Voices Of Freedom (2)

Home Up Biography Poetry Prose Reviews News Reports Miscellanea Main Index Site Search
 


 

SONG.


Sweet smile on the cheek of thy home, where
    Joy burst on thy young spirit's waking;
Canst give its endearments to come, where
    Life hath many a hot heart-aching?
Have you counted the cost to stand by me,
    In the battle I fight for man?
And shall your angel-love deify me,
    Who stand in the world's dark ban?
O, a daring high soul you will need, dear love,
    To brave the life-battle with me;
For your true heart may oftentimes bleed,
        dear love,
    And your sweet eyes dim tearfully.

Sweet! know you of gallant hearts perishing—
    The fine spirits that dumbly bow?
For a little of fortune's cherishing,
    They are breaking in agony, now.
And without the sunshine that life needeth,
    Alas, Sweet! for me and for you,
How little the callous world heedeth,
    For love like ours tender and true.
O! a daring high soul you will need, dear love,
    To brave the life-battle with me;
For your true heart may oftentimes bleed,
        dear love,
    And your sweet eyes dim tearfully.

Well you've sworn!   I have sworn; God hath
        bound us,
    And that covenant the world shall not part;
I have flung my love's mantle around us,
    And you live in each beat of my heart.
It may be our name in earth's story,
    Shall endure when we are no more;
For truth lives as the stars burn in glory,
    And the flowers bud on earth's green floor.
But a daring high soul you will need, dear love,
    To brave the life-battle with me;
For your true heart may oftentimes bleed,
        dear love,
    And your sweet eyes dim tearfully.

 

________________

[Top of page]

PRESS ON!


Press on, press on, ye rulers, in the stirred world's forward track,
It moves too sure, for ye to put the clock of Freedom back;
We're gathering up from near, and far, with souls in fiery glow—
And Right doth bare its arm of might, to bring the spoilers low!
Kings, Priests, ye're far too costly, and we weary of your rule,
We crown no more "Divinity" where Nature writeth "fool!"
Ye must not bar our glorious path, as in the days agone, 
You know that God made men, not princes, kings or priests!
        press on!

Press on, press on, ah! nobles, ye have played a daring game,
But your star of strength is falling, fades the prestige of your
        name;
Too long have ye been, fed, and nurst, on human blood and tears,
The naked truth is known, and Labour leaps to life, and swears
His pride of strength, to bloated Ease, he will no longer give,
For all who live should work, "Lords," then all who work might
        live!
The combat comes, make much of what ye've wrung from fatherland
Press on, press on,—to day we plead,—to-morrow we'll command.

Press on, a million pauper-foreheads bend in misery's dust,
God's champions of the golden Truth, still eat the mouldy crust;
This damning curse of tyrants must not kill the nation's heart,
The spirit, in a million slaves doth pant, on fire to start
And strive, to mend the world, and walk in Freedom's march
        sublime,
While myriads sink heart-broken, and the land o'erswarms with
        crime;
"O, God," they cry, "we die, we die, and see no earnest won!"
Brothers, join hand and heart and in the work press on, press on.

 

________________

[Top of page]

THE WORKER.


I CARE not a curse, tho' from birth he inherit,
    The tear-bitter bread, and the stingings of scorn,
If the man be but one of God's nobles in spirit,
    Tho' pennyless—richly-souled, heartsome, tho'
        worn—
And will not for golden bribe, lout it, or flatter,
    But clings to the Right aye, as steel to the pole,
He may sweat at the plough, loom, or anvil, no
        matter,
    I'll own him the man that is dear to my soul.

His hand may be hard, and his raiment be tatter'd,
    On straw-pallet nightly, his weary limbs rest—
If his brow wear the stamp of a spirit unfettered,
    I'm mining at once, for the gems in his breast,
Give me the true man who will fear not, nor falter,
    Tho' Want be his guerdon, the Workhouse his
        goal,
Till his heart has burnt out upon Liberty's altar,
    For this is the man I hold dear to my soul.

True hearts in this brave world of blessings and
        beauty,
    Aye scorn the pour bravery of losel, and lurker,
And Toil is creation's crown, worship is duty,
    And greater than gods in old days, is the Worker!
For us, the wealth-laden world laboureth ever,
    For us, harvests ripen, winds blow, waters roll,
And he who gives back in his might of endeavour
    I'll cherish, a man ever dear to my soul.

 

________________

[Top of page]


"ALL'S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD."

Pippa passes.


Sweet Phospher tricks to a smile the brow of heaven,
Dawn's golden springs surge into floods of day,
Lush, leavy woods, break into singing, Earth
From dewy dark rolls round her balmy side,
And all goes right, and merrily with the world.

Spring, with a tender beauty clothes the earth,
Happy, and jewelled like a sumptuous bride,
As tho' she knew no sorrow—held no grave,
No glory dims, for all the hearts that break,
And all goes right and merrily with the world.

Birds sing as sweetly on the blossom'd boughs,
Suns mount as royally their sapphire throne,
Stars bud in gorgeous gloom, and harvests yield,
As tho' man nestled in the core of love,
All, all, goes right and merrily with the world.

But, slip the silken-folded mask aside,
Behold!   Hell welters at our very feet!
See, the poor murder'd body and soul—the rich
In Pleasure's chalice melt their pearl of life,
Aye, all goes right, and merrily with the world.

Lean out into the looming Future, mark
The battle roll across the night to come,
Aha! how they right their wrongs at last, Revenge
Writes blood-red radiance on the midnight heaven!
Yet, all goes right, and merrily with the world.

So Sodom, grim old reveller! went to death,
Voluptuous music throbbed her lordly courts,
Mirth wanton' d at her heart, one pulse before
Fire-tongues told out her bloody tale of wrong—
And all went right, and merrily with the world.

 

________________

[Top of page]

A NIGHT-MUSING.


Earth, garnisht bride-like, bares her bosom to the nestling
        Night,
Who hath come down in glory from the golden halls of
        light,

Ten thousand tender, starry eyes, smile o'er the world at rest,
The weary world—husht like an infant on its mother's
        breast!

The grand old hills uplift their foreheads in rich-sleeping light
That in the storm-war stagger, neath the leaping thunder's
        might—

When the red lightning-dagger, smites the black clouds, blazing-
        bright,
How proudly grand, and still they stand, worshipping God
        to-night! 

No green tide sweeps the sea of leaves, no wind-sigh stirs the
        sod,
While Holiness broods dove-like on the soul, begetting God.

The flowers have hung their cups, with gems of their own
        sweetness wrought,
And muse upon their silken stems, in extacy of thought,

They have banquetted on beauty, at the fragrant Eve's red lips,
And fold in charmed rest, with crowns upon their velvet tips

Sweet hour! thou wak'st the feeling mortals never know by
        day,
For Angel-eyes look down, and read the spirit neath the clay,

Even while I list such music stealeth in upon my soul,
As though adown heaven's stair of stars, the seraph-harpings
        stole.

Or I could grasp the immortal part of life, and soar, and soar,
Such strong wings take me, and my heart hath found such
        hidden lore!

