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{The New Rome 1898}






“Quem Di diligunt, adolescens moritur!”


“Quem Di diligunt, adolescens moritur!” - “Whom the Gods love, dies young!”. The phrase is a translation into Latin made by Plautus in the Bacchides of a line by Menander, a fourth-century Greek dramatist.]







                   Lo! the pale Moon roaming
                   Thro’ the autumn gloaming,
     Walking yonder Heavens alone, as many a year ago!
                   Lo! the dark streets under,
                   Hush’d their voice of thunder,
     Silenced their mighty streams of life, and still’d their wails of woe!
                   Lo! Night’s benediction
                   Shed on all things sleeping,—
The round still Moon above,—beneath, the River silently creeping!

                   Do I dream, or waken? . . .
                   On mine eyelids shaken
     Falls the silver dew that shuts so many weary eyes;
                   Sleeping not, I wander
                   ’Neath the Moon, and ponder,
     A dream that wanders in a dream, a soul that sings and sighs—
                   Sorrow clingeth to me,—
                   Time hath overcome me,—
Sorrow and Time pursue in vain the friend who was taken from me!


* David Gray. See the Prologue to the author’s Undertones.


                   Pale with dead ambition                                                          12
                   Comes his Apparition!
     Light of life, my boyhood’s friend, so beautiful and fair!—
                   Here in the night he lingers,
                   Creeps close, with clay-cold fingers
     Touches my feverish aching brow, and softly smooths my hair:
                   My heart breaks within me,
                   My tears fall, and I name him—
The soul alive with love and light, till the darkness overcame him.

                   In the City that slew him
                   My spirit hungereth to him,
     Fain would clasp him close, but lo! he fadeth and is gone!
                   Lone and weary-hearted
                   I think of days departed,
     The shining hope, the golden lure, that led our footsteps on!
                   That led me even hither
                   To Night and isolation,
That crowns me with the weary crown of a sunless aspiration!

                   Is it gone for ever,
                   The bright young endeavour,
     Hope that sang among the stars, and Joy that drank the day?
                   Has the deeply cherish’d
                   Aspiration perish’d,
     And is the Dream we dream’d of old for ever fled away?
                   By the strife scarce ended,
                   By the battle bravèd,
Whisper a magic word to-night, from the grave where I left you, David!

                   Help me,—I am failing!                                                           13
                   So sad, so unavailing,
     Seem these weary waiting years, to your long years of rest!
                   Yours the sweeter sorrow,—
                   To strive not night or morrow,
     But tranquilly to sleep and dream, as on your mother’s breast!
                   Winter stealeth on me,
                   The snow-time cometh nigh me,—
Aye me! the Spring, when I was young, and sang, and my friend was by me!

                   When we trod together
                   Yonder land of heather,
     Poets gladden’d in the world, divinely dower’d and born—
                   Now, the few remaining,
                   Sad souls westward waning,
     Walk sighing and look backward to the darken’d gates of Morn!
                   Dead Gods sadly beckon,
                   Godlike Poets follow,—
The hooting of the owl is heard in the Temples of Apollo!

                   What, then, shall awaken
                   Souls of men forsaken
     By the Poets, by the Gods, by Hope and Faith and Song?
                   Teach me, ere I wander
                   Through the shadows yonder,
     One word of comfort and of joy, to make my spirit strong!
                   Ah, your voice is silent,
                   Like those greater voices,—
Gone is the glory of the Dawn, and the music that rejoices!

                   All I sang and sought for,                                                         14
                   Agonised and fought for,
     In my hand is faery gold, these wan and withered leaves
                   Wherefore still importune
                   Fame or fickle Fortune?
     Ah, wherefore chase the Naked Shape that beckons and deceives?
                   All I plead and pray for
                   Is one glimpse of Maytime,—
The light of Morning on the fields of the flower-time and the play-time!

                   How should Fame avail me,
                   If you and God should fail me,
     Light of life, my boyhood’s friend, who left me long ago?
                   Empty now, full measure,
                   O Fortune, all thy treasure—
     ’Tis but a heap of withered flowers, and never a seed to sow!
                   All I plead and pray for,
                   Be it night-time or day-time,
Is one red bud of living bloom from the rose-trees of the May-time!

