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He knew the locust swarm that cursed
The harvest-fields of God.
On these pale lips, the smothered thought
Which England's millions feel,
A fierce and fearful splendor caught,
As from his forge the steel.
Strong-armed as Thor, a shower of fire
His smitten anvil flung;
God's curse, Earth's wrong, dumb Hunger's ire,
He gave them all a tongue!
Then let the poor man's horny hands
Bear up the mighty dead,
And labor's swart and stalwart bands
Behind as mourners tread.
Leave cant and craft their baptized bounds,
Leave rank its minster floor;
Give England's green and daisied grounds
The poet of the poor!
Lay down upon his Sheaf's green verge
That brave old heart of oak,
With fitting dirge from sounding forge,
And pall of furnace smoke!
Where whirls the stone its dizzy rounds,
And axe and sledge are swung,
And, timing to their stormy sounds,
His stormy lays are sung.
There let the peasant's step be heard,
The grinder chant his rhyme;
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