It flings aside the weight of years, and lovingly goes back
To that sweet time, the dear old time, that glistens on it track!

Life's withered leaves grow green again, and fresh with
        Childhood's spring,
As I am welcomed back once more, within its rainbow-ring:—

The Past with all its gather'd charms, beckons me back in joy,
And loving hearts, and open arms, re-clasp me as a boy.

The voices of the loved and lost, are stirring at my heart,
And Memory's miser'd treasures, leap to life, with sudden
        start,—

As through her darkened chambers, warm and glad sunlight
        creeps in,
And Langsyne glimpst in glorious tears, my toil-worn heart
        doth win.

Thou art looking, smiling on me, as thou hast lookt and
        smiled, Mother,
And I am sitting by thy side, at heart a very child Mother!

I'm with the now in soul, sweet Mother, much as in those
        hours,
When all my wealth was in thy love, and in the birds and
        flowers,

When the long summer days were short, for my glad soul to
        live,
The happy fullness of the bliss, each golden hour could give.

When Heaven sang to my innocence, and every nodding grove
And forest ach'd with music, as a young heart aches with love.

When life opt like a flower, where clung my lips, to quaff its
        honey,
And joys thronged like a shower of gold king-cups in meadows
        sunny,

Sweet thoughts of happiness and home, what business have ye
        here!
And yet I bless ye, that ye come, to free the strangling tear.

Dear thoughts! how eloquent ye tell, that I am changed now,
I cannot choose but weep, and press to earth my burning brow.

I'll tell thee, Mother! since we met, stern changes have come
        o'er me,
Then life smiled like a paradise, the world was all before me.

O! I was full of trustful faith, and in my glee and gladness,
Deemed not that others had begun as bright, whose end was
        madness.

I knew not smiles could light up eyes, like sunset's laughing
       glow
On some cold stream, which burns above, while all runs dark
        below;

That on love's sunny sea, great souls go down, while some
        grown cold,
Seal up affection's living spring, and sell their love for gold;

How they on whom we'd stakt the heart, forget the early vow,
And they who swore to love through life, would pass all coldly
        now;

How in the soul's dark hour, Love's temple-veil is rent in twain,
As the heart quivers thorn-crown'd on the cross of fiery pain.

And shattered idols—broken dreams, come crowding on my
        brain,
As speaks the spirit-voice of days, that never come again.

It tells of golden moments lost—heart sered—blind Passion's
        thrall;
Love's spring-tide blossoms run to waste, life's honey turn'd to
        gall.

It tells how many and often, high resolve, and struggle strong,
Shapt on the anvil of my heart, have died upon my tongue.

I left thee, Mother, in sweet May, the merry month of flowers!
To toil away in dusky gloom, the golden summer-hours.

I left my world of love behind, with soul for life a-thirsting,
My burning eyelid dropt no tear, although my heart was bursting.

For I had knit my soul to climb, with poverty its burden,
Give me but time, O, give me time, and I would win the guerdon.

Ah! Mother, many a heart that all my aspiration cherisht,
Hath fallen in the trampling strife, and in the life-march perisht.

We see the bleeding victims lie upon the world's grim altar,
And one by one young feelings die, and dark doubts make us
        falter.

Mother, the world hath wreakt its part on me, with scathing
        power,
Yet the best life that heaves my heart runs for thee at this hour.

And by these holy yearnings, by these eyes with sweet tears
        wet, 
I know there wells a spring of love, through all my being yet.

 

________________

[Top of page]

DOWN, DOWN, POOR HEART!


She was so beautiful,
        Down, down, poor heart;
I loved so dutiful,
        Down, down, poor heart.
There cometh no morrow,
        Shall solace thy smart ;
Or couch this blind sorrow,
        Then down, down, poor heart!

Spring-tide will bloom again.
        Wild-flowers will start;
But she will ne'er come again,
        To thee, poor heart,
Never more hearken thee,
        Pleading poor heart;
Deep shadows darken thee,
        Down, down, poor heart!

 

________________

[Top of page]

WE KNOW THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG.


WHEN this bright world's a blessed place
    Where Paradise might be—
If Love but lampt the sweet, sad, face
    Of our humanity—
When heaven is full of sunshine, earth
    Full of fruit, flowers, and song,
Yet starvelings groan 'mid nature's mirth,
    We know there's something wrong.

When God's dear sunshine's taxt for gold,
    The smile of green fields bought,
And rulers league in power's stronghold,
    To crush the people's thought;
And statesmen cower tremblingly
    Before the pleading throng,
Nor stand in conscious dignity,—
    We know there's something wrong.

When prison-ration, pauper-fare,—
    Is better than theirs who plod
Twelve hours a day like slaves, yet wear
    The image of a God.
When Mother Church breaks hearts for bread,
    And sanctions drop and thong—
We read what Christ the master said,
    And know there's something wrong.

When saintly rogues preach temperance
    Beneath the worship-dome,
Yet lust for luxury askance,
    And go get drunk at home!
When their creed-thunders hell-hot hurled,
    Buckler the blood-dyed strong—
Who keep mind sheathed and freedom furled
    We know there's something wrong.

When conquering nations—barbarous, win,
    And civilize with the sword—
And thro' the bloody breech fling in,
    The voice from heaven, God's word!
And while good spirits preach good-will—
    Roll red, grim strife, along—
Keep men, and goad them mad, to kill,
    We know there's something wrong.

When hunger sits at Merit's board,
    And smiteth beauty down
While fools are worshipt—gold adored—
    And murderers win renown—
When proud, rich robbers, grandly flaunt
    Amid a starving throng,
While thousands bite the dust for want—
    We know there's something wrong.

Great heart of this old universe,
    Lord, Life, Love! rise and save
The people: Let this tyrant curse,
    In deep hell dig its grave.
For Faith is grey with waiting, God!
    How long, oh, God! how long,
Ere Truth shall vanquish force and fraud—
    Right triumph over Wrong?

 

________________

[Top of page]

PEACE.


