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Best Famous Reform Poems

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Written by William Cullen Bryant | Create an image from this poem

Hymn To Death

 Oh! could I hope the wise and pure in heart
Might hear my song without a frown, nor deem
My voice unworthy of the theme it tries,--
I would take up the hymn to Death, and say
To the grim power, The world hath slandered thee
And mocked thee.
On thy dim and shadowy brow They place an iron crown, and call thee king Of terrors, and the spoiler of the world, Deadly assassin, that strik'st down the fair, The loved, the good--that breath'st upon the lights Of virtue set along the vale of life, And they go out in darkness.
I am come, Not with reproaches, not with cries and prayers, Such as have stormed thy stern insensible ear From the beginning.
I am come to speak Thy praises.
True it is, that I have wept Thy conquests, and may weep them yet again: And thou from some I love wilt take a life Dear to me as my own.
Yet while the spell Is on my spirit, and I talk with thee In sight of all thy trophies, face to face, Meet is it that my voice should utter forth Thy nobler triumphs: I will teach the world To thank thee.
--Who are thine accusers?--Who? The living!--they who never felt thy power, And know thee not.
The curses of the wretch Whose crimes are ripe, his sufferings when thy hand Is on him, and the hour he dreads is come, Are writ among thy praises.
But the good-- Does he whom thy kind hand dismissed to peace, Upbraid the gentle violence that took off His fetters, and unbarred his prison cell? Raise then the Hymn to Death.
Deliverer! God hath anointed thee to free the oppressed And crush the oppressor.
When the armed chief, The conqueror of nations, walks the world, And it is changed beneath his feet, and all Its kingdoms melt into one mighty realm-- Thou, while his head is loftiest, and his heart Blasphemes, imagining his own right hand Almighty, sett'st upon him thy stern grasp, And the strong links of that tremendous chain That bound mankind are crumbled; thou dost break Sceptre and crown, and beat his throne to dust.
Then the earth shouts with gladness, and her tribes Gather within their ancient bounds again.
Else had the mighty of the olden time, Nimrod, Sesostris, or the youth who feigned His birth from Lybian Ammon, smote even now The nations with a rod of iron, and driven Their chariot o'er our necks.
Thou dost avenge, In thy good time, the wrongs of those who know No other friend.
Nor dost thou interpose Only to lay the sufferer asleep, Where he who made him wretched troubles not His rest--thou dost strike down his tyrant too.
Oh, there is joy when hands that held the scourge Drop lifeless, and the pitiless heart is cold.
Thou too dost purge from earth its horrible And old idolatries; from the proud fanes Each to his grave their priests go out, till none Is left to teach their worship; then the fires Of sacrifice are chilled, and the green moss O'ercreeps their altars; the fallen images Cumber the weedy courts, and for loud hymns, Chanted by kneeling crowds, the chiding winds Shriek in the solitary aisles.
When he Who gives his life to guilt, and laughs at all The laws that God or man has made, and round Hedges his seat with power, and shines in wealth,-- Lifts up his atheist front to scoff at Heaven, And celebrates his shame in open day, Thou, in the pride of all his crimes, cutt'st off The horrible example.
Touched by thine, The extortioner's hard hand foregoes the gold Wrong from the o'er-worn poor.
The perjurer, Whose tongue was lithe, e'en now, and voluble Against his neighbour's life, and he who laughed And leaped for joy to see a spotless fame Blasted before his own foul calumnies, Are smit with deadly silence.