                   Here, alone and weary,
                   I hear man’s miserere
     Sound from Temples where the Gods stand frozen into stone;
                   Loud the world complaineth,
                   But never a Bard remaineth
     To stand upon the mountain tops and trumpet mortals on!
                   ’Tis over, all is over!
                   The world lies bereaven
Of Time’s young dream, of Love’s bright lure, of the Hierarchies of Heaven!

                   Love me, David, love me!                                                       15
                   From thy place above me
     Send me strength to stand erect, in Life’s great Hippodrome!
                   The mob shrieks “Ad leones!
                   And on the Imperial throne is
     Christ with the crown of Antichrist, lord of another Rome:
                   His legions shriek around him,
                   His creatures deify him,
But naked in the ring I wait, while the harlot Fame sits by him.

                   “Loosen the wild beasts!” Hither
                   Springs Hate, and Falsehood with her,
     Fateful, cruel, leonine, they crouch and gaze at me!
                   How shall arms avail me
                   When all the horde assail me,
     And foulest, spotted like a snake, the leopard, Calumny!
                   Alone in the arena,
                   Strewn with dead and dying,
I look into their eyes and wait, while the horde is multiplying!

                   Love me, David, love me!
                   Stay and bend above me!
     Light of life, my boyhood’s friend, there’s still no love like thine!
                   See! I raise in token
                   This sword blood-red and broken,
     And point at yonder scarlet thing, the Fame we deemed divine:
                   The imperial Harlot rises,
                   Her cold dead eyes look thro’ me,
With shrill clear voice she crieth “On!” and pointeth the wild beasts to me!

                   ’Tis over!—all the splendid                                                      16
                   Dream of joy hath ended!
     Fame is Death, and Death is Fame,—and Death is victor here!
                   Once, in days departed,
                   Dying happy-hearted
     I could have borne the martyr’s doom,—but now I shrink in fear.
                   No Heaven opens o’er me,
                   I hear no heavenly voices!
Gone is the faith which fights or falls, when the heart of youth rejoices!

                   This we learn, who linger
                   Beneath Time’s wither’d finger,—
     In a little while we cease, and all our dream is o’er;
                   Youth’s fair morning vision
                   Of God and life Elysian
     Is but a foolish fantasy, a childish dream, no more;
                   This the wise have taught us
                   Every weary morrow:
That all the Glory and the Dream are the rainbows of our Sorrow!—

                   Better cease as you did!
                   Star-eyed, divinely-mooded,
     Hoping, dreaming, passioning, fronting the fiery East!
                   Better die in gladness,
                   Than watch in utter sadness
     The lights of Heaven put slowly out, like candles at a feast!
                   You emerge victorious,
                   We remain bereaven:
Better to die than live the heirs of an empty Earth and Heaven!

                   Stay! and whisper to me                                                          17
                   Comfort to renew me—
     Say the broken Gods survive, say the dead Bards live yet!
                   Tell me the Immortals,
                   Past the grave’s dark portals,
     Remember all the melodies that we on earth forget!
                   That, gathering grace together,
                   Gods and Poets wander
In shining raiment, side by side, thro’ a Land of Light up yonder!

                   Say, the upward-springing
                   Heirs of noble singing
     Fill the starry thrones and keep their heritage supreme—
                   Swiftly sunward flying
                   Byron still is crying,
     Wordsworth along the calm blue aisles walks in his gentle dream!
                   Shakespeare, grave and gracious,
                   Reads some scroll of wonder;
Keats watches Homer’s blind blue eyes, while the gods sweep past in thunder! . . .

                   Ah, the dream, the fancy!
                   No power, no necromancy,
     Peoples Heaven’s thrones again or stirs the poet-throng!
                     Nought can bring unto me
                   You who loved and knew me,
     The boy’s belief, the morning-red, the May-time and the Song—
                   Faintly up above me
                   Winter bells ring warning—
Aye me! the Spring, when we were young, at the golden gates of Morning!








(Kensington Gardens. Late evening.)



(Declaiming from a manuscript.)

