary
Long ere Time's silver mark had blancht his brow.
And one uprear'd a fame which stood apart
In the world's gaze, as mid old Tadmor's ruins
Some column, loometh in the eye of sunset.
He crown'd with beacon-fire, and set ablaze
The wreck-reef of all time.   His marvellous name
Moved men's tongues regally as Euroclydon
The storm-wind! wakes the voices of old ocean,
Leviathan of blood! what crimson seas
He spilt to revel in! his path to empire
Was wasted hearts, and desolated lands!
The other trode the world's face poor as Christ,
Drank gall and wormwood, lived gethsemane
In many a midnight solitude of heart!
Loved, hoped, and nurst large faith in human kind,
Wept the proud tears that telescope the soul
To starry glimpses of infinite Being!
The hounds of hell bayed at him, hoary Evil
Breathed blighting influences on his heart
To turn it to a Upas tree, and kill
All nestling birds of love, with tears and travail
He trode the red-hot bars of fiery torture,
And went his rugged way with bleeding feet,
Yet nought beat down his heart or blencht his faith
From suffering, he won strength to throw the world,
And many a cloud-rift radiantly rent,
Dropt blessing dear, as love's own parted lips!
And when the fight went sorest his roused spirit
Went forth all conquering, wrapt in robes of victory
Amid the murk and mire, he kept his heart
A temple for the beautiful! all warm
And bright, with blessed light of love, that window
Of our dim life, which ever opes on God!
He trimmed love's lamp in poor men's homes and hearts,
And in the world's waste places his life blossom'd.
So each built up a life.   Time's scaffolding
Fell from them, and they stood in God's eye bare!
Into the silent land they past the grave,
Which spring had made a beautiful gate of flowers.
On glorious wings they won the starry threshold
Of God, where like to like is guaged and garner'd,
They stood where Paradise uprear'd its portals
And shook down splendour—palpitated bliss—
Like a town full of triumph—heart of love.
O! in that hour how quakt the rich man's soul!
He stood there beggar'd!—poorest of the poor!
Gold would not purchase heaven, and if it might,
Eternity ran twixt him and his riches;
The other had gambled for a life, and lost,
Let slip his chance for an eternity!
Far fame, had barter'd an immortal birthright:
For name on Earth, had sold Heaven's heritage.
The poor man came, and his meek, tearful eyes
Grew luminous, as lit with sudden sun.
Divinity up-sprang, full-statured, when
His life snapt its worn manacle of clay,
And wore God's splendour round it like a raiment,
Throbbing with glory like a brooding star.—
All heaven was husht to hear the Lord's "Well-done;"
Then shining hosts, and quiring stars sang "Welcome,"
And angels crown'd him in their Capitol.
For in his heart he kept God's image bright.
Love was his life's-blood.   Thro' the long work-day—
The dark and terrible night-time—aye, to death,
He nurst his love.—And God himself is love.
And there be none of all the poorest poor
That walk the world, worn heart-bare; none so poor
But they may bring a little human love
To mend the world.   And God himself is love.

 

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THE THREE VOICES.


A WAILING voice comes up a desolate road,
                Drearily, drearily, drearily!
Where mankind have trodden the byeway of blood,
                Wearily, wearily, wearily!
Like a sound from the Dead Sea, all shrouded in glooms,
    With breaking of hearts, chains clanking, men
         groaning,
Or chorus of ravens, that croak among tombs,
    It comes with a mournful moaning:
                "Weep, weep, weep!"
            Yoke-fellows listen,
            Till tearful eyes glisten,
"Tis the voice of the Past: the dark, grim-featured Past,
All sad as the shriek of the midnight blast.
                "Weep, weep, weep!"
Tears to wash out the red, red stain,
            Where earth hath been fatted
            By brave hearts that rotted—
And life ran a deluge of hot, bloody rain,
                Weep, weep; weep!

There comes a voice too, from the millions that bend,
    Tearfully, tearfully, tearfully !
From hearts which the scourges of Slavery rend,
    Fearfully, fearfully, fearfully!
From many a worn, noble spirit, that breaks 
    In the world's solemn shadows, deep down in life's
        valleys
From Mine, Forge, and Loom, trumpet-tongued, it
        awakes
    On the soul wherein Liberty rallies.
                "Work, work, work!" 
            Yoke-fellows listen,
            Till earnest eyes glisten,
"Tis the voice of the Present—it bids us, my brothers,
Be freemen: and then, for the freedom of others—
                Work, work, work!
For the many, a holocaust, long to the few;
            O, work while ye may,
            O work while 'tis day,
And cling to each other, united and true,
                Work, work, work!

There cometh another voice, sweetest of all—
    Cheerily, cheerily, cheerily!
And the heart leapeth up to its trumpet call,
    Merrily, merrily, merrily!
It comes like the touch of the soft Spring, unwarping;
    The thrall of oppression that bound us:
It comes like a choir of the seraphim, harping,
Their gladsomest music around us.
                "Hope, hope, hope!"
            Yoke-follows listen,
            Till gleeful eyes glisten;
To the voice of the Future, the sweetest of all,
That makes the heart leap to its trumpet call.
                Hope, hope, hope!
Brothers, step forth in the Future's van,
            For the worst is past,
            Right conquers at last;
And a better day dawns upon suffering man:—
                Hope, hope, hope!

 

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TO A BELOVED ONE.


Heaven hath its crown of Stars, the Earth, 
    Her glory-robe of flowers,
The Sea its gems, the grand old woods,
    Green leaves, and silver showers:
The birds have homes, where honey-blooms
    In beauty bend above;
High yearning hearts, their rainbow dream,
    And we, Sweet! we have love.