He, who sold His conscience to preserve a worthless life, Even while he hugs himself on his escape, Trembles, as, doubly terrible, at length, Thy steps o'ertake him, and there is no time For parley--nor will bribes unclench thy grasp.
Oft, too, dost thou reform thy victim, long Ere his last hour.
And when the reveller, Mad in the chase of pleasure, stretches on, And strains each nerve, and clears the path of life Like wind, thou point'st him to the dreadful goal, And shak'st thy hour-glass in his reeling eye, And check'st him in mid course.
Thy skeleton hand Shows to the faint of spirit the right path, And he is warned, and fears to step aside.
Thou sett'st between the ruffian and his crime Thy ghastly countenance, and his slack hand Drops the drawn knife.
But, oh, most fearfully Dost thou show forth Heaven's justice, when thy shafts Drink up the ebbing spirit--then the hard Of heart and violent of hand restores The treasure to the friendless wretch he wronged.
Then from the writhing bosom thou dost pluck The guilty secret; lips, for ages sealed, Are faithless to the dreadful trust at length, And give it up; the felon's latest breath Absolves the innocent man who bears his crime; The slanderer, horror smitten, and in tears, Recalls the deadly obloquy he forged To work his brother's ruin.
Thou dost make Thy penitent victim utter to the air The dark conspiracy that strikes at life, And aims to whelm the laws; ere yet the hour Is come, and the dread sign of murder given.
Thus, from the first of time, hast thou been found On virtue's side; the wicked, but for thee, Had been too strong for the good; the great of earth Had crushed the weak for ever.
Schooled in guile For ages, while each passing year had brought Its baneful lesson, they had filled the world With their abominations; while its tribes, Trodden to earth, imbruted, and despoiled, Had knelt to them in worship; sacrifice Had smoked on many an altar, temple roofs Had echoed with the blasphemous prayer and hymn: But thou, the great reformer of the world, Tak'st off the sons of violence and fraud In their green pupilage, their lore half learned-- Ere guilt has quite o'errun the simple heart God gave them at their birth, and blotted out His image.
Thou dost mark them, flushed with hope, As on the threshold of their vast designs Doubtful and loose they stand, and strik'st them down.
Alas, I little thought that the stern power Whose fearful praise I sung, would try me thus Before the strain was ended.
It must cease-- For he is in his grave who taught my youth The art of verse, and in the bud of life Offered me to the muses.
Oh, cut off Untimely! when thy reason in its strength, Ripened by years of toil and studious search And watch of Nature's silent lessons, taught Thy hand to practise best the lenient art To which thou gavest thy laborious days.
And, last, thy life.
And, therefore, when the earth Received thee, tears were in unyielding eyes And on hard cheeks, and they who deemed thy skill Delayed their death-hour, shuddered and turned pale When thou wert gone.
This faltering verse, which thou Shalt not, as wont, o'erlook, is all I have To offer at thy grave--this--and the hope To copy thy example, and to leave A name of which the wretched shall not think As of an enemy's, whom they forgive As all forgive the dead.
Rest, therefore, thou Whose early guidance trained my infant steps-- Rest, in the bosom of God, till the brief sleep Of death is over, and a happier life Shall dawn to waken thine insensible dust.
Now thou art not--and yet the men whose guilt Has wearied Heaven for vengeance--he who bears False witness--he who takes the orphan's bread, And robs the widow--he who spreads abroad Polluted hands in mockery of prayer, Are left to cumber earth.
Shuddering I look On what is written, yet I blot not out The desultory numbers--let them stand.
The record of an idle revery.