“‘THE time is out of joint. O cursed spite
That ever I was born to set it right!’
Yet forth I’ll venture, leaping in the lists,
To join the knightly band of Satirists!
For since the hour—”



                                 Proceed! I’m listening!
     Prithee, remember I am always near
When Bards who ought to soar to Heaven and sing
     Elect to crawl upon the ground and sneer!



Satan again!



                     I see you recognise me!
     The real and only Devil, whose cause dejected
You champion’d ’gainst a world that vilifies me,*
     And so for Hell’s black laurel were selected!


* See “The Devil’s Case.” passim.

Yea, Satan! Not the gruesome Deil invented                                       22
Up north by Kings and ministers demented,
Not the Arch-Knave in bonnet and cock’s feather
Who scaled the Brocken peaks in windy weather,
Far less that fop of fashionable flummery
Beloved by Miss Corelli and Montgomery;—
Nay, the true ÆON, friend of things created,
Whom ’tis your glory to have vindicated!



What brings you hither?



                                     Partly to remind you
     Of sundry noble themes well worth your while,
My son, to sing of,—but alas, I find you,
Putting this joyful Jubilee behind you,
     A-swing on Twickenham’s too easy Style!
’Ware satire, friend! and most of all, I pray you,
     Shun jogtrot jingles of the pinchbeck Masters!



And if my Muse refuses to obey you?



     Be damn’d with Austin and the poetasters!
But come, your subject?



                                       ROME!—the new-created
     And dominant realm which now makes jubilation!
This Empire, which is Rome rejuvenated!



     Continue, if you please, your declamation!



“Yet since the hour when in the throat of Wrong
The Roman thrust his blunt-edged sword of song,
Since as a tigress suckling cubs unclean
The Imperial City fed its fiefs with sin,
Full circle round the Wheel of Time hath rolled,
And lo! another Rome, like Rome of old,
Heir of the ages, gathering hour by hour
The aftermath of human pride and power,
Pitiless as its prototype of yore,
Sweeps on with conquering sails from shore to shore!
As Rome was then, when all the gods were dead,
When Faith was gone, and even Hope had fled,
Yet when the Roman still in every land
Knelt and upraised to Heaven a blood-red hand,
So is our England now!—yea here as there,
Temples still rise and millions kneel in prayer—
Pale gods of Peace are carelessly adored,
While priests and augurs consecrate the Sword!
‘Honour the gods!’ the people cry who know
Those gods were dead and buried long ago;—
Atheists in thought and orthodox in deed
Men throng the forum and uphold the Creed,
For fashion still preserves what Truth hath slain,                                   24
Still simulacra of the gods remain,
And still ’tis decent, ’spite the scoffer’s sneer,
To keep the word of promise to the ear
And break it—to the Soul!”



                                           Bravo! a strain
Which makes the little hunchback squeak again!



                 You’re laughing!



                                           As you say!



     Doth not the parallel strike home?
Is not the Empire of to-day
     Another and a lewder Rome?
Is not this Realm, whose flag unfurl’d
     Flies now where’er the surges roar,
Even as that wonder of the world
     Sung by your Juvenal of yore?



My Juvenal?



                     At least you’ll grant
’Tis such a Bard the people want—
Fearless, free-spoken, sane, and strong,
To smite with stern and savage song
This monstrous Age of shams and lies?



Nay, on my soul! I recognise
The justice of your parallel,
As high as Heaven, as deep as Hell;
But not by hate and not by scorn,
Not by the arts of bards outworn,
I work! I conquer and confute
By Love and Pity absolute!
And he who earns my praise must find
     The Light beyond these clouds of Fate,—
By love, not hate, for Humankind,
Must he enfranchise and unbind
     The slaves whom God leaves desolate!






               For in his throat he lies,
     Who, taught by tyrants, sees in me
The Evil Spirit that denies,—
Nay, by my Christ’s poor blinded eyes,
     My task is to affirm and free!



Your Christ?



