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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 3. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Anti-Slavery Poems (search)
1851. Official piety. Suggested by reading a state paper, wherein the higher law is invoked to sustain the lower one. A Pious magistrate! sound his praise throughout The wondering churches. Who shall henceforth doubt That the long-wished millennium draweth nigh? Sin in high places has become devout, Tithes mint, goes painful-faced, and prays its lie Straight up to Heaven, and calls it piety! The pirate, watching from his bloody deck The weltering galleon, heavy with the gold Of Acapulco, holding death in check While prayers are said, brows crossed, and beads are told; The robber, kneeling where the wayside cross On dark Abruzzo tells of life's dread loss From his own carbine, glancing still abroad For some new victim, offering thanks to God! Rome, listening at her altars to the cry Of midnight Murder, while her hounds of hell Scour France, from baptized cannon and holy bell And thousand-throated priesthood, loud and high, Pealing Te Deums to the shuddering sky, ‘ Thanks to