Written by James Joyce | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad of Persse OReilly

 Have you heard of one Humpty Dumpty
How he fell with a roll and a rumble
And curled up like Lord Olofa Crumple
By the butt of the Magazine Wall,
 (Chorus) Of the Magazine Wall,
 Hump, helmet and all?

He was one time our King of the Castle
Now he's kicked about like a rotten old parsnip.
And from Green street he'll be sent by order of His Worship To the penal jail of Mountjoy (Chorus) To the jail of Mountjoy! Jail him and joy.
He was fafafather of all schemes for to bother us Slow coaches and immaculate contraceptives for the populace, Mare's milk for the sick, seven dry Sundays a week, Openair love and religion's reform, (Chorus) And religious reform, Hideous in form.
Arrah, why, says you, couldn't he manage it? I'll go bail, my fine dairyman darling, Like the bumping bull of the Cassidys All your butter is in your horns.
(Chorus) His butter is in his horns.
Butter his horns! (Repeat) Hurrah there, Hosty, frosty Hosty, change that shirt on ye, Rhyme the rann, the king of all ranns! Balbaccio, balbuccio! We had chaw chaw chops, chairs, chewing gum, the chicken-pox and china chambers Universally provided by this soffsoaping salesman.
Small wonder He'll Cheat E'erawan our local lads nicknamed him.
When Chimpden first took the floor (Chorus) With his bucketshop store Down Bargainweg, Lower.
So snug he was in his hotel premises sumptuous But soon we'll bonfire all his trash, tricks and trumpery And 'tis short till sheriff Clancy'll be winding up his unlimited company With the bailiff's bom at the door, (Chorus) Bimbam at the door.
Then he'll bum no more.
Sweet bad luck on the waves washed to our island The hooker of that hammerfast viking And Gall's curse on the day when Eblana bay Saw his black and tan man-o'-war.
(Chorus) Saw his man-o'-war On the harbour bar.
Where from? roars Poolbeg.
Cookingha'pence, he bawls Donnez-moi scampitle, wick an wipin'fampiny Fingal Mac Oscar Onesine Bargearse Boniface Thok's min gammelhole Norveegickers moniker Og as ay are at gammelhore Norveegickers cod.
(Chorus) A Norwegian camel old cod.
He is, begod.
Lift it, Hosty, lift it, ye devil, ye! up with the rann, the rhyming rann! It was during some fresh water garden pumping Or, according to the Nursing Mirror, while admiring the monkeys That our heavyweight heathen Humpharey Made bold a maid to woo (Chorus) Woohoo, what'll she doo! The general lost her maidenloo! He ought to blush for himself, the old hayheaded philosopher, For to go and shove himself that way on top of her.
Begob, he's the crux of the catalogue Of our antediluvial zoo, (Chorus) Messrs Billing and Coo.
Noah's larks, good as noo.
He was joulting by Wellinton's monument Our rotorious hippopopotamuns When some bugger let down the backtrap of the omnibus And he caught his death of fusiliers, (Chorus) With his rent in his rears.
Give him six years.
'Tis sore pity for his innocent poor children But look out for his missus legitimate! When that frew gets a grip of old Earwicker Won't there be earwigs on the green? (Chorus) Big earwigs on the green, The largest ever you seen.
Suffoclose! Shikespower! Seudodanto! Anonymoses! Then we'll have a free trade Gael's band and mass meeting For to sod him the brave son of Scandiknavery.
And we'll bury him down in Oxmanstown Along with the devil and the Danes, (Chorus) With the deaf and dumb Danes, And all their remains.
And not all the king's men nor his horses Will resurrect his corpus For there's no true spell in Connacht or hell (bis) That's able to raise a Cain.
Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

The World

Love built a stately house, where Fortune came,
And spinning fancies, she was heard to say
That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,
Whereas they were supported by the same;
But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.
The Pleasure came, who, liking not the fashion, Began to make balconies, terraces, Till she had weakened all by alteration; But reverend laws, and many a proclomation Reform?d all at length with menaces.
Then entered Sin, and with that sycamore Whose leaves first sheltered man from drought and dew, Working and winding slily evermore, The inward walls and summers cleft and tore; But Grace shored these, and cut that as it grew.
Then Sin combined with death in a firm band, To raze the building to the very floor; Which they effected,--none could them withstand; But Love and Grace took Glory by the hand, And built a braver palace than before.
Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | Create an image from this poem

To Walt Whitman In America

 Send but a song oversea for us,
Heart of their hearts who are free,
Heart of their singer, to be for us
More than our singing can be;
Ours, in the tempest at error,
With no light but the twilight of terror;
Send us a song oversea!