There's sorrow for the toiling poor;
    On Misery's bosom nurst—
Rich robes for ragged souls, and crowns
    For branded brows, Cain-curst;
But cherubim, with clasping wings,
    Ever about us be,
And happiest, of God's happy things,
    There's love for you and me.

We walk not with the jewelled great,
    Where Love's dear name is sold;
Yet have we wealth, we would not give, 
    For all their world of gold!
We revel not in Corn, and Wine—
    Yet have we from above—
Manna divine, and we'll not pine;
    Do we not live and love?

Thy lips that kiss, till death have turn'd
    Life's water into wine;
The sweet life melting thro' thy looks,
    Hath made mine own divine.
All Love's dear Promise hath been kept,
    Since thou to me wert given,
A ladder, for my soul to climb,
    And summer high in heaven.

I know dear heart! in our bright lot
    May mingle tears and sorrow,
Well, Love's rich rainbow's built from tears
    To-day, with smiles to-morrow!
The sunshine from our sky may die,
    The greenness from Life's tree,
But ever 'mid the scathe, and storm,
    Thy nest shall shelter'd be!

I saw thee!   Ararat of my life!
    Smiling, the waves above—
Thou haild'st me Victor in tire strife,
    And beaconds't me with love!
The world may never know, dear heart!
    Half what I've found in thee;
Yet tho' nought to the world, dear heart!—
    Thou'rt all the world to me.

 

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OUR SYMBOL.


FLING out the red Banner! in mountain and valley
    Let Earth feel the tread of the free once again;
Now soldiers of Freedom, for love of God! rally,
    Old earth yearns to know that her children are men.
We are nerv'd by a million wrongs, burning, and
        bleeding;
    Bold thoughts leap to birth,—but the bold deeds
        must come.
And whenever Humanity's yearning and pleading,
    One battle for liberty, strike we heart-home!

Fling out the red Banner! its fiery front under
    Come gather ye, gather ye, champions of Right!
And roll round the world with the voice of God's
        thunder;
    The wrongs we've to reckon—oppressors to smite!
They deem that we strike no more, like the old Hero-
       band,
    Martyrdom's own, battle hearted and brave,
Blood of Christ! Brothers mine, it were sweet but to
        see ye stand
    Triumph or Tomb welcome !   Glory or Grave!

Fling out the red Banner! achievements immortal
    Have yet to be won by the hands labour-brown,
And few, few may enter, the proud promise-portal,
    Yet wear it in thought, boys, the glorious Crown!
Oh, joy of the conflict! storm trumpet! array us;
    True hearts would leap up, were all hell in our path.
Up, up from the slave land; who stirreth to stay us
    Shall fall, as of old, in the red sea of wrath.

Fling out the red Banner !   Oh, sons of the morning,
    Young spirits abiding to burst into wings,
We stand shadow-crown'd; and sublime is the warning,
    All Heaven's grimly husht, and the bird of storm
        sings!
"All's well," saith the sentry on tyranny's tower,
    "Even hope by their watch-fire is grey and tear-blind,"
Aye, all's well, Freedom's altar burns hour by hour,
    Live brands, for the fire-damp, with which ye are
        mined.

Fling out the red Banner! the patriots perish.
    But where their bones whiten, the seed striketh root:
Their heart's-life ran red, the great harvest to cherish.
    Then gather ye, reapers, and garner the fruit.
Victory! victory!   Tyrants are quaking!
    The Titan of Toil from the bloody thrall starts;
The slaves are awaking—the dawnlight is breaking—
    The footfall of Freedom, beats quick at our hearts!

 

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THE KINGLIEST KINGS.


Ho! ye who in a noble work,
    Win scorn, as flames draw air.
And in the way where lions lurk,
    God's image, bravely bear;
Though trouble-tried and torture-torn.
The kingliest kings are crowned with
        thorn.

Life's glory, like the bow in heaven,
    Still springeth from the cloud;
And soul ne'er soared the starry seven,
    But Pain's fire-chariot rode.
They've battled best who've boldliest
        borne.
The kingliest kings are crowned with
        thorn.

The martyrs red crown on the brow,
    Doth into glory burn,
And tears that from love's torn heart flow,
    To pearls of spirit turn.
The murkiest hour is mother of morn,
    The kingliest kings are crowned with
        thorn.

As beauty in death's cerement shrouds,
    And stars bejewel night;
God-splendour lives in dim heart-clouds,
    And suffering nurseth might.
And dear heart-hopes in pangs are born.
    The kingliest kings, are crowned with
        thorn.

 

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A CHAUNT.


Night trembles o'er earth's beauty, now,
Like silvery bridal-veil, hung low!
While I with feverish heart and brow,
    Awake, to weep for thee, love!
The spangled glories of the night,
Earth—saint-like, swathed in splendour
        light.
These cannot win my charmed sight,
    Or lure a thought from thee, love!

I'm pondering o'er that short sweet time,
Our hearts drank in, a summer's prime,
And blossom'd in love's Eden-clime,
    When I was blest with thee, love!
There burned no beauty on the trees;
There woke no song of birds or bees—
But love's cult for us held no lees,
    And I was blest with thee, love!

Then grand, and golden fancies spring
From out my heart, on splendid wing,
Chrysalis, from life's wintering—
    Burst bright and summeringly, love!
And as a chief of battle lost,
Counts, and recounts, his stricken host—
Stands, tearful Memory, making most
    Of all that's toucht with thee, love!

I know in Pleasure's flower-crowned
        bower,
Thy heart may half forget love's power,
But at this still and starry hour,
    Does it not turn to me, love!
O! by all pangs for thy sweet sake,
In my deep love, thy heart-thirst slake,
Or all-too-full, my heart must break;
    Break! break! ! with loving thee, love!

