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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,

Love must
The precept eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, not be
Came forth—a light, though but as of daybreak, strained to
Strong as could then be borne. A Master meek
Proscribed the spirit fostered by that role,
Patience his law, long-suffering his school,
And love the end, which all through peace niust

But lamentably do they err who strain
His mandates, given rash impulse to control
And keep vindictive thirstings from the soul,
So far that, if consistent in their scheme,
They must forbid the State to inflict a pain,
Making of social order a mere dream.

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
will be

She plants well-measured terrors in the road
Of wrongful acts. Downward it is and broad,
And, the main fear once doomed to banishment,
Far oftener then, bad ushering worse event,
Blood would be spilt that in his dark abode
Crime might lie better hid. And, should the

Take from the horror due to a foul deed,
Pursuit and evidence so far must fail,
And, guilt escaping, passion then might plead
In angry spirits for her old free range,
And the wild justice of revenge” prevail.

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.
What is a State ? The wise behold in her
A creature born of time, that keeps one eye
Fixed on the statutes of Eternity,
To which her judgments reverently defer.
Speaking through Law's dispassionate voice the

Endues her conscience with external life
And being, to preclude or quell the strife
Of individual will, to elevate
The grovelling mind, the erring to recall,
And fortify the moral sense of all.

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

fers Death

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
Softens his heart, till from his eyes

Tears of salvation. Welcome death! while Heaven
Does in this change exceedingly rejoice;
While yet the solemn heed the State hath given
Helps him to meet the last Tribunal's voice
In faith, which fresh offences, were he cast
On old temptations, might for ever blast.

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
with the
crime !

In death ; though Listeners shudder all around,
They know the dread requital's source profound;
Nor is, they feel, its wisdom obsolete
(Would that it were !) the sacrifice unmeet
For Christian Faith. But hopeful signs abound;
The social rights of man breathe purer

air r;
Religion deepens her preventive care ;
Then, moved by needless fear of past abuse,
Strike not from Law's firm hand that awful rod,
But leave it thence to drop for lack of use:
Oh, speed the blessed hour, Almighty God!

The formal World relaxes her cold chain Apology
For One who speaks in numbers ; ampler scope
His utterance finds ; and, conscious of the gain,
Imagination works with bolder hope
The cause of grateful reason to sustain ;
And, serving Truth, the heart more strongly beats
Against all barriers which his labour meets
In lofty place, or humble Life's domain.
Enough ;-before us lay a painful road,
And guidance have I sought in duteous love

Wisdom's heavenly Father. Hence hath

Patience, with trust that, whatsoe'er the way
Each takes in this high matter, all may move
Cheered with the prospect of a brighter day

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