Sweet-smelling of pine-leaves and grasses,
And blown as a tree through and through
With the winds of the keen mountain-passes,
And tender as sun-smitten dew;
Sharp-tongued as the winter that shakes
The wastes of your limitless lakes,
Wide-eyed as the sea-line's blue.
O strong-winged soul with prophetic Lips hot with the bloodheats of song, With tremor of heartstrings magnetic, With thoughts as thunders in throng, With consonant ardours of chords That pierce men's souls as with swords And hale them hearing along, Make us too music, to be with us As a word from a world's heart warm, To sail the dark as a sea with us, Full-sailed, outsinging the storm, A song to put fire in our ears Whose burning shall burn up tears, Whose sign bid battle reform; A note in the ranks of a clarion, A word in the wind of cheer, To consume as with lightning the carrion That makes time foul for us here; In the air that our dead things infest A blast of the breath of the west, Till east way as west way is clear.
Out of the sun beyond sunset, From the evening whence morning shall be, With the rollers in measureless onset, With the van of the storming sea, With the world-wide wind, with the breath That breaks ships driven upon death, With the passion of all things free, With the sea-steeds footless and frantic, White myriads for death to bestride In the charge of the ruining Atlantic Where deaths by regiments ride, With clouds and clamours of waters, With a long note shriller than slaughter's On the furrowless fields world-wide, With terror, with ardour and wonder, With the soul of the season that wakes When the weight of a whole year's thunder In the tidestream of autumn breaks, Let the flight of the wide-winged word Come over, come in and be heard, Take form and fire for our sakes.
For a continent bloodless with travail Here toils and brawls as it can, And the web of it who shall unravel Of all that peer on the plan; Would fain grow men, but they grow not, And fain be free, but they know not One name for freedom and man? One name, not twain for division; One thing, not twain, from the birth; Spirit and substance and vision, Worth more than worship is worth; Unbeheld, unadored, undivined, The cause, the centre, the mind, The secret and sense of the earth.
Here as a weakling in irons, Here as a weanling in bands, As a prey that the stake-net environs, Our life that we looked for stands; And the man-child naked and dear, Democracy, turns on us here Eyes trembling with tremulous hands It sees not what season shall bring to it Sweet fruit of its bitter desire; Few voices it hears yet sing to it, Few pulses of hearts reaspire; Foresees not time, nor forehears The noises of imminent years, Earthquake, and thunder, and fire: When crowned and weaponed and curbless It shall walk without helm or shield The bare burnt furrows and herbless Of war's last flame-stricken field, Till godlike, equal with time, It stand in the sun sublime, In the godhead of man revealed.
Round your people and over them Light like raiment is drawn, Close as a garment to cover them Wrought not of mail nor of lawn; Here, with hope hardly to wear, Naked nations and bare Swim, sink, strike out for the dawn.
Chains are here, and a prison, Kings, and subjects, and shame; If the God upon you be arisen, How should our songs be the same? How, in confusion of change, How shall we sing, in a strange Land, songs praising his name? God is buried and dead to us, Even the spirit of earth, Freedom; so have they said to us, Some with mocking and mirth, Some with heartbreak and tears; And a God without eyes, without ears, Who shall sing of him, dead in the birth? The earth-god Freedom, the lonely Face lightening, the footprint unshod, Not as one man crucified only Nor scourged with but one life's rod; The soul that is substance of nations, Reincarnate with fresh generations; The great god Man, which is God.
But in weariest of years and obscurest Doth it live not at heart of all things, The one God and one spirit, a purest Life, fed from unstanchable springs? Within love, within hatred it is, And its seed in the stripe as the kiss, And in slaves is the germ, and in kings.
Freedom we call it, for holier Name of the soul's there is none; Surelier it labours if slowlier, Than the metres of star or of sun; Slowlier than life into breath, Surelier than time into death, It moves till its labour be done.
Till the motion be done and the measure Circling through season and clime, Slumber and sorrow and pleasure, Vision of virtue and crime; Till consummate with conquering eyes, A soul disembodied, it rise From the body transfigured of time.
Till it rise and remain and take station With the stars of the worlds that rejoice; Till the voice of its heart's exultation Be as theirs an invariable voice; By no discord of evil estranged, By no pause, by no breach in it changed, By no clash in the chord of its choice.
It is one with the world's generations, With the spirit, the star, and the sod; With the kingless and king-stricken nations, With the cross, and the chain, and the rod; The most high, the most secret, most lonely, The earth-soul Freedom, that only Lives, and that only is God.
Written by Rudyard Kipling | Create an image from this poem

The Song of the Old Guard

 Army Reform-.
After Boer war "The Army of a Dream"-Traffics and Discoveries.
Know this, my brethren, Heaven is clear And all the clouds are gone-- The Proper Sort shall flourish now, Good times are coming on"-- The evil that was threatened late To all of our degree Hath passed in discord and debate, And,Hey then up go we! A common people strove in vain To shame us unto toil, But they are spent and we remain, And we shall share the spoil According to our several needs As Beauty shall decree, As Age ordains or Birth concedes, And, Hey then up go we! And they that with accursed zeal Our Service would amend, Shall own the odds and come to heel Ere worse befall their end: For though no naked word be wrote Yet plainly shall they see What pinneth Orders on their coat, And, Hey then up go we! Our doorways that, in time of fear, We opened overwide Shall softly close from year to year Till all be purified; For though no fluttering fan be heard .
Nor chaff be seen to flee-- The Lord shall winnow the Lord's Preferred-- And, Hey then up go we! Our altars which the heathen brake Shall rankly smoke anew, And anise, mint and cummin take Their dread and sovereign due, Whereby the buttons of our trade Shall soon restored be With curious work in gilt and braid, And, Hey then up go we! Then come, my brethren, and prepare The candlesticks and bells, The scarlet, brass, and badger's hair Wherein our Honour dwells, And straitly fence and strictly keep The Ark's integrity Till Armageddon break our sleep .
And, Hey then go we!

Written by George Herbert | Create an image from this poem

Sighs And Groans

 O do not use me 

After my sins! look not on my dessert, 

But on your glory! Then you will reform 

And not refuse me: for you only art 

The mighty God, but I a silly worm; 

O do not bruise me! 

O do not urge me! 

For what account can your ill steward make? 

I have abused your stock, destroyed your woods, 

Sucked all your storehouses: my head did ache, 

Till it found out how to consume your goods: 

O do not scourge me! 

O do not blind me! 

I have deserved that an Egyptian night 

Should thicken all my powers; because my lust 

Has still sewed fig-leaves to exclude your light: 

But I am frailty, and already dust; 

O do not grind me! 

O do not fill me 

With the turned vial of your bitter wrath! 

For you have other vessels full of blood, 

A part whereof my Savior emptied hath, 

Even unto death: since he died for my good, 

O do not kill me! 

But O reprieve me! 

For you have life and death at your command; 