 

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I WAS NOT MADE MERELY FOR MONEY-MAKING.


COINING the heart, brain, and sinew, to gold,
    Till we sink in the dark, on the pauper's dole, 
Feeling for ever, the flowerless mould,
    Growing about the uncrowned soul!
Oh, God! oh, God! must this evermore be,
The lot of the Children of Poverty?
    The Spring is calling from brae and bower,
    In the twinkling sheen of the sunny hour,
            Earth smiles in her golden green;
    There's music below, in the diamonded leaves,
    There's music above, and heaven's blue bosom
                    heaves
            The silvery clouds between,
    The boughs of the woodland are nodding in play,
    And wooingly beckon my spirit away—
            I hear the dreamy hum
    Of bee, in the lime-tree, and birds on the spray
    And they too, are calling my thinking away;
            But I cannot—cannot come.
Visions of verdant and heart-cooling places,
    Will steal on my soul like a golden spring-rain,
Bringing the lost light of brave, vanisht faces;
    Till memory blossoms with beauty again.
But O, for a glimpse of the flower-laden morning, 
    That makes the heart leap up, and knock at heaven's
                    door
O for the green lane, the green field, the green wood,
    To take in by heartfuls, their greenness once more:
How I yearn to lie down in the cowslip-starred
                    meadows.
And nestle in leaves, and the sleep of the shadows,
            Where violets in beauty are waking.
There, let my soul burst from its cavern of clay,
To float down the warm spring, away and away:
    For I was not made merely for money-making.

At my wearisome task I oftentimes turn,
    From my bride, and my monitress, Duty,
Forgetting the strife, and the wrestle of life,
    To talk with the spirit of Beauty.
The multitude's hum, and the chinking of gold,
    Grow hush as the dying of clay;
For on wings of rapture, with joy untold,
    My heart is up, and away!
Glad as the bird in the tree-top chanting,
            Its anthem of Liberty;
With its heart in its musical gratitude panting,
            And O, 'tis a bliss to be.
Once more to drink in the balm-breathing air,
    Lapt in luxurious flowers—
To recall again, the pleasures that were
    In Infancy's innocent hours.
To wash the earth-stains, and the dust from the soul
    In nature's reviving tears, once more:
To feast at her banquet, and drink from her bowl,
    Rich wine, for the heart's hot core.
Ah, me! ah, me! it is heavenly then,
    And hints of the spirit-world, near alway,
Are stirring, and stirred, at my heart again,
    Like leaves to the kiss of May.
It is but a dream, yet, 'tis passing sweet,
    And when from its spells, my spirit is waking,
Dark is my heart, and the wild tears start;
    For I was not made merely for money-making.

My soul leans out, to the whisperings
    Of the mighty, the marvellous spirits of old;
And heaven-ward leapeth to flap her proud wings,
    When Labour relapseth its earthly hold;
And breathless with awful beauty—it listens,
    To catch the night's deep, starry mistery;
Or in mine eyes, dissolved, glistens,
    Big, for the moan of Humanity.
Much that is written within its chamber,
Much that is shrined, in the mind's living amber,
            Much of this thought of mine.—
I fain would struggle, and give to birth,
For I would not pass away from earth,
            And make no sign!
I yearn to utter, what might live on,
In the world's heart, when I am gone.
I would not plod on, like these slaves of gold,
    Who shut up their souls, in a dusky cave,
I would see the world better, and nobler-souled,
    Ere I dream of heaven in my green, turf-grave.
I may toil till my life is filled with dreariness,
Toil, till my heart is a wreck in its weariness,
Toil for ever, for tear-steept bread,
Till I go down to the silent dead.
But, by this yearning, this hoping, this aching,
I was not made merely for money-making.

 

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THERE'S NO DEARTH OF KINDNESS.


THERE'S no dearth of kindness,
    In this world of ours;
Only in our blindness,
    We gather thorns for flowers!
Outward, we are spurning—
    Trampling one another!
While we are inly, yearning
    With the name of "Brother!"

There's no dearth of kindness,
    Or love among mankind,
But in darkling loneness,
    Hooded hearts, grow blind!
Full of kindness tingling,
    Soul is shut from soul,
When they might be mingling,
    In one kindred whole!

There's no dearth of kindness,
    Tho' it be unspoken,
From the heart it buildeth,
    Rainbow-smiles in token—
That there be none so lowly,
    But, have some angel-touch,
Yet nursing loves unholy,
    We live for self too much!

There's no dearth of kindness,
    In this world of ours,
Only, in our blindness,
    We gather thorns for flowers,
And if men will hanker
    Ever, for golden dust,
Kingliest hearts will canker,
    Brightest Spirits rust!

As the wild rose bloweth—
    As runs the happy river—
Kindness freely floweth,
    In the heart for ever,
And 'tis God' best giving—
    Falling from above!
Life, were not worth living,
    Were it not for love!

 

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ICHABOD.


Seven summers' suns have set! and earth is once more sweetly
    flooded
With fragrance, for the virgin -leaves, and violet-banks have
    budded;
Heaven claspeth earth, as round the heart, first broodeth Love's
    sweet glow;
A blush of flowers is mantling, where, the silken grasses grow:
All things feel summering sunward, golden tides flood down the
    air,
Which burns, as angel-visitants, had left a glory there!
But darkness on my aching spirit, shrouds the merry shine,
I long to feel a gush of Spring, in this poor heart of mine.
Morn opes Heaven's starry portal, back the golden gates are
    drawn,
And all the fields of glory, blossom with the rose of dawn;
But never comes thy clasping hand, or carol of thy lips,
That made my heart sing like a god, just bursting death's
    eclipse,
Sweet voice! it came, like saintly music, quiring angels make,
When pain sat heavy on my brow, and heart was like to break,
Methought such love gave wings to climb, some starry throne
    to win,
Thou didst so lift my life's horizon—letting heaven in.

