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Yet as of old, when, meekly ‘doing good,’
     He fed a blind and selfish multitude,
And even the poor companions of His lot
     With their dim earthly vision knew Him not,
How ill are His high teachings understood!
     Where He hath spoken Liberty, the priest
At His own altar binds the chain anew; [276]
     Where He hath bidden to Life's equal feast,
The starving many wait upon the few;
     Where He hath spoken Peace, His name hath been
The loudest war-cry of contending men;
     Priests, pale with vigils, in His name have blessed
The unsheathed sword, and laid the spear in rest,
     Wet the war-banner with their sacred wine,
And crossed its blazon with the holy sign;
     Yea, in His name who bade the erring live,
And daily taught His lesson, to forgive!
     Twisted the cord and edged the murderous steel;
And, with His words of mercy on their lips,
     Hung gloating o'er the pincer's burning grips,
And the grim horror of the straining wheel;
     Fed the slow flame which gnawed the victim's limb,
Who saw before his searing eyeballs swim
     The image of their Christ in cruel zeal,
Through the black torment-smoke, held mockingly
     to him!

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