You are both Judge and Savior, feast and rod, 

Cordial and Corrosive: put not your hand 

Into the bitter box; but O my God, 

My God, relieve me!
Written by Henry Lawson | Create an image from this poem


 Roll up, Eureka's heroes, on that grand Old Rush afar,
For Lalor's gone to join you in the big camp where you are;
Roll up and give him welcome such as only diggers can,
For well he battled for the rights of miner and of Man.
In that bright golden country that lies beyond our sight, The record of his honest life shall be his Miner's Right; But many a bearded mouth shall twitch, and many a tear be shed, And many a grey old digger sigh to hear that Lalor's dead.
Yet wipe your eyes, old fossickers, o'er worked-out fields that roam, You need not weep at parting from a digger going home.
Now from the strange wild seasons past, the days of golden strife, Now from the Roaring Fifties comes a scene from Lalor's life: All gleaming white amid the shafts o'er gully, hill and flat Again I see the tents that form the camp at Ballarat.
I hear the shovels and the picks, and all the air is rife With the rattle of the cradles and the sounds of digger-life; The clatter of the windlass-boles, as spinning round they go, And then the signal to his mate, the digger's cry, "Below!" From many a busy pointing-forge the sound of labour swells, The tinkling of the anvils is as clear as silver bells.
I hear the broken English from the mouth of many a one From every state and nation that is known beneath the sun; The homely tongue of Scotland and the brogue of Ireland blend With the dialects of England, right from Berwick to Lands End; And to the busy concourse here the States have sent a part, The land of gulches that has been immortalised by Harte; The land where long from mining-camps the blue smoke upward curled; The land that gave the "Partner" true and "Mliss" unto the world; The men from all the nations in the New World and the Old, All side by side, like brethren here, are delving after gold.
But suddenly the warning cries are heard on every side As closing in around the field, a ring of troopers ride, Unlicensed diggers are the game--their class and want are sins, And so with all its shameful scenes, the digger hunt begins.
The men are seized who are too poor the heavy tax to pay, Chained man to man as convicts were, and dragged in gangs away.
Though in the eyes of many a man the menace scarce was hid, The diggers' blood was slow to boil, but scalded when it did.
But now another match is lit that soon must fire the charge "Roll up! Roll up!" the poignant cry awakes the evening air, And angry faces surge like waves around the speakers there.
"What are our sins that we should be an outlawed class?" they say, "Shall we stand by while mates are seized and dragged like lags away? Shall insult be on insult heaped? Shall we let these things go?" And with a roar of voices comes the diggers' answer--"No!" The day has vanished from the scene, but not the air of night Can cool the blood that, ebbing back, leaves brows in anger white.
Lo, from the roof of Bentley's Inn the flames are leaping high; They write "Revenge!" in letters red across the smoke-dimmed sky.
"To arms! To arms!" the cry is out; "To arms and play your part; For every pike upon a pole will find a tyrant's heart!" Now Lalor comes to take the lead, the spirit does not lag, And down the rough, wild diggers kneel beneath the Diggers' Flag; Then, rising to their feet, they swear, while rugged hearts beat high, To stand beside their leader and to conquer or to die! Around Eureka's stockade now the shades of night close fast, Three hundred sleep beside their arms, and thirty sleep their last.
About the streets of Melbourne town the sound of bells is borne That call the citizens to prayer that fateful Sabbath morn; But there upon Eureka's hill, a hundred miles away, The diggers' forms lie white and still above the blood-stained clay.
The bells that toll the diggers' death might also ring a knell For those few gallant soldiers, dead, who did their duty well.
The sight of murdered heroes is to hero-hearts a goad, A thousand men are up in arms upon the Creswick road, And wildest rumours in the air are flying up and down, 'Tis said the men of Ballarat will march on Melbourne town.
But not in vain those diggers died.
Their comrades may rejoice, For o'er the voice of tyranny is heard the people's voice; It says: "Reform your rotten law, the diggers' wrongs make right, Or else with them, our brothers now, we'll gather to the fight.
" 'Twas of such stuff the men were made who saw our nation born, And such as Lalor were the men who led the vanguard on; And like such men may we be found, with leaders such as they, In the roll-up of Australians on our darkest, grandest day!
Written by William Cowper | Create an image from this poem

The Task: Book II The Time-Piece (excerpts)