                     Yea, mine! I claim as kin
     All noble souls, however blind,
Who freely stake their lives to win
     Respite of sorrow for mankind!
’Tis true He failed, like all who fancy
     That tears can stay God’s chariot-wheels,
And seek with childish necromancy
     The Force which neither spares nor feels.
Peace to His dream! He loved men well,
     Despite that superstitious leaven,—
He help’d to calm the unrest of Hell,
     Although He failed to climb to Heaven!
Like Him I place beneath my ban,
     With sycophant and knave and priest,
Those bitter fools who find in Man
     Only the instincts of the Beast!
For now (as you yourself have sung)*
     In faith in Man lies Man’s last chance!
Only the over-old or over-young
     Look on Humanity askance!
But to your parallel again—
How do you prove and make it plain?



Look back across the rolling years,
Through Time’s dark mist of blood and tears,


* See infra, “The Last Faith.”


Across the graves of those who died                                                  27
Despite their Saviour crucified,
And mark the imperial City rise
The cynosure of all men’s eyes!
Domitian rules! Though men still see
The crimson light on Calvary,
From east to west, in every land,
     The Roman banners are unfurled,
And the strong Roman’s blood-red brand
     Reapeth the harvests of the world.
Shrieks of the slain beyond the foam
Gladden the crowds who rest at home—
The gilded throng at Cæsar’s heels,
The runners by his chariot-wheels,
The Priests and Augurs who intone
Praise of the gods around his throne.
A thousand starve, a few are fed,
     Legions of robbers rack the poor,
The rich man steals the widow’s bread,
     And Lazarus dies at Dives’ door;
The Lawyer and the Priest adjust
The claims of Luxury and Lust
To seize the earth and hold the soil,
     To store the grain they never reap,—
Under their heels the white slaves toil,
     While children wail and women weep!—
The gods are dead, but in their name
Humanity is sold to shame,
While (then as now!) the tinsel’d Priest
Sitteth with robbers at the feast,
Blesses the laden blood-stain’d board,
Weaves garlands round the butcher’s sword,
And poureth freely (now as then)                                                       28
The sacramental blood of Men!



Ah me!



             Pursue the parallel:
     Hear the New Woman rant and rage,
Unsex’d, unshamed, she fits full well
     The humours of a godless age,—
Too proud to suckle fools at home,
     From every woman’s function free,
Lo (now as then!) she leads in Rome
     The dance of Death and Vanity!
In manly guise she strives with men
In the Arena (now as then!)
Or by some painted Player’s side
Sits lissome-limb’d and wanton-eyed,
Forgetting for a Mummer’s nod
Her sex, her children, and her God!



Stop there! my poet must not flout at Woman!
     “Das Ewigweibliche” is still my care!
Thro’ her, so long the White Slave of the Human,
     I mean to baulk the blundering Force up there!
The reign of Fools and Dandies, Prigs and Clerics,
     Is o’er, with all its creeds of fiddle-faddle—
And lo, she leaves her vapours and hysterics,
     And on the merry Wheel she rides astraddle!
Unsex’d? Enfranchised, rather! Slave no longer,                                  29
Each hour she groweth saner, fairer, stronger,
Full-soul’d in health, redeem’d from superstition,
Yet mightier for her functions of fruition!



To breed and suckle fools and madmen? These
     Alone can live in the accurst time coming!
Lo!—all the gods men hail’d on bended knees
Are fallen and dead, and o’er the seven seas
     Only the little banjo-bards are strumming!
O Age of Wind and windy reputations,
     Of Windmill-newspapers that grind no grain!—
Where once the Poet sang to listening nations
     The leader-writer pipes his servile strain,
Praises the gods he knows are dead and cold,
     Hails the great Jingo-Christ’s triumphal car,
Nay, in that false Christ’s name, grown over-bold,
     Shrieks havoc, and lets loose the dogs of War!



Nay, pass the peddling knaves whose hands have hurled
Trash by the ton upon a foolish world,
Who print in brutal type the gigman’s creed
For the great mass of rogues who run and read!
Come to the Seers and Singers, on whose page
We read the glory of thy Mother-Age—
Off hat to those, the mighty men, whose names
The Empire honours and the world acclaims!



Find them!



                   I’ faith, I leave that task to you—
Whom do you honour? Surely one or two?



