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Perchance, O kinder thought and better hope,
Some priest of Isis shrined this root with thee
As nature's hyeroglyphic, her half-guess.

Of glimmering faith, that soul will never die.
What emblem liker, or more eloquent
Of immortality, whether the Sphinx,
Scarab, or circled snake, or wide-winged orb,
The azure-colored arch, the sleepless eye,
The pyramid four-square, or flowing river,
Or all whatever else were symbols apt
In Egypt's alphabet,

as thou, dry root,

So full of living promise?—yes, I see

Nature's resurgam" sculptured there in words
That all of every clime may run and read:
I see the better hope of better times,
Hope against hope, wrapped in the dusky coats
Of a poor leek, I note glad tidings there
Of happier things: this undecaying corpse
A little longer, yet a little longer

Must slumber on, but shall awake at last;

A little longer, yet a little longer,

And at the trumpet's voice, shall this dry shape

Start up, instinct with life, the same though changed,
And put on incorruption's glorious garb:

Perchance for second death, perchance to shine,
If aught of Israel's God he knew and lov'd,

Brighter than seraphs, and beyond the sun.


WILL none befriend that poor dumb brute,

Will no man rescue him?

With weaker effort, gasping, mute,

He strains in every limb;

Spare him, O spare:- he feels,
he feels, he feels
Big tears roll from his eyes;

Another crushing blow! - he reels,

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Faint, hunger-sick, old, blind, and ill,

The poor, or man or beast, Can battle on with life uphill, And bear its griefs at least;

Truly, their cup of gall o'erflows!
But, when the spite of men
Adds poison to the draught of woes,

Who, who can drink it then?

Heard ye that shriek?-O wretch, forbear,

Fling down thy bloody knife:

In fear, if not in pity, spare

A woman, and a wife!

For thee she toils, unchiding, mild,

And for thy children wan,

Beaten, and starv'd, with famine wild,
To feast thee, selfish man:

Husband and father, drunkard, fiend'
Thy wife's, thy children's moan

Has won for innocence a friend,
Has reach'd thy Judge's throne:

Their lives thou madest sad; but worse
Thy deathless doom shall be;
"No MERCY," is the withering curse
Thy Judge has passed on thee:

Heap on, heap on, fresh torments add, New schemes of torture plan ·

NO MERCY: Mercy's self is glad

To damn the cruel man.

God! God! thy whole creation groans,
Thy fair world writhes in pain;
Shall the dread incense of its moans
Arise to Thee in vain?

The hollow eye of famine pleads,
The face with weeping pale,
The heart that all in secret bleeds,
The grief that tells no tale,

Oppression's victim, weak and mild,
Scarce shrinking from the blow,
And the poor wearied factory child,
Join in the dirge of woe.

cruel world! O sickening fear Of goad, or knife, or thong; O load of evils ill to bear!

- How long, good God, how long?


HARMLESS, happy little treasures,
Full of truth, and trust, and mirth,
Richest wealth, and purest pleasures,
In this mean and guilty earth.

How I love you, pretty creatures,
Lamb-like flock of little things,
Where the love that lights your features
From the heart in beauty springs :

On these laughing rosy faces
There are no deep lines of sin,
None of passion's dreary traces
That betray the wounds within;

But yours is the sunny dimple
Radiant with untutor'd smiles,
Yours the heart, sincere and simple,
Innocent of selfish wiles;

Yours the natural curling tresses,
Prattling tongues, and shyness coy,
Tottering steps, and kind caresses,

Pure with health, and warm with joy.

The dull slaves of gain, or passion,

Cannot love you as they should; The poor worldly fools of fashion Would not love you if they could.

Write them childless, those cold-hearted, Who can scorn Thy generous boon, And whose souls with fear have smarted, Lest-Thy blessings come too soon.

While he hath a child to love him,
No man can be poor indeed;
While he trusts a Friend above him,
None can sorrow, fear, or need.

But for thee, whose heart is lonely,
And unwarm'd by children's mirth,
Spite of riches, thou art only
Desolate and poor on earth.

All unkiss'd by innocent beauty,
All unlov'd by guileless heart,
All uncheer'd by sweetest duty,
Childless man, how poor thou art!

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