 England, with all thy faults, I love thee still--
My country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrain'd to love thee.
Though thy clime Be fickle, and thy year most part deform'd With dripping rains, or wither'd by a frost, I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies, And fields without a flow'r, for warmer France With all her vines; nor for Ausonia's groves Of golden fruitage, and her myrtle bow'rs.
To shake thy senate, and from heights sublime Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire Upon thy foes, was never meant my task: But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake Thy joys and sorrows, with as true a heart As any thund'rer there.
And I can feel Thy follies, too; and with a just disdain Frown at effeminates, whose very looks Reflect dishonour on the land I love.
How, in the name of soldiership and sense, Should England prosper, when such things, as smooth And tender as a girl, all essenc'd o'er With odours, and as profligate as sweet; Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath, And love when they should fight; when such as these Presume to lay their hand upon the ark Of her magnificent and awful cause? Time was when it was praise and boast enough In ev'ry clime, and travel where we might, That we were born her children.
Praise enough To fill th' ambition of a private man, That Chatham's language was his mother tongue, And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own.
Farewell those honours, and farewell with them The hope of such hereafter! They have fall'n Each in his field of glory; one in arms, And one in council--Wolfe upon the lap Of smiling victory that moment won, And Chatham heart-sick of his country's shame! They made us many soldiers.
Chatham, still Consulting England's happiness at home, Secur'd it by an unforgiving frown If any wrong'd her.
Wolfe, where'er he fought, Put so much of his heart into his act, That his example had a magnet's force, And all were swift to follow whom all lov'd.
Those suns are set.
Oh, rise some other such! Or all that we have left is empty talk Of old achievements, and despair of new.
There is a pleasure in poetic pains Which only poets know.
The shifts and turns, Th' expedients and inventions multiform To which the mind resorts in chase of terms Thought apt, yet coy, and difficult to win, T' arrest the fleeting images that fill The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast, And force them sit, till he has pencill'd off A faithful likeness of the forms he views; Then to dispose his copies with such art That each may find its most propitious light, And shine by situation hardly less Than by the labour and the skill it cost, Are occupations of the poet's mind So pleasing, and that steal away the thought With such address from themes of sad import, That, lost in his own musings, happy man! He feels th' anxieties of life, denied Their wonted entertainment, all retire.
Such joys has he that sings.
But ah! not such, Or seldom such, the hearers of his song.
Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps Aware of nothing arduous in a task They never undertook, they little note His dangers or escapes, and haply find Their least amusement where he found the most.
But is amusement all? Studious of song, And yet ambitious not to sing in vain, I would not trifle merely, though the world Be loudest in their praise who do no more.
Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay? It may correct a foible, may chastise The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress, Retrench a sword-blade, or displace a patch; But where are its sublimer trophies found? What vice has it subdu'd? whose heart reclaim'd By rigour, or whom laugh'd into reform? Alas! Leviathan is not so tam'd.
Laugh'd at, he laughs again; and, stricken hard, Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales, That fear no discipline of human hands.
The pulpit, therefore, (and I name it fill'd With solemn awe, that bids me well beware With what intent I touch that holy thing)-- The pulpit (when the satirist has at last, Strutting and vapouring in an empty school, Spent all his force, and made no proselyte)-- I say the pulpit (in the sober use Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs) Must stand acknowledg'd, while the world shall stand, The most important and effectual guard, Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause.
Written by William Topaz McGonagall | Create an image from this poem

The Demon Drink

 Oh, thou demon Drink, thou fell destroyer;
Thou curse of society, and its greatest annoyer.
What hast thou done to society, let me think? I answer thou hast caused the most of ills, thou demon Drink.
Thou causeth the mother to neglect her child, Also the father to act as he were wild, So that he neglects his loving wife and family dear, By spending his earnings foolishly on whisky, rum and beer.
And after spending his earnings foolishly he beats his wife- The man that promised to protect her during life- And so the man would if there was no drink in society, For seldom a man beats his wife in a state of sobriety.
And if he does, perhaps he finds his wife fou', Then that causes, no doubt, a great hullaballo; When he finds his wife drunk he begins to frown, And in a fury of passion he knocks her down.
And in that knock down she fractures her head, And perhaps the poor wife she is killed dead, Whereas, if there was no strong drink to be got, To be killed wouldn't have been the poor wife's lot.
Then the unfortunate husband is arrested and cast into jail, And sadly his fate he does bewail; And he curses the hour that ever was born, And paces his cell up and down very forlorn.
And when the day of his trial draws near, No doubt for the murdering of his wife he drops a tear, And he exclaims, "Oh, thou demon Drink, through thee I must die," And on the scaffold he warns the people from drink to fly, Because whenever a father or a mother takes to drink, Step by step on in crime they do sink, Until their children loses all affection for them, And in justice we cannot their children condemn.
The man that gets drunk is little else than a fool, And is in the habit, no doubt, of advocating for Home Rule; But the best Home Rule for him, as far as I can understand, Is the abolition of strong drink from the land.
And the men that get drunk in general wants Home Rule; But such men, I rather think, should keep their heads cool, And try and learn more sense, I most earnestlty do pray, And help to get strong drink abolished without delay.
If drink was abolished how many peaceful homes would there be, Just, for instance in the beautiful town of Dundee; then this world would be heaven, whereas it's a hell, An the people would have more peace in it to dwell Alas! strong drink makes men and women fanatics, And helps to fill our prisons and lunatics; And if there was no strong drink such cases wouldn't be, Which would be a very glad sight for all christians to see.
O admit, a man may be a very good man, But in my opinion he cannot be a true Christian As long as he partakes of strong drink, The more that he may differently think.
But no matter what he thinks, I say nay, For by taking it he helps to lead his brither astray, Whereas, if he didn't drink, he would help to reform society, And we would soon do away with all inebriety.
Then, for the sake of society and the Church of God, Let each one try to abolish it at home and abroad; Then poverty and crime would decrease and be at a stand, And Christ's Kingdom would soon be established throughout the land.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, pause and think, And try to abolish the foul fiend, Drink.
Let such doctrine be taught in church and school, That the abolition of strong drink is the only Home Rule.
Written by Anne Kingsmill Finch | Create an image from this poem