Not those at least whom Rumour’s brazen throat
     Trumpets as worthy of the crown and bays—
Dress-suited sages, gentlemen of note,
     Sure of the newsman’s nod, the gigman’s praise.
I turn from them, the sycophantic horde
Who tune their scrannel throats to praise the Lord,
And seek the heights whereon the Wise Men stand . . .
Lo!—the Philosopher!—with cheek on hand
And sad eyes fix’d on God’s deserted Throne,
He cries, “Rejoice, since nothing can be known!
I show, beyond my ever-lengthening track
Of synthesis, the eternal—Cul de Sac!
Lo, then, the Poet!—happy, and at home
In all the arts and crafts of learnéd Rome,
He sees the bloody pageant of despair,
All Nature moaning ’neath its load of care,
Takes off his hat, and with a bow polite
Chirps, “God is in his Heaven! The world’s all right!”
Add unto these the Sage who in the school
Of Timon madden’d and became God’s Fool,
And all the would-be Titans of the time
Who pant in cumbrous prose or rant in rhyme,—
Where shall one find, to slake his soul’s desire,
The piteous mood or cloud-compelling fire?



More satire, eh?—I’ faith, if you’d your will
The Gods of this our Rome would fare but ill—
You ask too much, my friend! . . . But hark, that cry!                           31
The hosts of Tommy Atkins passing by!
The Flag that for a thousand years has braved
     The battle and the breeze is floating there!
What Shakespeare glorified and Nelson saved
     Is worth, I think, some little praise and prayer!
Even I, the Devil, at that note
Seem the lump rising in my throat!                                                       [32:10]
’Tis something, after all, you must agree,
To mark the old Flag float from sea to sea!



Amen!—God bless the Flag, and God bless those
     Who bled that it might wave aloft this day,
The nameless fameless martyrs, who repose
     Unwept, unmourn’d, on shores afar away!—
Honour to those who died for this our Rome,
Honour to those who, while we crow at home,
     Preserve our freedom for a beggar’s pay!
“Let loose the dogs of War!” the gigman cries,
Feasting on gold while Tommy starves and dies;
“Glory to England and to us its brave!”
He shouts, while hirelings dig the soldier’s grave!
O shame! O mockery! for a little gold
The freedom which we vaunt is bought and sold,—
And when a foeman smites us in the face,
     “A blow!” we cry; “prepare the battle-field!”
Then bribe a starving wretch to take our place
     And draw the ancestral sword we fear to wield!



     You’re out of temper with the times
     And overstate your accusation,—                                                 32
’Tis not her follies or her crimes
     That keep this England still a Nation!
The gigman’s lust, the bagman’s greed,
The counter-jumper’s peddling creed,
Are foam and froth of the great wave
     Of Freedom rolling proudly on—
This England’s heart of hearts is brave
     And duteous as in ages gone!
The mercenary, who fulfils
The bloody deed another wills,
No alien is,—within his veins the bold
     And fearless blood of a great race is flowing—
The flower of Valour, though ’tis bought and sold,
     At least is home-bred and of English growing!
Enough of Rome! My Poet’s gentle eyes
     Are blinded with the City’s garish day—
Sleep in the Moonlight for a time! you’ll rise
     Renew’d and strong, and Care will wing away.
Yonder among the hills of thyme and heather
     I’m holding Jubilee myself full soon;
The Spirits of the Age will feast together
     And there’ll be merry doings ’neath the moon.
Join us! you’ll find the mountain air more pleasant
Than this foul City gas you breathe at present;
Since to your soul these voices sound abhorrent,
Exchange them for the voices of the Torrent;
With dewy starlight freshen up your fancy,
     Dip once again in Nature’s lonely fountains,
And when you’ve drunk your fill of necromancy,
     Flash back to Rome your message from the Mountains!


Alterations in the 1901 edition of The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan:
v. 32, l. 10: Feel the lump rising in my throat! ]




“Monstro, quod ipse tibi possis dare: semita certe
Tranquillæ per virtutem patet unica vitæ
Nullum numen habes, si sit prudentia: nos te,
Nos facimus, Fortuna, Deam, c
æloque locamus!”

                                                                           JUV., Sat. x.



[The quotation from the conclusion of Juvenal’s Tenth Satire in John Dryden’s 1693 translation:

“The path to peace is virtue: what I show,
Thyself may freely on thyself bestow:
Fortune was never worshipped by the wise,
But, set aloft by fools, usurps the skies.”

