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"To the rich thou art a check;
When his foot is on the neck
"Thou art justice: ne'er for gold
"Thou art wisdom: freemen never
"Thou art peace: never by thee
"What if English toil and blood Was poured forth even as a flood?
It availed, O Liberty,
To dim-but not extinguish thee.
"Thou art love: the rich have kissed
Thy feet, and, like him following Christ,
Given their substance to the free,
And through the rough world followed thee.
"Oh! turn their wealth to arms, and make
War, for thy beloved sake,
On wealth and war and fraud; whence they Drew the power which is their prey.
"Science, and poetry, and thought, Are thy lamps; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
Such they curse their Maker not.
"Spirit, patience, gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless,
Art thou. Let deeds, not words, express
Thine exceeding loveliness.
"Let a great assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of English ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.
"Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
Witness the solemnity.
"From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast;
From every hut, village, and town,
Where those who live and suffer moan
"From the workhouse and the prison
"From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares Which sow the human heart with tares;
"Lastly, from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around
"Those prison-halls of wealth and fashion,
"Ye who suffer woes untold
Or to feel or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold!
"Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with ne'er-said words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free!
"Be your strong and simple words Keen to wound as sharpened swords, And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.
"Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
"Let the charged artillery drive,
And the tramp of horses' heels.
"Let the fixèd bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
"Let the horsemen's scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
"Stand ye calm and resolute, Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms, and looks which are
Weapons of an unvanquished war.
"And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armed steeds,
Pass, a disregarded shade,
Through your phalanx undismayed.
"Let the laws of your own land,
"The old laws of England-they
Whose reverend heads with age are grey,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo-Liberty!
"On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue ;
"And, if then the tyrants dare,
"With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear and less surprise,
"Then they will return with shame,
"Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand--
"And the bold true warriors
Who have hugged danger in the wars
"And that slaughter to the nation
A volcano heard afar :
"And these words shall then become
"Rise, like lions after slumber,
Shake your chains to earth, like dew
WRITTEN DURING THE CASTLEREAGH ADMINISTRATION.
CORPSES are cold in the tomb;
Stones on the pavement are dumb;