The Hymn

 To the Almighty on his radiant Throne, 
Let endless Hallelujas rise! 
Praise Him, ye wondrous Heights to us unknown, 
Praise Him, ye Heavens unreach'd by mortal Eyes, 
Praise Him, in your degree, ye sublunary Skies! 

Praise Him, you Angels that before him bow, 
You Creatures of Celestial frame, 
Our Guests of old, our wakeful Guardians now, 
Praise Him, and with like Zeal our Hearts enflame, 
Transporting then our Praise to Seats from whence you came! 

Praise Him, thou Sun in thy Meridian Force; 
Exalt Him, all ye Stars and Light! 
Praise Him, thou Moon in thy revolving Course, 
Praise Him, thou gentler Guide of silent Night, 
Which do's to solemn Praise, and serious Thoughts invite.
Praise Him, ye humid Vapours, which remain Unfrozen by the sharper Air; Praise Him, as you return in Show'rs again, To bless the Earth and make her Pastures fair: Praise Him, ye climbing Fires, the Emblems of our Pray'r.
Praise Him, ye Waters petrify'd above, Ye shredded Clouds that fall in Snow, Praise Him, for that you so divided move; Ye Hailstones, that you do no larger grow.
Nor, in one solid Mass, oppress the World below.
Praise Him, ye soaring Fowls, still as you fly, And on gay Plumes your Bodies raise; You Insects, which in dark Recesses lie, Altho' th' extremest Distances you try, Be reconcil'd in This, to offer mutual Praise.
Praise Him, thou Earth, with thy unbounded Store; Ye Depths which to the Center tend: Praise Him ye Beasts which in the Forests roar; Praise Him ye Serpents, tho' you downwards bend, Who made your bruised Head our Ladder to ascend.
Praise Him, ye Men whom youthful Vigour warms; Ye Children, hast'ning to your Prime; Praise Him, ye Virgins of unsullied Charms, With beauteous Lips becoming sacred Rhime: You Aged, give Him Praise for your encrease of Time.
Praise Him, ye Monarchs in supreme Command, By Anthems, like the Hebrew Kings; Then with enlarged Zeal throughout the Land Reform the Numbers, and reclaim the Strings, Converting to His Praise, the most Harmonious Things.
Ye Senators presiding by our Choice, And You Hereditary Peers! Praise Him by Union, both in Heart and Voice; Praise Him, who your agreeing Council steers, Producing sweeter Sounds than the according Spheres.
Praise Him, ye native Altars of the Earth! Ye Mountains of stupendious size! Praise Him, ye Trees and Fruits which there have birth, Praise Him, ye Flames that from their Bowels rise, All fitted for the use of grateful Sacrifice.
He spake the Word; and from the Chaos rose The Forms and Species of each Kind: He spake the Word, which did their Law compose, And all, with never ceasing Order join'd, Till ruffl'd for our Sins by his chastising Wind.
But now, you Storms, that have your Fury spent, As you his Dictates did obey, Let now your loud and threatening Notes relent, Tune all your Murmurs to a softer Key, And bless that Gracious Hand, that did your Progress stay.
From my contemn'd Retreat, obscure and low, As Grots from when the Winds disperse, May this His Praise as far extended flow; And if that future Times shall read my Verse, Tho' worthless in it self, let them his Praise rehearse.