Yes, Peace is beautiful, and I do yearn,
For her to clasp the world's poor tortured heart,
As sweet spring-warmth doth brood o'er coming
        flowers.
But peace with these leviathans of blood—
Who pirate crimson seas devouring men?
Give them the hand of brotherhood—whose fangs
Are in our hearts with the grim blood-hound's grip?
Would'st see Peace, idiot-like, with smirk and smile,
A planting flowers to coronal truth's grave?
Peace, making merry round the funeral pyre,
Where Freedom, fiery-curtained weds with death?
Peace mirroring her form by pools of blood—
Crowning the Croat in Vienna's fosse,
With all sweet influences of thankful eyes,
For murder of the glorious Burschenschaft?
Peace with Oppression, which doth tear dear friends
And brothers from our side to-day, and comes
To eat OUR hearts and drink OUR blood to-morrow?
Out, out! it is the Tyrant's cunning cant,
The robe of sheen flung o'er its deadly daggers,
Which start to life, whene'er it hugs to death.
I answer war! war with the cause of war,
War with our misery—want and wretchedness,
War with curst gold, which is an endless war,
On Love and God and our Humanity!
Brothers, I bid ye forth to glorious war
Patch fig-leaves o'er the naked truth no more,
The stream of time runs red with our best blood!
Time's seed-field we have sown with fratricide,
And dragon's teeth have sprung, aye, in our hearts.
O! we have fought and bled on land and sea,
Heapt glory's car with myriads of the brave,
Spilt blood by oceans—treasures by the million,
At every tyrant's beck, had we but shed
Such warm and eloquent blood for Freedom's faith,
War's star in heaven had lost its name ere now,
"Brothers!" I cried, well Brothers, brother slaves!
Slaves, who have writ, "Content" upon their lintels,
To save the unforgiven of the Lord,
From his mid-night avenger,—gore-gorged Pharoahs!
Who yet must taste the Red Sea's bitter waters.
O! but to give ye Slaves, THEIR valiant heart,
Whose dumb, dead dust, is worth your living souls—
Dear God! twere sweet to kiss the scaffold-block!
I'd proudly leap death's darkness, to let shine
The Future's hope through your worn sorrow's tears,
Sorrow? ah no, ye feel not sense so holy,
The worm of misery riots in your hearts—
Ye hear your younglings in the drear midnight
Make moan for bread, when ye have none to give—
Ye drain your life, warm, for the vultures' drink!
The groaning land is chokt with living death,
O! ye are mated to the things of scorn.
And I have heard your miserable madness
Belcht forth in drunken peans to your tyrants—
Pledging your murderers to the hell they've made!
Ah Christ! was it for this, thou sudden sun,
Did'st lamp these centuries with thy dying smile?
Was it for this; so many and so many,
Have hackt their spirit-swords against our fetters
And killing cords, that bleed our hearts to death—
Wept griefs, might turn the soul grey in an hour—
Broke their great hearts for love—and in despair,
Dasht their immortal crowns to earth, and died?
Was it for this the countless host of martyrs,
Becrown'd and robed, in fiery martyrdom,
Beat out a golden-aged Future from
The angel-metal of their noble lives—
Clomb the red scaffold—strain'd their weary eyes,
Upon the mists of ages for one glimpse,
Of midnight burning into that bright dawn
Now bursting golden, up the skies of time?
When will ye put your human glory on?
How long will ye lie darkling desolate,
With barren brain, blind life, and fallow heart?
The hollow yearning grave, will kindly close,
And flowers spring where the mould lay freshly dark!
The leaves will burst from out the naked'st boughs,
Fire-ripen'd into glorious greenery,
Waste Moor and Fen, will kindle into spring,
How long will ye lie darkling, desolate?
Lord God Almighty ! what a spring of freedom
Awaits to burst the winter of our world!
Worn, wasted, crucified between the thieves,
Ere night-fall ye might sup in paradise!
O! if aught moving thrills a brother's love,
Which pleads for utterance in blinding tears,
Then let these words burn living in your souls,
Snatch Fear's cold hand from off your palsied hearts,
And send the intrepid shudder through your veins.
Helots of Albion!   Penury's nurslings, rise
And swear in God's name, and in Heaven's, aye Hell's,
Ye will bear witness at the birth of Freedom!
Arise, and front the blessed light of Heaven,
With tyrant-quailing manhood in your looks!
Arise! go forth to glorious war for right,
And justice, and mankind's high destiny!
Arise! 'tis Freedom's bleeding fight, strike home,
Wherever tyrants lift the gorgon-head!
There is a chasm in the coming years,
A-gape for strife's Niagara of blood—
Or to be bridged by brave hearts linkt in love.
The world is stirring with its mighty purpose,
No more be laggards in the march of men!
The vulture Despotism spreads its wide wings
Right royally, to give ye broader mark!
And the hag Evil sickens unto death,
With her sore travail o'er the birth of Good.
And soon shall War's red-lettered creed die out,
Where blood is gushing, shall the wild-flowers blow,
Where men are groaning, shall their children sing,
And peace and love, re-genesis the world.

 

________________

[Top of page]

THE LORDS OF LAND AND MONEY.


Sons of Old England, from the sod,
    Uplift each noble brow,
Gold apes a mightier power than God,
    And fiends are worshipt now;
In all these toil-ennobled lands,
    Ye have no heritage:
They snatch the fruit of youthful hands,
    The staff from weary age.
O, tell them in their Palaces,
    These lords of Land and Money
They shall not kill the poor like bees,
    To rob them of Life's honey.

Through long dark years, of blood and
        tears,
    We've toiled like branded slaves,
Till Wrong's red hand, hath made a land,
    Of paupers, prisons, graves,
But our meek sufferance endeth now,
    Within the souls of men,
The fruitful buds of promise blow,
    And Freedom lives again;
We tell them in their Palaces,
    Proud Lords of Land and Money!
They shall not kill the poor like bees,
    To rob them of Life's honey.

Too long have Labour's nobles knelt
    Before exalted "Rank,"
Within our souls the iron's felt,
    We hear our fetters clank,
A glorious voice goes throbbing forth,
    From millions stirring now—
Who yet before these Gods of earth,
    Shall stand with unblencht brow.
Your day—our day of reckoning comes,
    Proud Lords of Land and Money!
Ye shall no longer wreck our homes,
    Nor rob us of Life's honey.

 

________________

[Top of page]

TO A WORKER AND SUFFERER FOR HUMANITY.


God bless you brave one, in our dearth
    Your life hath left a trailing glory,
And round the poor man's homely hearth,
    We proudly tell your suffering's story.

All Saviour-souls have sacrificed,
    With nought but noble faith for guerdon,
And ere the world hath crown'd the Christ,
    The man, to death hath borne the burden.

They laid in waters deep and dark,
    Their corner-stones, who've built in beauty—
On earth's old heart, their Triumph-arc!
    To crown with glory, lives of duty.

In fieriest forge of martyrdom,
    The sword of soul must weld and brighten,
Tear-bathed from fiercest furnace come—
    The lives, heroic-temper'd—titan!

Our heart-strings lordliest music make,
    When swept by Suffering's fiery fingers,
And thro' soul-shadows, starriest, break
    Thought-harmonies, on God's true singers.

Take heart! tho' sown in tears and blood.
    No seed of all Love's leaven hath perisht,
Tho' dropt in desolate byeways, God
    Some glorious flower hath rear' d and
        cherisht.

Take heart! the rude dust, dark to-day,
    Soars a new-lighted sphere, to-morrow,
And wings of splendour burst the clay,
    That clasps us in Death's fruitful furrow.

 

________________

[Top of page]

THE MARTYRS OF 1848 AND 1849.


                    They are gone!
When Hope's blossoms many-number'd.
                    Into flower burst,
When on earthquake edge till slumbered
                    Who have man accurst—
When our hearts like throbbing drums,
Beat for freedom, ha! it comes!
God! they stumbled among tombs!

                    They are gone!
Freedom's strong ones, young and hoary—
                    Beautiful in faith,
And her first dawn-blush of glory,
                    Gilds their camp of death!
There they lie in shrouds of blood!
Murder'd, where for Right they stood,
Murder'd, Christ-like, doing good!

                    They are gone!
And tis good to die up-giving,
                    Valour's vengeful breath,
To make heroes of the living—
                    Thus God-blest is death!
One by one, dear hearts, they've left us!
Yet Hope hath not all bereft us,
Still we man the gap they've cleft us.

                    They are here!
Here, where life ran ruddy rain,
                    When power from God seem'd
        wrencht,
Here! where tears fall, molten brain,
                    And hands are agony-clencht.
Look, Love lifts the veil! ah now,
There's a glory, where the plough
Of Pain's fire-crown, seam'd each brow!

                    They are here!
In the Ætna of each heart,
                    Where Vengeance laughs hell-
        mirth!
In the silent tours that start,
                    O'er their glorious worth!
Tears? aye tears of fire, proud weepers!
For these soul-sepultured sleepers!
Fire! to smite Death's blood-seed reapers.

                    They are here!
In the starry march of time,
                    Beating at our side!
Let us live their lives sublime,
                    Die as they have died!
Yet shall these proud Martyrs come,
Myriad-fold from their heart-tomb!
In the Tyrants' day of doom.

 

________________

[Top of page]

THE CRY OF THE UNEMPLOYED.


Tis hard! tis hard to wander on through this bright world
        of ours,
Beneath a sky of smiling blue, on velvet paths of flowers,
With music in the woods as there were nought but joyaunce
        known,
Or Angels walkt earth's solitudes, and yet with want to groan,
To see no beauty in the stars, nor in God's radiant smile,
To wail and wander misery-curst! willing, but cannot toil.
There's burning sickness at my heart, I sink down famished!
God of the wretched, hear my prayer, I would that I were
        dead!

Heaven droppeth down with manna still in many a golden
        show'r,
And feeds the leaves with fragrant breath, with silver dew the
        flow'r,
There's honeyed fruit for bee and bird, with bloom laughs out
        the tree.
And food for all God's happy things; but none gives food to
        me.
Earth, deckt with Plenty's garland-crown, smiles on my
        aching eye,
The purse-proud swathed in luxury—disdainful pass me by:
I've eager hands, and earnest heart—but may not work for
        bread!
God of the wretched hear my prayer, I would that I were dead!

Gold, art thou not a blessed thing? a charm above all other,
To shut up hearts to Nature's cry, when brother pleads with
        brother?
Hast thou a music sweeter than the voice of loving-kindness!
No! curse thee, thou'rt a mist twixt God and men in outer
        blindness.
"Father come back!" my children cry!   Their voices once so
        sweet,
Now quiver lance-like in my bleeding heart!   I cannot meet
The looks that make the brain go mad, for dear ones asking
        bread—
God of the wretched hear my prayer, I would that I were dead!

Lord! what right have the poor to wed? love's for the gilded
        great,
Are they not formed of nobler clay, who dine off golden plate?
Tis the worst curse of poverty to have a feeling heart,
Why can I not with iron-grasp, thrust out the tender part!
I cannot slave in yon Bastille! ah no, twere bitterer pain,
To wear the Pauper's iron within, than drag the Convict's chain.
I'd work but cannot, starve I may, but will not beg for broad,
God of the wretched, hear my prayer, I would that I were dead!

 

________________

[Top of page]

KISSES.


        One kiss more, Sweet!
Soft as ambrosial wind out of the west,
Or silkenest surge of thy rose-misted breast;
Sweet lips, all ruddily melting apart,
Drink up the honey and wine of my heart.

        One kiss more, Sweet!
Warm as a morning sunbeam's dewy gold,
Slips in a red rose's fragrantest fold,
Sets its green blood all a-blush, burning up,
At the fresh feel of life, in its crimson cup.

        One kiss more, Sweet!
Full as the flush of the sea-tide grand,
Sucking the splendour-fire out of the sand,
Mellifluously flood all my being with bliss,
Suck up my soul into thine with a kiss.

 

________________

[Top of page]

SONG.


All glorious, as a rainbow's birth,
    She came, in springtide's golden hours,
When Heaven went hand-in-hand with
        Earth—
    And May was crown'd, and flusht with
        flowers,
The mounting devil at my heart
    Clomb faintlier, as my life did win
The charmed heaven she wrought apart,
    To wake the slumbering angel in;
With radiant mien she trode serene,
    And past me smiling by;
O, who that lookt could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul! not I.

Her budding breast, like fragrant fruit,
    Peered out, a-yearning to be prest;
Her voice shook at my heart's red root,
    Yet might not break a babe's light rest;
Her being mingled into mine,
    As breath of flowers doth mix and melt,
And on her lips the honey-wine
    Was royal-rich as spikenard spilt;
With love a-gush like waterbrooks,
    Her heart smiled in her eye,
O, who that lookt could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul! not I.

The rosy eyelids of the Dawn
    Ne'er opt such heaven as hers let down,
O love, such eyes have surely shone
    As jewels in God's starry crown!
Her brow flasht glory like a shrine,
    Or lily bell, with sunburst bright,
Where came and went love-thoughts divine,
    As low winds walk the leaves in light,
She wore her beauty with the grace
    Of Summer's star-robed sky;
O, who that lookt could chance but love?
    Not I, sweet soul! not I.

 

________________

[Top of page]

LOVE.


O love! love! love!
    Its glory smites our gloom,
And flower-like flusht with life, the
        heart
    Doth burgeon into bloom!
Sweet as spring -sunshine's golden
        kiss,
    That crowns the world anew;
Sweet as in roses' hearts of bliss,
    Soft summer-dark, drops dew!

O love! love! love!
    Its very pain endears!
And for each wail and weeping, wins
    A blessing on our tears!
And O! how exquisite it starts
    The thoughts that bee-like cling,
To drain the honey from young hearts,
    And leave a bleeding sting.

O love! love! love!
    'Twill make a brave heart ache;
Pulse out, and spill its lavish life,
    To sere, perchance, to break!
Yet, love makes all our days, sweet
        dove!
    In golden suns go down;
And still we'll clothe our hearts with
        love,
    And crown us with love's crown.

 

________________

[Top of page]

WE ALL ARE BROTHERS STILL.


The poor man treads the earth in tears;
    Soul-crusht, he turns to mourn apart;
There is no summer in his years,
    No song of gladness in his heart.
The rich, in robes of pride adorn,
    At pleasure's banquet quaff their fill;
And aye, some laugh, while others mourn.
    Yet we are brothers still.

The poor man's home is desolate:
    His children learn not Love's sweet
        wiles;
No looks of happy radiance wait
    To glad his coming with their smiles.
For Wealth's wide-worshipt darlings keep
    His weary bones to work their will;
And aye, some laugh, while others weep
    Yet we are brothers still.

Our patient sufferance winneth scorn:
    They scoff and spurn us bound and
        blind;
Yet hath this people's bosom borne
    Earth's glory-crowned kings of mind.
Cruel and coward when we plead—
    Eager and swift our blood to spill;
And aye, some laugh, while others bleed:
    Yet we are brothers still.

