previous next


Who shall arrest this tendency? Bring back
     The cells of Venice and the bigot's rack?
Harden the softening human heart again
     To cold indifference to a brother's pain?
Ye most unhappy men! who, turned away
     From the mild sunshine of the Gospel day,
Grope in the shadows of Man's twilight time,
     What mean ye, that with ghoul-like zest ye brood, [278]
O'er those foul altars streaming with warm blood,
     Permitted in another age and clime?
Why cite that law with which the bigot Jew
     Rebuked the Pagan's mercy, when he knew
No evil in the Just One? Wherefore turn
     To the dark, cruel past? Can ye not learn
From the pure Teacher's life how mildly free
     Is the great Gospel of Humanity?
The Flamen's knife is bloodless, and no more
     Mexitli's altars soak with human gore,
No more the ghastly sacrifices smoke
     Through the green arches of the Druid's oak;
And ye of milder faith, with your high claim
     Of prophet-utterance in the Holiest name,
Will ye become the Druids of our time
     Set up your scaffold-altars in our land,
And, consecrators of Law's darkest crime,
     Urge to its loathsome work the hangman's hand?
Beware, lest human nature, roused at last,
     From its peeled shoulder your encumbrance cast,
And, sick to loathing of your cry for blood,
     Rank ye with those who led their victims round
The Celt's red altar and the Indian's mound,
     Abhorred of Earth and Heaven, a pagan brotherhood!


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Venice (Italy) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Josiah Spry Law (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1842 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: