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 “Right of voice in framing laws,
Right of peers to try each cause;
Peasant homestead, mean and small,
Sacred as the monarch's hall,—
Whoso lays his hand on these,
England's ancient liberties;
Whoso breaks, by word or deed,
England's vow at Runnymede;
Be he Prince or belted knight,
Whatsoe'er his rank or might,
If the highest, then the worst,
Let him live and die accursed.
Thou, who to Thy Church hast given
Keys alike, of hell and heaven,
Make our word and witness sure,
Let the curse we speak endure! “
Silent, while that curse was said,
Every bare and listening head
Bowed in reverent awe, and then
All the people said, Amen!
Seven times the bells have tolled,
For the centuries gray and old,
Since that stoled and mitred band
Cursed the tyrants of their land.
Since the priesthood, like a tower,
Stood between the poor and power;
And the wronged and trodden down
Blessed the abbot's shaven crown.
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