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2.

For there in the ghastly pit long since a body was

found,

His who had given me life — O father! O God!

was it well ?

Mangled, and flatten'd, and crush'd, and dinted into

the ground:

There yet lies the rock that fell with him when he

fell.

3.

Did he fling himself down? who knows? for a great

speculation had faild,

And ever he mutter'd and madden'd, and ever

wann'd with despair,

And out he walk'd when the wind like a broken

worldling waild,

And the flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove

thro' the air

4.

I remember the time, for the roots of my hair were

stirr'd

By a shuffled step, by a dead weight trail'd, by a

whisper'd fright,

And my pulses closed their gates with a shock on

my heart as I heard

The shrill-edged shriek of a mother divide the

shuddering night.

5.

Villany somewhere! whose ? One says, we are

villains all.

Not he: his honest fame should at least by me be

maintain'd:

But that old man, now lord of the broad estate and

the Hall,

Dropt off gorged from a scheme that had left us

flaccid and drain'd.

6.

Why do they prate of the blessings of Peace ? we

have made them a curse,

Pickpockets, each hand lusting for all that is not its

own;

And lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain, is it better or

worse

Than the heart of the citizen. hissing in war on his

own hearthstone ?

7.

But these are the days of advance, the works of the

men of mind,

When who but a fool would have faith in a

tradesman's ware or his word ?

Is it peace or war? Civil war, as I think, and that

of a kind

The viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the

sword.

8.

Sooner or later I too may passively take the

print

Of the golden age — why not? I have neither hope

nor trust;

May make my heart as a millstone, set my face as

a flint,

Cheat and be cheated, and die: who knows? we are

ashes and dust.

9.

Peace sitting under her olive, and slurring the days

gone by,

When the poor are hovellid and hustled together,

each sex, like swine,

When only the ledger lives, and when only not all

men lie;

Peace in her vineyard - yes ! - but a company

forges the wine.

10.

And the vitriol madness flushes up in the ruffian's

head,

Till the filthy by-lane rings to the yell of the

trampled wife,

While chalk and alum and plaster are sold to

the poor for bread,

And the spirit of murder works in the very means

of life.

11.

And Sleep must lie down arm’d, for the villanous

centre-bits

Grind on the wakeful ear in the hush of the moonless

nights,

While another is cheating the sick of a few last

gasps, as he sits

To pestle a poison'd poison behind his crimson

lights.

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