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And the bed from under you.” ‘Even so,’
She said; ‘they are cruel as death, I know.’
Then on they passed, in the waning day,
Through Seabrook woods, a weariful way;
By great salt meadows and sand-hills bare,
And glimpses of blue sea here and there.
By the meeting-house in Salisbury town,
The sufferers stood, in the red sundown,
Bare for the lash! O pitying Night,
Drop swift thy curtain and hide the sight!
With shame in his eye and wrath on his lip
The Salisbury constable dropped his whip.
‘This warrant means murder foul and red;
Cursed is he who serves it,’ he said.
‘Show me the order, and meanwhile strike
A blow at your peril!’ said Justice Pike.
Of all the rulers the land possessed,
Wisest and boldest was he and best.
He scoffed at witchcraft; the priest he met
As man meets man; his feet he set
Beyond his dark age, standing upright,
Soul-free, with his face to the morning light.
He read the warrant: “These convey
From our precincts; at every town on the way
Give each ten lashes.” “God judge the brute!
I tread his order under my foot!
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