I'm thinking darling, of the days, when life was all divine,
And love, was aye the silver chord, that bound my heart to
    thine,
When like two dewdrops, in a kiss our twin souls wed in one,
And life bloomed at thy coming, as the green earth greets the
    sun!
Ah! still I feel ye, at my heart! and 'mid the stir and strife—
Ye sometimes lead my feet, to walk the angel-side of life!
The magic music yearns within, as unto thee I turn,
And those brave eyes, ablaze with soul, through all my being
    burn!
Come back, come back, I long to clasp thee, in these arms, mine
    own!
Lavish my heart upon thy lips, and make my love, the crown
And arc of triumph to thy life.   Why tarry?  Time hath cast
Strange shadows on my spirit, since we met and mingled last.
Yet there be joys to Crown thee with, the sunshine, and the
    sweet,
I've hived, like honey in my heart, to share it when we meet.
How I have hoarded up my life! how tenderly I strove!
To make my heart, fit home for thee, its nestling bird of love.

God bless thee! once the radiant world, thy beauty, crown-like
    wore;
But, life hath lost a tender grace, that cometh nevermore;
The flowers will garland songful spring! and happy birds make
    love,
With melting hearts, abrooding, o'er their passion, in the grove,
But thou wilt never more come back, to clothe my heart with
    spring.
Dear God!   Love's sweetest chord, is turned to Pain's most
    jarring string;
The glory hath departed! and my spirit pants to go—
Where 'mid life's troubled waters, 'twill not see the wreck
    below.

 

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WE'LL WIN OUR FREEDOM YET.


My heart weeps bloody sweat, to see the red wrong daily done!
O Brothers, knit your hearts, and put the battle mail-sark on,
And combat for the Hopeless, who give all life's glory up,—
That wolves may eat their hearts, and brim with blood, Wrong's
    revel-cup.
Up! if ye will be free, to golden calves no longer bow,
The nations yearn for liberty, the world is earnest now:
By Christ our Brother!   God our Sire! do ye but truly set
A brave, free heart to mine, Boys!   We'll win our freedom yet.

The palace paupers look from lattice high, and mock our prayer ;
The Champions of the Lord are dumb, the golden bit they wear,
O, but to see ye bend no more, to these crime-cursed things,
Ye are God's oracles! stand forth, be Nature's Priests and
    Kings!
The bent knee, is half way to Hell!   Up, Serviles, from the dust,
The harvest of the free red-ripens, for our sickle-thrust,
By Christ our Brother!   God our Sire! do ye but truly set
A brave, free heart to mine, Boys, We'll win our freedom yet.

The flowers will soon be springing, o'er our last year martyrs'
    mould,
Like dreams from out their wreckt hearts, telling what they left
    untold,
Of all our rainbowed Future's fame, and what this earth shall be
When we have barter'd blows and bonds, for life, and liberty—
And what a face of glory shall this weary world put on,
When Love, a crowned god, shall sit, and rule in its
    heartthrone.
O, by those martyrs—these flower-dreams, do ye but truly set
A brave, free heart to mine, Boys, We'll win our freedom yet.

Freedom! that Mothers, Sires, may smile, who meet us, 
    tearblind, now,
Ere other morn shall break in grey, above each blanching brow!
Freedom! that Love may be no more, death's kiss, to those we
    love,
That pride, not shame, may flush the check of our heart-nestling
    dove.
Freedom! that earth's good gifts may flow, as bountiful as rain— 
And life, lie lightly on the heart, and merry on the brain!
By Christ our Brother!   God our Sire! do ye but truly set
A brace, free heart to mine, Boys.   We'll win this freedom yet.

 

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" 'TWAS CHRISTMAS EVE."


'Twas Christmas Eve ! in the palace, where knavery
    Crowds all the treasures, the fair world can render :
Where spirits grow rusted in silkenest slavery,
    And life is out-panted, in sloth, and in splendour :
In gladness and glory, Wealth's darlings were meeting,
    And jewel-claspt fingers, linkt softly again ;
New friendships were twining, and old friends were
           greeting
    And twin hearts grew one, in God's golden, love-chain.

'Twas Christmas Eve ! in a poor man's grim hovel,
    There huddled in silence, a skeleton family ;
Church-bells were laughing in musical revel,
    They heard the loud mockery, with brows throbbing
            clammily ;
All in the merry time there they sat, mourning—
    Two sons—two brothers—in penal chains bleeding ;
Their hearts wandered forth to the never-returning,
    Who, rose on their vision, pale, haggard, and pleading.

'Twas Christmas Eve ! for the great, as in duty,
    Taste pander'd, and ruby wine wooed on the board,
Eyes smiled in feign'd glory, on birth, and on beauty :
    And lying lips flattered the Mammonite lord.
Love-kisses sobbed out, 'twixt the rollic and rout,
    And Hope went forth, reaping in, long-promist treasure.
What matter, tho' hearts might be breaking without,
    Their groans were unheard in the palace of pleasure.

'Twas Christmas Eve ! but the poor ones heard,
    No neighbourly welcome, no kind voice of kin ;
They lookt at each other, but spake not a word,
    While through crevice, and cranny, the sleet drifted in.
In a desolate corner, one, hunger-killed lay,
    And the mother's hot tears were the bosom-babe's food :
What marvel, oh Statesmen ? what marvel I pray,
    Such misery nurseth Crime's dark viper-brood ?

