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Ye brood of Conscience-Spectres! that frequent Horror of The bad man's restless walk, and haunt his bed— Crime and
Belief in ReFiends in your aspect, yet beneficent
tribution In act, as hovering Angels when they spread
must not be Their wings to guard the unconscious Innocent— weakened Slow be the Statutes of the land to share A laxity that could not but impair Your power to punish crime, and so prevent. And ye, Beliefs ! coiled serpent-like about The adage on all tongues, “ Murder will out," How shall your ancient warnings work for good In the full might they hitherto have shown, If for deliberate shedder of man's blood Survive not Judgment that requires his own?
Before the world had past her time of youth The Law of While polity and discipline were weak,
Banish the Fit retribution, by the moral code
main fear Determined, lies beyond the State's embrace, and Murder
Yet, as she may, for each peculiar case
She plants well-measured terrors in the road
Law is the THOUGH to give timely warning and deter
uttered Is one great aim of penalty, extend of the State Thy mental vision further and ascend
Far higher, else full surely shalt thou err.
Our bodily life, some plead, that life the shrine Man's Mercy Of an immortal spirit, is a gift
is not So sacred, so informed with light divine,
God's Mercy That no tribunal, though most wise to sift Deed and intent, should turn the Being adrift Into that world where penitential tear May not avail, nor prayer have for God's ear A voice that world whose veil no hand can lift For earthly sight. “Eternity and Time," They urge,
“ have interwoven claims and rights Not to be jeopardised through foulest crime: The sentence rule by mercy's heaven-born lights." Even 80; but measuring not by finite sense Infinite Power, perfect Intelligence.
Ah, think how one compelled for life to abide A thoughtful Locked in a dungeon needs must eat the heart Mercy preOut of his own humanity, and part
to life-long With every hope that mutual cares provide ; imprisonment And, should a less unnatural doom confide or transIn life-long exile on a savage coast,
portation Soon the relapsing penitent may boast Of yet more heinous guilt, with fiercer pride. Hence thoughtful Mercy, Mercy sage and pure, Sanctions the forfeiture that Law demands, Leaving the final issue in His hands Whose goodness knows no change, whose love is
sure, Who sees, foresees ; who cannot judge ami88, And wafts at will the contrite soul to bliss.
Better Death See the Condemned alone within his cell
to the And prostrate at some moment when remorse repentant Stings to the quick, and, with resistless force, than Life prolonged
Assaults the pride she strove in vain to quell. for new Then mark him, him who could so long rebel, Crime The crime confessed, a kneeling Penitent
Before the Altar, where the Sacrament
Keep the Yes, though He well may tremble at the sound penalty but Of his own voice, who from the judgment-seat
do away Sends the pale Convict to his last retreat
In death ; though Listeners shudder all around,
The formal World relaxes her cold chain Apology
Wisdom's heavenly Father. Hence hath