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 Bared to the waist, for the north wind's grip
And keener sting of the constable's whip,
The blood that followed each hissing blow
Froze as it sprinkled the winter snow.
Priest and ruler, boy and maid
Followed the dismal cavalcade;
And from door and window, open thrown,
Looked and wondered gaffer and crone.
‘God is our witness,’ the victims cried,
“We suffer for Him who for all men died;
The wrong ye do has been done before,
We bear the stripes that the Master bore!
And thou, O Richard Waldron, for whom
We hear the feet of a coming doom,
On thy cruel heart and thy hand of wrong
Vengeance is sure, though it tarry long.
In the light of the Lord, a flame we see
Climb and kindle a proud roof-tree;
And beneath it an old man lying dead,
With stains of blood on his hoary head. “
“Smite, Goodman Hate-Evil!—harder still!”
The magistrate cried, “lay on with a will!
Drive out of their bodies the Father of Lies,
Who through them preaches and prophesies!”
So into the forest they held their way,
By winding river and frost-rimmed bay,
Over wind-swept hills that felt the beat
Of the winter sea at their icy feet.
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