I know the time grows ready-ripe—
    Their hearts, like hunted hares shall
        quake;
Death-daring spirits burn to wipe
    Our wrongs away—our bonds to break.
Twill come! ah, God! be with us, when
    Long-maddened vengeance pants to
        kill;
Or we may grimly stifle then,
    That we are brothers still.

 

________________

[Top of page]

THE MEN OF FORTY-EIGHT.


They rose in Freedom's rare sunrise,
    Like Giants roused from wine;
And in their hearts, and in their eyes,
    The God leapt up divine!
Their souls flasht out like naked swords,
    Unsheathed for fiery fate,
Strength went like battle with their words—
    The Men of Forty-eight.
                                                        Hurrah!
            For the Men of Forty-eight.

Dark days have fall'n, yet in the strife
    They bate no hope sublime,
And bravely works the fiery life,
    Their hearts pulse through the time,
As grass is greenest trodden down,
    So suffering makes men great;
And this dark tide shall grandly crown
    The Men of Forty-eight.
                                                            Hurrah!
            For the Men of Forty-eight.

Some in a bloody burial sleep,
    Like Greeks to glory gone,
But, in their steps avengers leap
    With their proof armour on,
And hearts beat high with dauntless trust:
    We'll triumph soon or late—
Though they be mould'ring down in dust—
    Brave Men of Forty-eight.
                                                        Hurrah!
            For the Men of Forty-eight.

O! when the World wakes up, to worst
    The Tyrants once again,
And Freedom's summons-shout shall burst
    In music on the brain—
With heart to heart, and hand in hand—
    Ye'll find us, all elate
And true, as ever Spartan band—
    We Men of Forty-eight.
                                                        Hurrah!
            For the Men of Forty-eight.

 

________________

[Top of page]

A LYRIC OF LOVE.


The Lark that nestles nearest earth,
    To Heaven's gate nighest sings;
And loving thee, my, lowly life
    Doth mount on marvellous wings!
Thine eyes are starry promises,
    And affluent above
All measure—in rich blessing, is
    The largess of thy love.

My heart may sometimes blind mine
        eyes
    With utterance of tears—
But feels no pang for thee, belov'd;
    But all the more endears!
And if life comes with cross and care,
    Unknown in years of yore:
I know thou'lt half the burden bear,
    And I am strong once more.

Merry as laughter thro' the hills
    Spring dances in my heart,
And at my wooing Nature's soul
    Into her face will start!
The Queen-moon in her starry bower
    Looks happier for our love:
A fierier splendour fills the flower,
    And mellower coos the Dove.

Ah! now I see my life was shorn,
    That like the forest-brook—
When leaves are shed; my darken'd
        soul,
    Up in Heaven's face might look!
And blessings on the storm, that gave
    Me haven on thy breast
Where my life, climaxt like a wave,
    That breaks in perfect rest.

 

________________

[Top of page]

IT WILL END IN THE RIGHT.


Sever despair!   O my brother in sorrow;
    I know that our mourning-hood endeth not—yet
Shall the vanquisht to-day be the victors to-morrow,
    Our star shall shine on when the tyrant's sun's set.
Hold on! tho' men spurn thee for whom thou art living
    A life only cheered by the lamp of its love;
Hold on!   Freedom's hope to the bondaged ones giving,
    Green spots, 'mid the waste, wait thy worn spirit-dove!
Hold on—still hold on—in the world's despite;
Nurse the faith in thy heart—keep the lamp of God
        bright,
And my life for thine! it shall end in the right!

What tho' the martyrs and prophets have perisht,
    The angel of life rolls the stone from their graves;
Still lives the love and the freedom they cherisht—
    Their faith's triumph-cry stirs the spirits of slaves.
They are gone! but a glory is left in our life,
    Like the day-god's last kiss on the dark clouds of
        even—
Gone down, on the desolate seas of their strife,
    To climb as star-beacons up Liberty's heaven!
Hold on—still hold on—in the world's despite;
Nurse the faith in thy heart—keep the lamp of God
        bright,
And my life for thine! it shall end in the right.

Think of the wrongs that have ground us for ages:
    Think of the wrongs we have still to endure:
Think, of our blood, red on History's pages:
    Then work, that our reck'ning be speedy and sure.
Slaves cry unto God! but be our God reveal'd
    In our lives—in our works—in our warfare for man,
And bearing—or borne upon—Victory's shield;
    Let us fight battle-harnessed, and fall in the van.
Hold on—still hold on—in the world's despite;
Nurse the faith in thy heart—keep the lamp of God
        bright.
And my life for thine! it shall end in the right.

 

________________

[Top of page]

A LOVER'S FANCY.


Sweet Heaven!   I do love a maiden,
Radiant, rare, and beauty-laden:
When she's near me, heaven is round me
Her dear presence doth so bound me!
I could wring my heart of gladness,
Might it free her lot of sadness—
Give the world, and all that's in it,
Just to press her hand a minute!
Yet she weeteth* not I love her;
    Never do I tell the sweet
Tale, but to the stars above her,
    And the flowers that kiss her feet.

I could be a bird, to lighten
Her dear heart—her sweet eyes brighten ;
Might I live and linger near her,
And in tearful moments cheer her;
Or, in fragrance like a blossom,
Give my life up on her bosom!
For my love's withouten measure,
All its pangs are sweetest pleasure!
Yet she weeteth not I love her;
    Never do I tell the sweet
Tale, but to the stars above her,
    And the flowers that kiss her feet.

* 'To know', 'have knowledge of' (archaic).

 

________________

[Top of page]

THE LAST OF THE QUEENS AND THE KINGS.


Like a strong man in torture, the weary world turneth,
    To clasp freedom's robe round her slavery's starkness;
With shame, and with shudder, poor mother! she yearneth
    O'er hell's red wrong done in her dearth and her darkness.
She gathers her strength up to crush the abhorred
    Who murder her poor heart, and drain her life-springs;
And are crowned to hide the Cain-brand on the forehead,
    She willeth them last of the Queens and the Kings.

And O! by the lovers and friends we have cherisht,
    Who made our cause soar up like flame, at their breath;
Who struggled like gods met in fight, and have perisht
    In poverty's battle with grim, daily death.
O! by all dear ones that bitterly plead for us—
    Life-flowers tied up in the heart's breaking strings;
Sisters that weep for us—mothers that bleed for us—
    Let these be last of the Queens and the Kings.

Ho! weary night-watch, is there light on the summit?
    Yearner up thro' the night! say, is there hope?
For, deeper in darkness than fathom of plummet,
    Our bark strikes the storm with cyclopean grope.
"To God's unforgiven—to catiff* and craven—
    To crown and to sceptre a cleaving curse clings!
Ye must fling them from deck would ye steer into haven,
    For death tracks the last of the Queens and the Kings."