O men, angel-imaged in Nature's fair mint,
    Is it for this, ye were fashioned divine ?
Ah, where's the god-stamp—Immortality's print ?
    We are tyrants and slaves, bound in one deadly twine :
That a few, like to gods, may stride over the earth,
    Millions, born to heart-murder, are given in pawn ;
When will the world quicken for Liberty's birth,
    Which she waiteth, with eager wings beating the dawn ?

False priests, dare ye say 'tis the will of your God,
    (And shroud the Christ's message in dark sophistry)
That these millions of paupers should bow to the sod ?
    Up, up, trampled hearts, it's a lie ! it's a lie !
They may carve " State" and " Altar" in characters golden.
    But tyranny's symbols are ceasing to win ;
Be stirring, oh people, your scroll is unfolden,
    And bright be the deeds ye emblazon therein.

 

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BALLAD.


With her white hands claspt, she sleepeth, heart is husht, and
        lips are cold,
    Death shrouds up her heaven of beauty, and a weary way I go,
Like the sheep without a shepherd on the wintry, norland wold,
    With the face of Day shut out by blinding snow.
O'er its widowed nest my heart sits mourning, for its mate
        that's fled
    From this world of wail and weeping, fled to join her starry
        peers,
And my light of life's o'ershadowed, where the dear one lieth
        dead,
    And I'm crying in the dark with many fears.

One of God's own darlings was my bosom's nestling dove,
    With her looks of love, and sunshine, and a voice so sweet
        and low,
O! it hallowed all my being, like a canticle of love,
    And its music yearns through all my memory now:
For in winds, she maketh passionate speech, and filleth silverily,
    Like a song, the listening silence, of the midnight's charmed
        hours,
And I know from out her heart, she'll send her love in death, to
        me,
    By the Spring, in smiling utterance of Flowers.

O! my love o'er-pure for earth, has gone into the world of light,
    It was hard to leave me lonely, but the Lord had need of her,
And she walks the heavens in glory, like a star i'the crown of
        night,
    With the Saints, and with the Angels, mingling there.
Gone before me, to be clothed on with bridal robe of white,
    Where Love's blossom turns to knowledge-fruit, and
        suffering's glorified.
And my love shall make me meet, and worthy of her presence
        bright,
    And in heaven I will claim her as my bride.

 

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OUR LAND.


Tis the land that our stalwart fore-sires trode,
    Where the brave and heroic-souled—
Implanted our freedom with their best blood,
    In the martyr-days of old.
The huts of the lowly gave Liberty birth,
    Their hearts were her cradle glorious,
And wherever her footprints lettered the earth,
    Great spirits up-sprang victorious,—
In our rare old land, our dear old land!
    With its memories bright and brave,
And sing O! for the hour its sons shall band.
    To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

Alfred was of us, and Shakspeare's thought
    Bekings us, all crowns above!
And Freedom's dear faith, a fierce splendour
        caught
    From our grand old Milton's love!
And we should be marching on gallantly—
    With their stride from glory to glory,
For the Right, in our might striking valiantly,
    On the track of the famous in story—
For our rare old land! our dear old land!
    With its memories bright and brave,
And sing O! for the hour its sons shall band
    To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

On Naseby-field of the fight sublime,
    Our old Red Rose doth blow!
Ah, God! that the soul of our earlier time,
    Might marshal us conqueringly now!
On, into the Future's fair clime the world sweeps,
    And the time trumpets true men to freedom:
At the heart of the helots the mounting god leaps,
    But O, for the man that shall lead them—
For our rare old land! our dear old land!
    With its memories bright and brave,
And sing O! for the hour its sons shall band,
    To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

What do we lack, that the red, red Wrong,
    Should starve us 'mid heaps of gold?
We have brains as broad; we have arms as strong;
    We have hearts as great and bold.
Will a thousand more years' meek suffering school
    Our lives to a sterner bravery?
No! down and down with their robber rule,
    And trample at once your slavery—
For our rare old land! our dear old land!
    With its memories bright and brave,
And sing, O, for the hour its sons shall band,
    To free it of Tyrant and Slave.

 

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THE PEOPLE'S ADVENT.


'Tis coming up the steep of Time,
    And this old world is growing brighter!
We may not see its dawn sublime,
    Yet, high hopes make the heart throb lighter
We may be sleeping in the ground,
    When it awakes the world in wonder,
But, we have felt it gathering round,
    And heard its voice of living thunder,
                                'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming.

Tis coming now, that glorious time,
    Foretold, and sung, by prophets hoary,
For which, when thinking was a crime,
    Souls, leapt to heaven, from scaffolds gory.
They passed, nor see the work they wrought,
    Now the crown'd hopes of centuries, blossom!
But the live lightning of their thought
    And daring deeds, doth pulse earth's bosom,
                                'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming.

Creeds, Empires, Systems, rot with age,
    But, the great People's ever youthful!
And it shall write the Future's page,
    To our humanity more truthful!
The gnarliest heart, hath tender chords,
    To waken at the name of "Brother"
And time comes when, brain-scorpion words,
    We shall not speak to sting each other,
                                'Tis comng! yes, 'tis coming.

Out of the light ye Priests, nor fling,
    Your dark, cold, shadows, on us longer!
Aside! thou world-wide curse, called King!
    The People's step, is quicker, stronger,
There's a Divinity within
    That makes men great, whene'er they will it,
God works with all who dare, and win,
    And the time cometh to reveal it,
                                'Tis coming! yes 'tis coming.