And an alternative translation of the last two lines by Lewis Evans in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations:

Nullum numen habes si sit prudentia, nos te,
Nos facimus, Fortuna, deam caeloque locamus.

If we have wise foresight, thou, Fortune, hast
no divinity. It is we that make thee a deity, and
place thy throne in heaven! ]






AWAKE, awake, ye Nations, now the Lord of Hosts goes by!
Sing ye his praise, O happy souls, who smile beneath the sky!
Join in the song, O martyr’d ones, where’er ye droop and die!
                   The Lord goes marching on!

’Mid tramp and clangour of the winds, and clash of clouds that meet,
He passeth on his way and treads the Lost beneath his feet;
His legions are the wingëd Storms that follow fast and fleet
                   Their Master marching on!

From battle-field to battle-field He wends in royal array,
Dead worlds are strewn like wither’d leaves on his triumphal way,
The new Suns blossom at his touch, the old spent Suns grow grey;
                   Their Lord goes marching on!

His eyes are blind with their own Light, He knows not where he goes,
The Day before, the Night behind, with all its wails and woes,
And ever more on foul and fair His glory overflows
                   As He goes marching on!

He is the Sea without a bound, for ever strong and free,                               36
Lord of the worlds that break like waves, and every wave is He,
He is the foam that flies and falls, and yet He is the Sea
                   For ever rolling on!

He could not if He would turn back and listen to thy prayer,
He could not if He would dispel the clouds of thy despair,—
Impotent in omnipotence He wends He knows not where,
                   For ever marching on!

He hath no time to pause a space and look upon thy Dead,
How should He heed the living dust He crushes ’neath his tread?
Blind, deaf, and dumb, He heareth not when prayer or curse is said,
                   But still goes marching on!

Awake, awake, ye Nations, now the Lord of Hosts goes by!
Sing ye His praise, O happy ones, who round his chariot fly,
Join in the song, if so ye list, ye Lost, who droop and die,—
                   The Lord goes marching on!



Out of the dust beneath His tread,
     Ashes and dust beneath His train,
Dust and earth of the living-dead,
     Rises this ant-heap of Rome again!
Tower and turret and palace-dome,                                                    37
     Mart and temple, arise once more . . .
Where is the glory that once was Rome?
     Where are the laurels its Cæsars wore?

Quickens the dust to a human cry,
     Ashes and dust take shape and form,
Once again as the Lord goes by
     Ashes are living and dust is warm,
Crowds to our insect cities come,
     Legions of ants increase their store . . .
Where is the glory that once was Rome?
     Where are the laurels its Cæsars wore?

Empire fair as any of old,
     Proud it stands in the rosy light!
For crumbs of bread and morsels of gold
     Its people struggle from morn to night,—
Seize their plunder and carry it home,
     Slay each other like folks of yore,—
So they slew in that other Rome
     Plucking the laurels the Cæsars wore!

A little while and a little life—
     A little life and an endless rest—
An endless rest to the fever’d strife
     Of atoms heedlessly ban’d or blest!
Others have made this clod their home,
     Lived and vanish’d through Death’s dark door . . .
Where is the glory that once was Rome?
     Where are the laurels the Cæsars wore?



“How long, my love,” she whisper’d,
     “How long shall it be,—
The light upon the mountain-tops,
     The sunlight on the sea?
For ever and for ever,
     Or only for a day?”
He drew her gently to him
     And kiss’d her tears away—
“Perchance, dear love, for ever,
     Perchance for a day!”

“How long, my love,” she whisper’d,
     “How long shall it be,—
The joy that thrills across the earth
     And mingles you and me?
For ever and for ever,
     Too sweet to pass away?”
He sigh’d, “If not for ever,
     At least for a day!
So heart to heart, my darling,
     If only for a day!”



               Stand up, Ephemeron!
This hour at least is thine, though it must fly!
So waste it not by gazing at the sky
               With eyes so woe-begone!

               Thou shalt be dust anon,                                                      39
Who now art rapture and a living thing!
Grasping what gifts the wingëd moments bring,
               Rejoice, Ephemeron!

               Increase, Ephemeron!
Thou hast a time to quicken in delight,
And after thee shall others no less bright
               Follow, when thou art gone!