The swift sword of the people smites sharper than steel,
    And the Lord lights for all who are girt with its sweep;
Wounds deeper than dagger, the tyrants must feel;
    Other guerdon than blood! the rich harvest we'll reap:
Hypocrites! mammonites! see there! up heaven,
    Our coming day rolls, and its dawn-splendour flings
And the avalanche loosens, half-launcht, and half-riven,
    That shall swoop down the last of the Queens and the
        Kings.

*  Catiff - a cowardly and despicable person (archaic).
** Craven - an abject coward.

 

________________

[Top of page]

WE ARE MANY, OUR TYRANTS ARE FEW.


Behold! the Morn breaking above, Boys!
    Bathing earth in a warm, rosy shower,
Heaven seemeth o'erflowing with love, Boys!
    And light kisseth the lowliest Flower.
All bright, as on proud, princely home, Boys!
    The sun smiles on the povertied Thrall,
And thus, Freedom's morning shall come,
        Boys!
    With its radiant sunrise over all.
O! look for the noble in soul, Boys!
    And grasp ye the hand of the True:
Then on for the glorious goal, Boys!
    We are many, our Tyrants are few.

Courage! keep heart for awhile, Boys!
    A holy and brotherly band—
Have sworn that the children of toil, Boys!
    Shall break the oppressor's wand!
They have sworn by the souls of the brave,
        Boys!
    Whom the Tyrant's red sword set free—
By the the wounds on the back of the slave,
        Boys!
    To battle for dear Liberty!
Keep heart! with the noble in soul, Boys!
    Keep hand with the good and the True;
Then on for the glorious goal, Boys!
    We are many, our Tyrants are few.

Disdain with a noble scorn, Boys!
    The bugbears that Priestcraft hath
        wrought!
They'll evanish* like phantoms forlorn,
        Boys!
    In the morning-light of Thought.
Never fear, tho' men curse and upbraid us—
    Never wince, 'neath the hireling's gibe!
They'd flatter and fawn, aye, and aid us,
    Were we gold-curst enough to bribe!
But look for the noble in soul, Boys!
    And grasp ye the hand of the True!
Then on for the glorious goal, Boys!
    We are many, our Tyrants are few.

The flag of the Free, shall wave out, Boys!
    O'er the dark, ruin'd towers of wrong!
And the People shall wake with a shout,
        Boys!
    And the poor man's heart break into song.
Truth's halo of glory shall dock them,
    Who rule, in our hearts enthroned—
And the crown of their victor-brows make
        them,
    Peerless, among Peers birth-renowned!
Keep heart with the noble in Soul, Boys!
    Keep hand! with the gallant and True!
And on, on for the glorious goal, Boys!
    We are many, our Tyrants are few.

* To vanish or die away

 

________________

[Top of page]

SONG.


Farewell my darling, the dawn of to-morrow,
    Will waken us, bitterly sever'd at heart;
Yet tho' thou leav'st me be-darkened in sorrow,
    To bleed from the cold world in silence apart—
Though nought but fruit of pain crowneth Love's
        blossom,
    Still will I live for thee, darling, and when
The world shall forsake thee, O turn to my bosom,
    My heart will forgive thee, with "welcome again."

When thou'rt aweary, and high hopes are blighted,
    And thy young yearnings, far-wanderers, come
From the world's highways all wreckt and benighted,
    To nestle and bleed in their desolate home—
When life hath no spring-burst of beauty and
        blossom,
    Still will I live for thee, darling, and when
The world shall forsake thee, O turn to my bosom,
    My heart will forgive thee with "welcome again."

 

________________

[Top of page]

BATTLE ON BRAVELY.


O! sweet is the fair face of Nature, when Spring
    With living flower-rainbow, in glory hath spanned
Hill and dale, and the music of birds on the wing,
    Makes earth seem a beautiful faery land.
And dear is our first-love's young spirit-wed bride,
    With her sweet eyes just waning in tender eclipse,
When the sound of our voice, calls her heart's ruddy
        tide
    Up-rushing in beauty to melt on her lips!
But earth has no sight, half so glorious to see,
As a People up-girding its might to be free.

To see men awake from the Slumber of ages,
    With brows grim from labour, and hands hard and
        tan,
Start up living heroes! the dreamt of by Sages,
    And smite with strong arm the oppressors of man.
To see them come dauntless forth 'mid the world's
        warring,
    The midnight-mine workers and slaves of the sod,
Show how the Eternal within them is stirring,
    And never more bend to a crowned clod.
Dear God! tis a sight for immortals to see,
A People up-girding its might to be free!

Battle on bravely, O, sons of humanity,
    Dash down the cup from your lips, O, ye toilers;
Too long hath the world bled for tyrants' insanity,
    Too long our weakness been strength to our
        spoilers.
For freedom and right, gallant hearts wrestle ever,
    And speak ye to others, the proud words that
        won ye,
Your rights conquer'd once shall be wrung from ye
        never,
    O! battle on bravely, the world's eyes are on ye.
And earth has no sight half so glorious to see;
As a People up-girding its might to be free.

 

________________

[Top of page]

SWEET SPIRIT OF MY LOVE!


            Sweet Spirit of my love!
Thro' all the world we walk apart,
    Thou may'st not in my bosom lie;
I may not press thee to my heart,
    Nor see love-thinkings lamp thine eye,
Yet, art thou with me.   All my life
    Orbs out in thy warm beauty's sphere,
My bravest dreams, of thee are rife:
    And colored with thy presence dear.

            Sweet Spirit of my love!
I know how beautiful thou art,
    But never tell the starry thought:
I only whisper to my heart
    "She lights with heaven thy earthliest spot,"
And birds that night and day rejoice,
    And silken winds give back to me
The echoed music of thy voice,
    And surge my heart's love-tide to thee.

            Sweet Spirit of my love!
The spring and summer, bloom-bedight,
    That garland earth with rainbow-showers,
Morn's kissing breath, and eyes of light,
    That wake in smiles the winking flowers,
The air with violet-fragrance fed,
    The diamond waters—blossom'd tree—
Noon's golden glory, evening's red—
    Aye warble into songs of thee.

            Sweet spirit of my love!
When night's soft silence clothes the earth
    And wakes the passionate bird of love—
And stars laugh out in golden mirth,
    And yearning souls divinelier move—
When God's breath hallows every spot—
    And lapt in feeling's luxury—
The heart's break-full of tender thought!
    Then art thou with me, still with me.

            Sweet spirit of my love!
I listen for thy footfall—feel
    Thy look is burning on me, such
As reads my heart, I sometimes reel,
    And throb, expectant for thy touch,
For by the voice of woods and brooks,
    And flowers with virgin-fragrance wet,
And earnest stars with yearning looks,
    I know that we shall mingle yet.

            Sweet spirit of my love!
Symbols of beauty smile, as thou
    Had'st wrote thy being in fresh tints,
The wild-flowers even, the secret know,
    And light and shade flash mystic hints,
Meseems, like olden Gods thou'lt come,
    In cloud, but mine anointed eyes,
Shall see the glory burn thro' gloom,
    And clasp thee Sweet! with large surprise.

