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She thought of the dark plantation,
And the hares, and her husband's blood, And the voice of her indignation
Rose up to the throne of God.
“I am long past wailing and whining
I have wept too much in my life: I've had twenty years of pining
As an English labourer's wife.
A labourer in Christian England,
Where they cant of a Saviour's name, And yet waste men's lives like the vermin's
For a few more brace of game.
There's blood on your new foreign shrubs, squire,
There's blood on your pointers' feet ; There's blood on the game you sell, squire,
And there's blood on the game you eat.
You have sold the labouring-man, squire,
Body and soul to shame,
And to pay for the feed of your game.
You made him a poacher yourself, squire,
When you'd give neither work nor meat, And your barley-fed hares robbed the garden
At our starving children's feet;
When packed in one reeking chamber,
Man, maid, mother, and little ones lay ; While the rain pattered in on the rotting bride-bed,
And the walls let in the day ;
When we lay in the burning fever
On the mud of the cold clay floor,
At the cursed workhouse-door. ,
We quarrelled like brutes, and who wonders ?
What self-respect could we keep, Worse housed than your hacks and your pointers,
Worse fed than your hogs and your sheep ?
Our daughters with base-born babies
Have wandered away in their shame; If your misses had slept, squire, where they did,
Your misses might do the same.
Can your lady patch hearts that are breaking
With handfuls of coals and rice,
A little below cost price ?
You may tire of the jail and the workhouse,
And take to allotments and schools, But you've run up a debt that will never
Be repaid us by penny-club rules.
In the season of shame and sadness,
In the dark and dreary day,
Are eating your race away;
When to kennels and liveried varlets
You have cast your daughters' bread,
Your heir at your feet lies dead ;
When your youngest, the mealy-mouthed rector,
Lets your soul rot asleep to the grave,
She looked at the tuft of clover,
And wept till her heart grew light ;
Went wandering into the night.
But the merry brown hares came leaping
Over the uplands still,
On the side of the wbite chalk hill.
PEOPLE'S SONG, 1849.
Weep, weep, weep and weep, For pauper, dolt, and slave! Hark from wasted moor and fen, Feverous alley, workhouse den, Swells the wail of Saxon menWork ! or the grave!
Down, down, down and down With idler, knave, and tyrant ! Why for sluggards cark and moil ? He that will not live by toil Has no right on English soil! God's word our warrant !
III. Up, up, up and up! Face your game and play it ! The night is past, behold the sun ! The idols fall, the lie is doneThe Judge is set, the doom begun! Who shall stay it ?
THE DAY OF THE LORD.
The Day of the Lord is at hand, at hand !
Its storms roll up the sky:
All dreamers toss and sigh ;
And the Day of the Lord at hand.
Gather you, gather you, angels of God
Freedom, and Mercy, and Truth ; Come! for the Earth is grown coward and old
Come down and renew us her youth. Wisdom, Self-sacrifice, Daring, and Love, Haste to the battle-field, stoop from above,
. To the Day of the Lord at hand.
Gather you, gather you, hounds of hell
Famine, and Plague, and War; Idleness, Bigotry, Cant, and Misrule,
Gather, and fall in the snare ! Hirelings and Mammonites, Pedants and Knaves, Crawl to the battle-field-sneak to your graves,
In the Day of the Lord at hand.