               Be proud and buckle on
Thy pigmy armour and thine insect mail!
Strive with thy kind, and, though a thousand fail,
               Emerge, Ephemeron!



If I were a God like you, and you were a man like me,
If from a throne omnipotent I ruled all things that be,
Tidings of light and love I’d send as far as thought could fly,
And one great hymn of happiness should sound from sky to sky,—
And on your brow my gentle hand should shed the saving dew,
If you were a man like me, and I were a God like you!

If I were a God like you, and you were a man like me,
And in the dark you prayed and wept and I could hear and see,
The sorrow of your broken heart would darken all my day,                           40
And never peace or pride were mine, till it was smiled away,—
I’d clear my Heaven above your head till all was bright and blue,
If you were a man like me, and I were a God like you!

If I were a God like you, and you were a man like me,
Small need for those my might had made to bend the suppliant knee;
I’d light no lamp in yonder Heaven to fade and disappear,
I’d break no promise to the Soul, yet keep it to the ear!
High as my heart I’d lift my child till all his dreams came true,
If you were a man like me, and I were a God like you!



A voice was heard in the night, and it haunts the night for ever,
And these are the words of the Voice that God shall silence never:

“How often, God of the Glad, and God of the Lost, shall I name Thee,
Cursing Thee under breath, too weak to stay Thee or shame Thee!

“Blundering blindly on, with blood and tears for thy token,
Thou tramplest down the Weak, yea the Strong by Thee are broken!

“Yet still thy praise is heard, the perishing pray unto Thee,—                         41
And lo! I woke in the night, and smiled, for methought I knew Thee!

“I watch’d thy sacrifice flame up, and I did not falter,
Though the lamb and the little child were offered up on the Altar!

“I praised thy Day and thy Night, thy manifold works and wonders,
Thy purpose gladden’d my soul, O God of a million blunders!

“From failure on to failure I saw thy Light progressing,
I felt the lash of thy Law, yet knelt to entreat thy blessing.

“Thou hast not spared thy dearest, thy best beloved thou art slaying,
Thine ears are shut to the prayers of thy Saints, yet lo, I am praying!

“I fear Thee, God of the Night, for thy Silence hath overcome me,
I hear the wails of the souls thy Night hath taken from me.

“Darkness shrouds thy feet, and darkness thy Face is veiling—
Shepherd, ’tis dark all round, and Thou comest not to our wailing!”

This Voice was heard in the Night, and the Lord shall still it never,
For those are the words of the Voice that cries in the Night for ever!





NOT Baal, but Christus-Jingo! Heir
     Of him who once was crucified!
The red stigmata still are there,
     The crimson spear-wounds in the side;
But raised aloft as God and Lord,
He holds the Money-bag and Sword.

See, underneath the Crown of Thorn,
     The eye-balls fierce, the features grim!
And merrily from night to morn
     We chaunt his praise and worship him,
Great Christus-Jingo, at whose feet
Christian and Jew and Atheist meet!

A wondrous god! most fit for those
     Who cheat on ’Change, then creep to prayer;
Blood on his heavenly altar flows,
     Hell’s burning incense fills the air,
And Death attests in street and lane
The hideous glory of his reign.

O gentle Jew, from age to age
     Walking the waves thou could’st not tame,
This god hath ta’en thy heritage,
     And stolen thy sweet and stainless Name!
To him we crawl and bend the knee,
Naming thy Name, but scorning Thee!





               DARKEN the Temple from the light,
                   Shut out the sun and sky,—
               In Darkness deep as Death and Night,
                   Lead forth the Lamb to die!
We hold the golden knife aloft, and lo! we prophesy.

               Augurs and priests in crimson stoled,
                   We ring the Altar round:
               Above us, gaunt and grey and cold,
                   The Man-god hangs, thorn-crown’d,—
Ragged and wretched waits the crowd, watching, without a sound.

               With blood their hunger we appease
                   (Else all our task were vain);
               Trembling they watch on bended knees
                   The Man-god’s sculptured pain;
Then wait in wonder while we search the entrails of the Slain!



The New Rome continued

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The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law


The Critical Response
Harriett Jay


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