 

________________

[Top of page]

LOVE ME.


"All dear as the yearning when first flowers start,
    Thou can'st in thy musical lightness,
And the cloud wept itself in blest rain on my heart,
    That had hidden thy beauty and brightness,
'Twas as Life's topmost window oped suddenly, bright
    With the presence and light of an angel,
The sweet secret out-flasht on thy forehead of light,
    And I knew thee my own love evangel.*
O, how shall I crown thee Love, on my heart's throne,
    Thou art so far, far above me!"
And aye as her sweet eyes lookt love in mine own,
    The Maiden anawer'd, "love me."

"Thou art fair my Love, as some beautiful star
    That walks in an air of glory.
With the god on thy lips, and thy lineaments are,
    As some maiden's of antique story;
There's never night now, since those dear eyes of thine,
    Smiled on me their soft, sweet splendour,
And I drank of the wine of thy kisses divine,
    O, what for such love shall I render?"
And aye as I knelt at my true Love's shrine,
    She bent in her beauty above me,
And aye, as her sweet eyes lookt love into mine,
    The Maiden answered, "love me."

"O, could my heart in its fulness of bliss
    Thy life with Love's affluence dower,
Thou shouldst have heaven in a world like this,
    And the joy of a life in each hour;
Thou shouldst go forth like a conquering queen,
    Reaping rich heartfulls of treasure,
Nor strive where the worn of heart wearily glean
    But handfuls in the harvest of pleasure."
And aye, as I knelt at my true Love's shrine,
    She bent in her beauty above me,
And aye, as her sweet eyes lookt love into mine,
    The Maiden answered, "love me."

* The four gospels.

 

________________

[Top of page]

"KINGS ARE BUT GIANTS BECAUSE WE KNEEL"


Good People, put no faith in Kings, nor merchant-princes trust,
Who grind your hearts in Mammon's press—your faces in the
    dust—
Trust to your own true thought! to break the Tyrant's dark dark
    ban;
If yet one spark of freedom lives, let man be true to man.
We'll never fight again, Boys! with the Yankee, Pole, or Russ.
We love the French as Brothers, and the fervid French love us!
We'll league to crush the fiends who kill, all love and liberty,
They are but Giants because we kneel, one leap, and up go we!

Trust not the Priests, their tears are lies, their hearts are hard and
    cold—
The welcomest of all their flock, are fierce wolves fleeced with gold;
Rogues all! for hire they prop the laws, that make us poor men
    sin.
Ay! tho' their robes are black without, they've blacker souls
    within.
The Church and State are linkt, and sworn to desolate the land—
Good People, twixt these foxes tails, we'll fling a fiery brand!
Who fears the worst that they can wreak, that loveth liberty?
They are but Giants because we kneel, one leap and up go we!

"Back tramplers of the many! death and danger ambusht lie?
"Beware ye! or the blood may run! respect a nation's cry.
"Ah, shut not out the light of Hope! the People blind, may dash
"Like Sampson in his strong death-grope, and whelm ye in the
    crash.
"Think how they taxt the People mad, that old regime of
    France,
"Whose heads, like poppies from Death's sythe, fell in a bloody
    dance.
Ye plead in vain! ye bleed in vain! ah! Blind, when will ye see,
They are but Giants because we kneel! one leap, and up go we?

We've fought and bled, while Fortune's darlings slunk in
    splendid lair,
With souls that crept like worms in buried Beauty's golden hair!
A tale of lives wrung out in tears, their grandeur-garb reveals,
And the last sobs of breaking hearts, sound in their chariot wheels.
But they're quaking now! and shaking now! who've wrought the
    hurtling sorrow:
To-day the Desolators, but the desolate To-morrow!
Loud o'er their murderous menace, wakes the watchword of the
    Free.
Kings are but Giants because we kneel! one leap, and up go we!

Some brave and patriots hearts, are gone, to break beyond the
    wave,
And some who gave their lives for love, have found a prison-
    grave,
Some, have grown grey with weeping! some have fainted by the
    way,
But youth still nouritures* within the hope of a better day.
O! Blessings on world-conquering youth! God's with the shining
    band!
Their spirits breathe of Paradise! they're freshest from his hand!
And looking on the People's might, who doubts they shall be
    free?
Kings are but Giants because we kneel ! one leap, and up go we!

* Nurtures.

 

________________

[Top of page]

GOD'S WORLD IS WORTHY BETTER MEN.


Behold! an idle tale they tell,
    But who shall blame their telling it!
The rogues have got their cant to sell,
    The world pays well for selling it,
They say the world's a "desert drear,"
    Wrapt in their own stark blindness,
That we were sent to suffer here,
    What by a God of kindness?
That since the world has gone astray,
    It must be so for ever—
And we should stand still and obey,
    It desolators.   Never!
We'll labour for the better time,
    With all our might of Press and Pen,
Believe me 'tis a truth sublime,
    God's world is worthy better men.

With Paradise the world began,
    A world of love and gladness,
Its beauty hath been marred by man,
    With all his crime and madness,
Yet 'tis a brave world still, Love brings
    A sunshine for the dreary,
With all our strife, sweet rest hath wings,
    To fold o'er hearts aweary.
The sun in glory like a God,
    To-day in heaven is shining—
The flowers bloom on the jewelled sod,
    Their sweet love-lessons twining—
As radiant of immortal youth,
    As they were fresh from Eden—then,
Believe me 'tis a noble truth—
    God's world is worthy better men.

O, they are bold, knaves over bold,
    Who say we're doom'd to anguish,
That men in God's own image soul'd,
    Like hell-bound slaves must languish,
Probe Nature's heart to its red core,
    There's more of good than evil,
And man, down-trampled man, is more
    Of Angel than of Devil.
"Prepare to die?"   Prepare to live!
    We know not what is living,
And let us for the world's good give
    As God is ever giving!
Give love, thought, action, wealth, and time,
    To win the primal age again,
Believe me 'tis a truth sublime,
    God's world is worthy better men!

 

________________

[Top of page]

ANATHEMA MARANATHA.


Swifter and swifter, fierce Misery slayeth;
Deeper and deeper, the scorpion-lash flayeth;
Tighter and tighter, the grip of Toil groweth;
Nigher and nigher, the red Ruin floweth:
And still ye bear on, and ye faint, heart and breath,
Till ye creep, scourged hounds! to your kennel of
        death,
Then, down to the dust with ye, cowards and slaves!
Plague-stricken cumber-grounds, slink to your
        graves!

Love is the crown of all life, but ye wear it not;
Freedom, Humanity's palm, and ye bear it not;
Beauty spreads banquet for all, but ye share it not;
Grimmer the blinding veil glooms, and ye tear it not!
Weaving your Life-flowers in Wrong's robe of glory,
Ye stint in your starkness with hearts smitten hoary;
O! down to the dust with ye, cowards and slaves!
Plague-stricken cumber-grounds, slink to your
        graves!

