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[written for the Richmond Dispatch.]
nobody's hurt.
by H. Lassing Burrows.

Oh! where is the whir of the busy wheel,
And the sound and the hum of the spindle and reel,
And the bright red light
From the anvil bright,
As the broad-chested man slowly fashions his steel?
And why is all still like the black-curtained pier--
But why, oh! yes, why comes that voice on our ear,
"Nobody's hurt! Nobody's hurt?"
Oh! where is the peace of the cottage home.
Where comfort is sweeter than under the dome
of the merchant price,
With gay worldly Hats,
To whose portal grim poverty never dare come?
is that comfort all gone, and that peace all flown?
And yet does there come, like a deathly moan,
"Nobody's hurt! Nobody's hurt!"
See! the auctioneer's flag hangs upon the loved door,
And the merchants of gold roughly trample the floor,
And the relies of old
Are all handled and sold,
And their sacredness flies with themselves evermore;
While the half-stified sob and the heart-breaking sigh
Are checked by the unfeeling purchaser' s cry--
"Nobody's hurt! Nobody's hurt!"
And so, 'mid the crashes and wrecks of the time.
When men are dashed down from positions sublime,
When the poor man must die
With despair in his eye.
When men must have bread if they get it by crime;
When in death-waking days, oh! why is that howl,
Like the half-mattered rage of a grave-haunting ghoul,
"Nobody's hurt! Nobody's hurt?"
Oh! come, heartless man, tread the frequented street
Of the vicious, the poor, where the scum of earth meet;
In the garrets and holes,
There are hundreds of souls,
Whose footsteps are slow, but whose vengeance is fleet;
And there, 'mid these hovels of flash and of dirt,
By misery, by hunger, by grim death begirt--
"Somebody's hurt! Somebody's hurt."
And look in that coffin, upon that pinched face,
And in the chill'd lineaments endeavor to trace,
In days that are past,
Before poverty's blast,
The remnants of beauty, and sweetness and grace;
And gaze on that father, so haggard and thin,
And look in that heart, so withered within--
"Somebody's hurt! Somebody's hurt."
Then from the streets, from the vales, from the hills,
Then from the rivers, and streamlets, and rills,
From a nation of men,
Determined again
To rid their loved land from its burdensome ills,
A cry shall arise like a clarion clear,
Sounding loudly and shrill till it reaches his ear,
"Somebody's hurt!--vengeance is near!"

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H. Lassing Burrows (1)
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