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Sooner or later I too may passively take the


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 swiné,

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



When a Mammonite mother kills her babe for a

burial fee,

And Timour-Mammon grins on a pile of children's


Is it peace or war ? better, war! loud war by land

and by sea,

War with a thousand battles, and shaking a hundred



For I trust if an enemy's fleet came yonder round

by the hill, And the rushing battle-bolt sang from the three

decker out of the foam,

That the smooth-faced snubnoscd rogue would leap

from his counter and till,

And strike, if he could, were it but with his cheating

yardwand, home.


What! am I raging alone as my father raged in his

mood ?

Must I too creep to the hollow and dash myself

down and die

Rather than hold by the law that I made, never

more to brood

On a horror of shatter'd limbs and a wretched

swindler's lie?


Would there be sorrow for me? there was love in

the passionate shriek,

Love for the silent thing that had made false haste

to the grave

Wrapt in a cloak, as I saw him, and thought he

would rise and speak

And rave at the lie and the liar, ah God, as he used

to rave.


I am sick of the Hall and the hill, I am sick of the

moor and the main.

Why should I stay? can a sweeter chance ever come

to me here?

O, having the nerves of motion as well as the nerves

of pain,

Were it not wise if I fled from the place and the pit

and the fear ?


Workmen up at the Hall!—they are coming back

from abroad;

The dark old place will be gilt by the touch of a

millionnaire :

I have heard, I know not whence, of the singular

beauty of Maud;

I play'd with the girl when a child; she promised

then to be fair.

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