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For there in the ghastly pit long since a body was


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



Did he fling himself down? who knows? for a

vast speculation had fail'd,

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

wann'd with despair,

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

worldling wail'd, And the flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove

thro' the air.


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


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.


Villainy somewhere ! whose ? One says, we are

villains all.

Not he : his honest fame should at least by me

be maintained :

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.


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 ?


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

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The viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the



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.


Peace sitting under her olive, and slurring the

days gone by,

When the poor are hovell’d 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.


And the vitriol madness flushes up in the ruffian's


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

trampled wife, And chalk and alum and plaster are sold to the

poor for bread,

And the spirit of murder works in the very

means of life,


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


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


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