Freedom! the tyrants kill thy braves,
    Yet in our memories live the sleepers,
And, tho' doom'd millions, feed the graves,
    Dug by Death's fierce, red-handed, reapers;
The World shall not for ever bow
    To things, which mock God's own endeavour:
'Tis nearer than they wot of now,
    When flowers shall wreathe the sword for ever,
                                'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Fraternité!   Love's other name,
    Dear, heaven-connecting link of Being!
Then shall we grasp thy golden dream,
    As souls full-statured, grow far seeing,
Thou, shalt unfold our better part,
    And in our life-cup yield more honey!
Light up with joy the poor man's heart,
    And Love's own world, with smiles more sunny.
                                Fraternité, thou'rt coming!

Aye, it must come, the Tyrant's throne
    Is crumbling, with our hot tears rusted:
The Sword, earth's mighty have leant on,
    Is cankered, with our heart's blood crusted;
Room! for the men of mind make way,
    Ye robber Rulers, pause no longer;
Ye cannot stay the coming day,
    The world rolls on, the light grows stronger,
                                'Tis coming! yes 'tis coming.

 

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THE FAMINE-SMITTEN.


In the tear; of the morning—
    The smiles of the sun—
The green earth's adorning
    Told Spring had begun!
Warm woods donned their beauty,
        wrought
    Through long, still nights,
And musical breezes, brought
    Flowery delights,
The humming leaves flasht
    Rich in light, with sweet sound.
And the glad waters dasht
    Their starry spray round!
The wood-bines up-climbing,
    Laught out, pink-and-golden,
And bees made sweet chiming,
    In roses half-folden.
But where was that infant band,
    Wont in spring weather—
To wander forth, hand-in-hand,
    Violets to gather—
Whose hearts like plum'd powers,
    Leapt up from the sod—
Raining music in showers,
    As guesting a God?
Ah ! misery, they slept,
    The dear blossoms of love!
Where the green branches wept,
    And the grass crept above!
Melodious gladness—
    Pulst through golden air,
But the anguish of madness
    Rent Poverty's lair,
For famine had smitten,
    Its pride of life low,
And agony written,
    On heart and on brow.
Sweet from the boughs the birds
    Sang in their mirth,
The lark messaged heaven-wards,
    Blessings from earth—
But I turn'd where our gentle Lord's
    Loves,* lay in dearth,
They heard not, nor heeded,
    The sounds of life o'er them!
They felt not, nor needed,
    The hot tears wept for them!
But earth-flowers were springing,
    O'er human flowers' grave—
And, oh God! what heart-wringing,
    Their tender looks gave!
They died! mad with hunger—
    By bitter want blasted!
While wealth for the Wronger, 
    Run over untasted—
While Pomp, in joy's rosy bow'rs,
    Wasted life's measure,
Chiding the lagging hours,
    Wearied of pleasure!
They died! while men hoarded
    The free gifts of God,
They died! tis recorded
    In letters of blood.
Yet the corn on the hills,
    Waves its showery-gold crown,
Still nature's lap fills,
    With the good heaven drops down,
Oh! this world might be lighted,
    With Eden's first smile—
Angel-haunted—unblighted,
    With freedom for Toil!
But they wring out our blood,
    For their banquet of gold!
They repeal laws of God,
    Soul and body are sold!
Hark now! hall and palace,
    Ring out dome and rafter,
Aye, laugh on, ye callous!
    In Hell there'll be laughter;
But tremble, hell-makers;
    The shorn among men—
The world's image-breakers,
    Grow mighty again:
There be stern times a-coming,
    The dark days of reck'ning,
The storms are up-looming—
    The Nemesis wak'ning!
On Heaven, blood shall call.
    Earth, quake with pent thunder,
And shackle and thrall,
    Shall be riven asunder,
It will come, it shall come,
    Impede it what may,
Up People! and welcome!
    Your glorious day.


* "Suffer little children to come unto me."

 

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NO JEWELLED BEAUTY IS MY LOVE.


No jewelled Beauty is my love,
    Yet in the heaven of her face,
There's such a radiant tenderness,
    She needs no other gift, or grace.
Her smile, and voice, around my heart
    In blessed light, and music, twine;
And dear, O very dear, to me,
    Is this sweet love of mine.

O joy ! to know there's one fond heart,
    That ever beateth true to me;
It sets mine leaping, like a lyre,
    When sweetest strings make melody.
My soul up-springs, a Deity—
    Heaven-crowned! to hear her voice
        divine,
And dear, O very dear to me,
    Is this sweet love of mine.

If ever I have sighed for wealth,
    Twas all for her dear sake, I trow,
And if I win Fame's victor-wreath,
    I'll twine it on her bonnie brow.
There may be forms more beautiful,
    And eyes of love, with sunnier shine,
But none, O none, so dear to me,
    As this sweet love of mine.

 

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HOPE ON, HOPE EVER.


Hope on, hope ever, though to-day be dark,
    The sweet sunburst may smile on thee to-morrow;
Tho' thou art lonely, there's an eye will mark
    Thy loneliness, and guerdon all thy sorrow,
Tho' thou mayest toil 'mong cold and sordid men,
    With none to echo back thy thought, or love thee,
Cheer up, poor heart! thou dost not beat in vain,
    While God is over all, and heaven above thee—
                                Hope on, hope ever.

I know tis hard to bear the bitter taunt,
    With the heart's honest pride at midnight wrestle;
To feel the killing cankerworm of want,
    While rich rogues in their stolen luxury nestle,
For I have felt it! yet from earth's cold Real
    My soul looks out on coming things, and cheerful,
The warm sunrise floods all the land Ideal,
    And still it whispers to the worn and tearful—
                                Hope on, hope ever.