They have broken our hearts for their hunger, and
        trod
The wine-press for death, with the grapes of our God;
And ye lick their feet, red with your blood, like dumb
        cattle,
Ah! better and braver to meet them in battle.
The bow that Tell drew hath lost none of its spring,
But ye nerve not with daring the arrow and string;
Then, down to the dust with ye, cowards and slaves!
Plague-stricken cumber-grounds, slink to your graves!

Comes a curse on the Mammonites fiery and fell;
Gold turns their hard hearts into hearthstones for hell!
And there's wringing of hands with the knave and the
        tyrant,
For God's graven autograph's on their death-warrant.
And lordlier manhood 'neath Freedom's heart
        yearneth,
Up now! while before you the fire-pillar burneth,
Or down to the dust with ye, cowards and slaves!
Down, down, for ever, and slink to your graves!

 

________________

[Top of page]

THINGS WILL GO BETTER YET.


Its all a lie, their right divine,
    Their Law and Church, their Crown
        and Throne,
For them the many must not pine,
    With souls unfledg'd and minds
        ungrown!
Priestcraft may curse reproving,
    Red-handed kingcraft threat;
But now, thank God! we're moving,
    Things will go better yet.

Old Earth with cloud and thorn is rife,
    Man hath his miseries still, yet flowers
Make sunshine in the darkest life,
    And tint with heaven this world of
        ours. 
And there be hearts all loving,
    And love shall love beget;
For now, thank God! we're moving,
    Things will go better yet.

From out the brain 'twill wrench a tear,
    To count our martyrs by the way;
Yet, bear a hand my brother dear,
    A glorious remnant lives to-day.
The people leagued and loving,
    Shall break the tyrants' net;
And now, thank God! we are moving,
    Things will go better yet.

 

________________

[Top of page]

ONWARD AND SUNWARD.


Tell me the song of the beautiful stars,
    As grandly they glide on their blue way above
        us,
Looking, despite of our spirit's sin-scars,
    Down on us tenderly, yearning to love us?
This is the song in their work-worship sung,
Down thro' the world-jewelled universe rung;
"Onward for ever, for evermore onward,"
And ever they open their loving eyes sunward.

"Onward," shouts Earth, with her myriad voices,
    Of music, aye answering the song of the Seven,
As like a wing'd child of God's love, she rejoices.
    Or censer of glory! hangs swinging in heaven!
And behold, it is writ by the finger of God,
In sunbeams and flowers on the smiling sod;
Onward for ever, for evermore onward,
And ever she turneth all trustfully sunward.

The mightiest souls of all time hover o'er us,
    Who laboured like gods among men, and have
        gone:
Like great bursts of sun on the dark way before us,
    They're with us, still with us, our battle fight on!
Looking down, victor-brow'd, from the glory-
       crown'd hill,
They whisper and beckon us onward still;
And the true heart's aspirings are onward, still
        onward,
It turns to the Future as earth turneth sunward.

 

________________

[Top of page]

SONG OF THE RED REPUBLICAN.


Aye, Tyrants, build your Babels! forge your fetters! link your
    chains!
As brims your guilt-cup fuller, ours of grief ebbs to the
    drains;
Still, as on Christ's brow, crowns of thorn, for Freedom's martyrs
    twine,
Still batten on live hearts, and madden, o'er the hot blood-wine.
Murder men sleeping, or awake—torture them dumb with pain,
And tear with hands all bloody-red, Mind's jewels from the
    brain;
Your feet are on us, Tyrants—strike ! and hush earth's wail of
    sorrow,
Your sword of power so red to-day, shall kiss the dust to-
    morrow.
O but 'twill be a merry day, the world shall set apart,
When Strife's last brand is broken in the last crown'd pauper's
    heart!
And it shall come—despite of rifle, rope, and rack, and scaffold,
Once more we lift the earnest brow, and battle on unbaffled.

Our hopes ran mountains high, we sang at heart, wept tears of
    gladness,
When France, the bravely beautiful, dasht down her sceptred
    madness;
And Hungary her one-hearted race of mighty heroes hurled,
In the death-gap of the nations, as a bulwark for the world.
O Hungary! gallant Hungary! proud and glorious thou wert,
The World's soul feeding, like a river, gushing from God's
    heart;
And Rome, where freedom's young life ran, to make her breast
    beat higher.
How her eyes redden'd with the flash of her ancestral fire!
Mothers of children, who shall live the gods of future story,
Your blood shall blossom from the dust, and crown the world
    with glory.
We'll tread them down yet! curse and crown, czar, kaiser, king
    and slave,
And mind shall rule in lordly wise, the courts of fool and knave.

Wail for the hopes that have gone down ! the young life vainly
    spilt,
Th' Eternal Murder still sits crown'd, and thron'd in damning
    guilt;
Still in God's golden sun the tyrant's bloody banner burns,
And Priests, hell's midnight bravoes! desecrate Rome's patriot-
    urns!
See how the oppressors of the poor with serpents hunt our
    blood,
Hear, from the dark, the groan and curse go maddening up to
    God;
They kill and trample us poor worms till earth is dead men's
    dust,
Death's red tooth daily drains our hearts, but end, aye end it
    must.
The herald of our coming Christ leaps in the womb of time:
The poor's grand army treads the age's march with step
    sublime;
Ours is the mighty future! and what marvel, brother men,
If the devoured of ages, should turn devourers then?

O brothers of the bounding heart, I look thro' tears and smile,
Our land is rife with sound of fetters snapping 'neath the file;
I lay my hand on England's heart, and in each life-throb mark,
The pealing thought of freedom ring its tocsin in the dark.
I see the Toiler hath become a glorious Christ-like preacher,
And as he wins a crust, stands proudly forth, the great world-
    teacher;
Still he toils on, but tyrants, 'tis a mighty thing when slaves,
Who delve their lives into their work, know that they delve
    your graves.
Anarchs! your doom comes swiftly! brave and eagle-spirits
    climb,
Toring Oppression's death-knell from the old watch-towers of
    Time:
A spirit of Cromwellian might is stirring at this hour,
And thought burns eloquent in men's eyes, with more than
    speechful power.

Old England, cease the mummer's part, wake starveling, serf,
    and slave,
Rouse in the majesty of wrong, great kindred of the brave;
Speak, and the world shall answer, with her voices myriad-fold,
And men, like gods shall grapple with the giant wrongs of old;
Now mothers of the people, give your babes heroic milk;
Sires, soul your sons to daring deeds, no more soft word, of
    silk!
Great spirits of the mighty dead, take shape, and walk our
    mind,
Their glory smites our upward look, we seem no longer blind;
They tell us how they broke their bonds, and whisper "so may
    ye,"
One sharp, stern struggle, and the slaves of centuries are free:
The people's heart, with pulse like cannon, panteth for the fray,
And brothers, gallant brothers, we'll be with you in that day.


________________

END


From the Steam-press of W. HORSELL, 190, High Holborn.

 



[Home] [Up] [Biography] [Poetry] [Prose] [Reviews] [News Reports] [Miscellanea] [Main Index] [Site Search]

Correspondence should be sent to Webmaster@Gerald-Massey.org.uk