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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 heart as I heard

my

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

Is it

tradesman's ware or his word?

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 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.

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.

12.

When a Mammonite mother kills her babe for a

burial fee,

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

bones,

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

and by sea,

War with a thousand battles, and shaking a hundred

thrones.

13.

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

by the hill,

And the rushing battle-bolt sang from the threedecker out of the foam,

That the smooth-faced snub-nosed rogue would leap

from his counter and till,

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

yard-wand, home.

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