The iron may enter in, and pierce thy soul,
    But cannot kill the love within thee burning;
The tears of misery may be thy dole,
    But cannot quench thy true heart's seraph-yearning
For better things, nor crush thy ardent trust,
    That Error from the mind shall be uprooted,
That Truths shall dawn, as Flowers spring from
        the dust
    And love be cherisht where hate was embruited—
                                Hope on, hope ever.

Hope on, hope ever, after darkest night
    Comes full of loving life, the laughing Morning,
Hope on, hope ever, spring-tide flusht with light,
    Doth crown old Winter with its rich adorning.
Hope on, hope ever, yet the time shall come
    When man to man shall be a friend and brother,
And this old world shall be a happy home,
    And all Earth's family love one another.
                                Hope on, hope ever.

 

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A MAIDEN'S SONG.


I love! and Love hath given me,
    Sweet thoughts to God a-kin;
And oped a living Paradise,
    My heart of hearts, within—
O! from this Eden of my life,
    God keep the Serpent Sin.

I love! and into angel-land,
    With starry glimpses peer;
And there's a rainbow round my soul,
    For every falling tear:
I drink in beauty like heaven-wine,
    When One is smiling near;

Dear God in heaven! keep without
        stain,
    My bosom's white-wing'd Dove;
O! clothe it meet for angel arms,
    And give it place above—
For there is nothing from this world,
    I yearn to take, but Love.

 

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OUR FATHERS ARE PRAYING FOR PAUPER-PAY.


Smitten stones, will talk with fiery tongues,
    And the worm, when trodden will turn,
But Cowards, ye cringe to the cruellest wrongs,
    And answer with never a spurn;
Then torture O, Tyrants, the spiritless drove,
    Old England's Helots, will bear,
There's no hell in their hatred, no God in their
        love
    Nor shame in their dearth's despair,
For our Fathers are praying for pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss, are white!
Our Sons are the rich man's serf's by day,
    And our Daughters his slaves by night.

The Tearless, are drunk with our tears; have
        they driven
    The God of the poor man mad?
For, we weary of waiting the help of heaven,
    And the battle goes still with the bad;
O! but death for death, and life for life,
    It were better to take and give,
With hand to throat, and with knife to knife,
    Than die out as thousands live!
For our Fathers are praying for pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss are white!
Our Sons are the rich man's serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his slaves by night.

Fearless and few, were the Heroes of old,
    Who played, the peerless part;
We are fifty-fold, but the gangrene Gold,
    Hath eaten out Hampden's heart.
With their faces to danger, like freemen they
        fought,
    With their daring, all heart and hand:
And the thunder-deed followed the lightning-
       thought!
    When they stood for their own good land.
Our Fathers are praying for pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss are white!
Our Sons are the rich man's serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his slaves by night.

When the heart of one half the world, doth beat,
    Akin to the brave and the true,
And the tramp of Democracy's earthquake-feet,
    Goes crashing the wide world through,
We should not be living in darkness and dust,
    And dying like slaves in the night—
But big with the might of the inward "must"
    We should battle for Freedom and Right!
For our Fathers are praying for pauper-pay,
    Our Mothers with Death's kiss are white!
Our Sons are the rich man's serfs by day,
    And our Daughters his slaves by night.

 

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"I LOVE MY LOVE, AND MY LOVE LOVES ME."


The life of life's when for another we're living,
    Whose spirit responds to ours like a sweet psalter,
When heart-smiles are burning, and flame-words out-
        giving,
    The fire we have lit on her heart's holy altar!
O, Love, God's religion!   Love, burning and starried,
    The soul must be beautiful where thou art palaced,
I mark where thy kiss-seal is set on the forehead,
    I know where thy dew of heaven's richliest chaliced,
For bright breaks that brow through the world's slow stain;
    And strong is that soul in the battle of duty,
Smiling May-sunshine thro life's winter-rain,
    All outward things clothing with inward heart-beauty:
Tis writ in the face, whose heart singeth for glee—
    "I love my Love, and my Love loves me."

Once I was a-weary of life, and the world;
    The voice of delight on my heart fell accurst,
And my eyes oft with teardrops unweetingly pearled,
    I had no one to love tho' with love my heart burst,
Then on me a sweet dream of Paradise stole,
    Disparting the shadows that brooded around me,
And walking the gardens, that Eden my soul,
    One morning my love, like another Eve, found me,
She lookt, and a maęlstrome of joy whirl'd my bosom;
    She smiled, and my being ran bliss to the brim!
She spake, and my eager heart flusht into blossom;
    Dear Heaven, twas the music set to my life's hymn,
And up went my soul to God, shouting for glee—
    "I love my Love, and my Love loves me."

I know, love of mine, time may nevermore bring
    Back the lost freshness that clad my young heart,
But looking on thee, sweet thoughts ever-more spring,
    As from the cold tomb the green verdure will start;
I look in thy dear eyes, and joy to the weeper!
    Their love-light, makes sunshine of all my dark fears,
And what made my heart faint, lifts it now, a strong leaper,
    For rivers of joy, flood its channels of tears.
I had deemed its wealth, flung on sands, barren and
        burning,
    And sweet 'tis to find my life's current again,
Caught up in thy love's precious chalice—returning
    Like dew that hath been to heaven, dropping in rain:
And my heart's perpetual hymn shall be—
    "I love my Love, and my Love loves me."

 

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A CALL TO THE PEOPLE.
1848.


