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A curse for A nation.

by Minnie Fry.

I heard an angel speak last night,
And he said: “Write,
Write a nation's curse for me,
And send it over the Western Sea.”

O Woman crowned with motherhood,
And sphered in song I How couldst thou send
That curse against a kindred blood
With Heaven's long garnered wrath to blend!
A mother's curse the strong man fears
Through all the glory of his years;

But we have cause for deeper dread,
When she who lifts denouncing hands
A priestess at Love's altar stands,
A priestess bound by holiest vows,
A woman's crown upon her head,
A poet's glory on her brows.

O woman poet! In the dust
We lay our pride — our hearts are sad--
We walked abroad among the glad
Free nations of the earth — more just,
More noble we than all beside--
Till suddenly our triumph died,
And a great awe stole o'er the land.
As one who sees his ship's command
Torn from him by the fateful winds,
As one whom sudden lightning blinds,
We gazed aghast at destiny,
And in our dread remembered thee.

O poet heart of love and light!
Thy curse is just and pure and right,
Approved even in Heaven's own sight.
We can but bear the chastening sign,
And drink the blood poured out for wine,
With patience, till the storm goes by--
And if we perish utterly
We perish. 'Tis no more than meed;
But if in our extremest need,
When sinking just beneath the wave,
We cry to Love, Love yet shall save,
And with soft fingers on shut eyes,
The darkness of the soul surprise,
As once of old in Galilee
He healed the blind and hushed the sea.

My Country! O my lovely Land,
Outspread 'neath heaven by Love's own hand!
How is it with thee? Wilt thou bear
Heaven's wrath till wrath has waked despair I
Too proud to listen love's own call,
Till even love triumph in thy fall--
While other lands redeemed shall rise,
With foreheads lifted to the skies,
With stainless hands and fearless mien,
All thou wert not yet mightst have been--
Whose sons shall speak beneath their breath
Of her who sold her life for death!

Forbid it, Heaven — forbid it, Love--
Forbid it, all ye powers above--
Forbid it, thou who spok'st that curse
Before a listening universe.
Our blessed Land shall rise again--
Let all the people say, Amen!

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