Odes in Contribution to the Song of French History

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Archibald Constable and Company, 1898 - France - 92 pages
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Page 60 - Beast compact: Abhorred of all. Yet, how they sucked the teats Of Carnage, thirsty issue of their dam, Whose eagles, angrier than their oriflamme, Flushed the vext earth with blood, green earth forgets. The gay young generations mask her grief; Where bled her children hangs the loaded sheaf. Forgetful is green earth; the Gods alone Remember everlastingly: they strike Remorselessly, and ever like for like. By their great memories the Gods are known.
Page 56 - We hear an iron heel. n 0 she that made the brave appeal For manhood when our time was dark, And from our fetters drove the spark Which was as lightning to reveal New seasons, with the swifter play Of pulses, and benigner day; She that divinely shook the dead From living man; that stretched ahead Her resolute forefinger straight, And marched toward the gloomy gate Of earth's Untried, gave note, and in The good name of Humanity Called forth the daring vision!
Page 58 - Mother of Reason? she that sees them mown Like grass, her young ones! Yea, in the low groan And under the fixed thunder of this hour Which holds the animate world in one foul blot Tranced circumambient while relentless Power Beaks at her heart and claws her limbs down-thrown, She, with the plunging lightnings overshot, With madness for an armour against pain, With milkless breasts for little ones athirst, And round her all her noblest dying in vain, Mother of Reason is she, trebly cursed, To feel,...
Page 66 - The torture lurks in them, with them the blame Shall pass to leave thee purer than before. Undo thy jewels, thinking whence they came, For what, and of the abominable name Of her who in imperial beauty wore. O Mother of a fated fleeting host Conceived in the past days of sin, and born Heirs of disease and arrogance and scorn, Surrender, yield the weight of thy great ghost, Like wings on air, to what the heavens proclaim With trumpets from the multitudinous mounds Where peace has filled the hearing...
Page 57 - Fond Mother of her martial youth ; they pass, Are spectres in her sight, are mown as grass ! Mother of Honour, and dishonoured : Mother Of Glory, she condemned to crown with bays Her victor, and be fountain of his praise. Is there another curse ? There is another : Compassionate her madness : is...
Page 61 - The happiness of pitiable brutes. Whom the just Gods abandon have no light, No ruthless light of introspective eyes That in the midst of misery scrutinize The heart and its iniquities outright. They rest, they smile and rest ; have earned perchance Of ancient service quiet for a term ; Quiet of old men dropping to the worm ; And so goes out the soul. But not of France. She cries for grief, and to the Gods she cries, For fearfully their loosened hands chastize, And icily they watch the rod's caress...
Page 63 - On yon stout marching Schoolmen of the North. Inveterate of brain, well knows she why Strength failed her, faithful to himself the first: Her dream is done, and she can read the sky, And she can take into her heart the worst Calamity to drug the shameful thought Of days that made her as the man she served, A name of terror, but a thing unnerved : Buying the trickster, by the trickster bought, She for dominion, he to patch a throne.
Page 62 - Could France accept the fables of her priests, Who blest her banners in this game of beasts, And now bid hope that heaven will intercede To violate its laws in her sore need, She would find comfort in their opiates : Mother of Reason ! can she cheat the Fates ? Would she, the champion of the open mind, The...
Page 62 - Lo, Strength is of the plain root-Virtues born : Strength shall ye gain by service, prove in scorn, Train by endurance, by devotion shape. Strength is not won by miracle or rape. It is the offspring of the modest years, The gift of sire to son, thro' those firm laws Which we name Gods ; which are the righteous cause, The cause of man, and manhood's ministers.
Page 60 - Tis they that cast her to the dust for Strength, Their slave, to feed on her fair body's length, That once the sweetest and the proudest shone ; Scoring for hideous dismemberment Her limbs, as were the anguish-taking breath Gone out of her in the insufferable descent From her high chieftainship ; as were she death, Who hears a voice of justice, feels the knife Of torture, drinks all ignominy of life. They are with her, and the painful Gods might weep, If ever rain of tears came out of Heaven To flatter...

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