A Channel Passage and Other Poems

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. Excerpt from book: The Question •textit{THE QUESTION 1887 Shall England consummate the crime That binds the murderer's hand, and leaves No surety for the trust of thieves ? Time pleads against it—truth and time— And pity frowns and grieves. The hoary henchman of the gang Lifts hands that never dew nor rain May cleanse from Gordon's blood again, Appealing : pity's tenderest pang Thrills his pure heart with pain. Grand helmsman of the clamorous crew, The good grey recreant quakes and weeps To think that crime no longer creeps Safe toward its end : that murderers too May die when mercy sleeps. While all the lives were innocent That slaughter drank, and laughed with rage, Bland virtue sighed, " A former age Taught murder: souls long discontent Can aught save blood assuage ? " You blame not Russian hands that smite By fierce and secret ways the power That leaves not life one chainless hour ; Have these than they less natural right To claim life's natural dower ? " The dower that freedom brings the slave She weds, is vengeance : why should we, Whom equal laws acclaim as free, Think shame, if men too blindly brave Steal, murder, skulk, and flee ? " At kings they strike in Russia : there Men take their life in hand who sky Kings : these, that have not heart to lay Hand save, on girls whose ravaged hair Is made the patriot's prey, " These, whom the sight of old men slain Makes bold to bid their children die, Starved, if they hold not peace, nor lie, Claim loftier praise: could others deign To stand in shame so high ? textit{" Could others deign to dare such deeds As holiest Ireland hallows ? Nay, But justice then makes plain our way : Be laws burnt up like burning weeds That vex the face of day. " Shall bloodmongers be held of us Blood-guilty ? Hands reached out for go...
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