People of England! rouse ye from this dreaming,
    Sinew your souls, for Freedom's glorious leap;
Look to the Future, lo! our day-spring's gleaming,
    And a pulse stirs, that never more shall sleep
In the World's heart!   Men's eyes like stars are throbbing,
    The traitor-kings turn pale in Pleasure's bower,
For at the sound which comes like thunder—sobbing,
    The leaves from Royalty's tree, fall hour by hour;
    Earthquakes leap in our temples, crumbling Throne and
        Power!

Vampyres have drain'd the human heart's best blood,
    Kings robbed, and Priests have curst us in God's name;
Out in the midnight of the Past we've stood—
    While fiends of darkness plied their hellish game.
We have been worshipping a gilded crown,
    Which drew heaven's lightning-laughter on our head;
Chains fell on us as we were bowing down,
    We deem'd our Gods divine, but lo! instead—
    They are but painted clay,—with morn, the charm has
        fled!

And is this "Merrie England," this the place—
    The cradle of great souls, self-deified?
Where smiles once revelled in the Peasant's face,
    Ere hearts were maskt by gold—lips steept in pride—
Where Toil with open brow went on light-hearted,
    And twain in love, Law never thrust apart?
Then, is the glory of our life departed
    From us, who sit and nurse our bleeding smart;
    And slink, afraid to break the laws that break the heart.

Husht be the Herald on the walls of Fame,
    Trumping this People as their Country's pride;
Weep rather, with your souls on fire with shame,
    See ye not how the palaced knaves deride
Us facile-flatter'd fools? how priestcraft stealthy,
    Stabs at our freedom through its veil of night,
And grinds the poor to flush its coffers wealthy?
    Hear how the land groans in the grip of Might,
    Then quaff your cup of Wrongs, and laud a Briton's
        "Right."

There's not a spot in all this flowery land,
    Where Tyranny's cursed brand-mark has not been:
O! were it not for its all blasting hand,
    Dear Christ, what a sweet heaven this might have been,
Has it not hunted forth our spirits brave—
    Killed the red rose which crown'd our darling Daughters,
Wedded our living hopes unto the grave—
    Filled happy homes with strife, the world with slaughters,
    And turn'd our thoughts to blood—to gall, the heart's
        sweet waters.

Gone! is the love that nerved our ancient Sires,
    Who, bleeding, wrung their Rights from tyrannies
        olden,
God-spirits have been here, for Freedom fires
    From out their ashes, to earth's heart enfolden;
The mighty dead lie slumbering around—
    Whose names, smite as if God's soul shook the air,
Life leaps from where their dust makes holy ground,
    Their deeds spring forth in glory—live all-where,
    And are we traitors to th' eternal trust we bear?

Go forth, when night is husht, and heaven is clothed
    With smiling stars that in God's presence roll,
Feel the stirred spirit leap to them betrothed,
    As Angel-wings were fanning in the soul;
Feel the hot tears flood in the eyes upturning,
    The tide of goodness, heave its brightest waves—
Then is't not hard to crush the God-ward yearning
    With the mad thought that ye are still Earth's slaves?
    O ! how long will ye make your hearts its living graves?

Immortal Liberty!   I see thee stand—
    Like Morn just stept from heaven upon a mountain,
With rosy feet, and blessing-laden hand,
    Thy brow star-crown'd, thy heart Love's living fountain,
O! when wilt thou string on the People's lyre
    Joy's broken chord?   And on the People's brow
Set Empire's crown?   Light up thy beacon-fire
    Within their hearts, with an undying glow;
    Nor give us blood for milk, as men are drunk with
        now?

Curst, curst be war, the World's most fatal glory,
    Ye wakening nations, burst its guilty thrall!
Time waits with out-stretcht hand to shroud the gory—
    Grim glave of Strife behind Oblivion's pall,
The tyrant laughs at swords, the cannon's rattle
    Thunders no terror on his murderous soul.
Thought, Mind, must conquer Might, and in this battle
    The warrior's cuirass, or the sophist's stole,
    Shall blunt no lance of light, no onset, backward roll.

Old Poets tell us of a golden age,
    When earth was guiltless,—Gods the guests of men,
Ere sin had dimmed the heart's illumined page—
    And Sinai-voices say 'twill come again.
O! happy age! when love shall rule the heart,
    And time to live, shall be the poor man's dower,
When martyrs bleed no more, nor Poets smart—
    Mind is the only diadem of power—
    People, it ripens now! awake! and strike the hour.

Hearts, high and mighty, gather in our cause.
    Bless, bless oh God, and crown their earnest labour,
Who dauntless fight to win us equal laws,
    With mental armour, and with spirit-sabre!
Bless, bless O God! the proud intelligence,
    That like a sun dawns on the People's forehead—
Humanity springs from them like incense,
    The Future, bursts upon them, boundless—starried—
    They weep repentant tears, that they so long have
        tarried.

 

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LABOUR'S SOCIAL CHIVALRY.

 
Up-rouse ye now, brave brother-band;
With honest heart, and working hand:
    We are but few, toil-tried and true,
    Yet hearts beat high to dare and do.
        And who would not a champion be,
        In Labour's social Chivalry?

We fight! but bear no bloody brand,
We fight to free our father-land;
    We fight, that smiles of love may glow.
    On lips where curses quiver now.
        Hurrah, hurrah! true knights are we,
        In Labour's social Chivalry.

O, there be hearts that ache to see
The day-dawn of our victory—
    Eyes full of heart-break, with us plead,
    And watchers weep, and martyrs bleed;
        O, who would not a champion be,
        In Labour's Social Chivalry?

Work, brothers mine, work, hand and brain,
We'll win the golden age again;
    And Love's millenial morn, shall rise
    In happy hearts and blissful eyes.
        Hurrah, hurrah! true knights are we,
        In Labour's social Chivalry.


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