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We are equal and free! was the watchword that spirited the legions of
We are equal and free! is the double lie that entrappeth to him conscripts
from earth :
The messengers of that dark despot will pander to thy license and thy
And draw thee from the crowd where thou art safe, to seize thee in the
Woe unto him whose heart the syren song of Liberty hath charmed;
Woe unto him whose mind is bewitched by her treacherous beauty;
In mad zeal flingeth he away the fetters of duty and restraint,
And yieldeth up the holocaust of self to that fair idol of the damned.
No man hath freedom in aught save in that from which the wicked would
He is free toward God and good; but to all else a bondman.
Thou art in a middle sphere, to render and receive honour,
If thy king commandeth, obey; and stand not in the way with rebels;
But if need be, lay thy hand upon thy sword, and fear not to smite a
traitor, For the universe acquitteth thee with honour, fighting in defence of thy
king. If a thief break thy dwelling, and thou take him, it were sin in thee to let
Yea, though he pleadeth to thy mercy, thou canst not spare him and be
blameless; For his guilt is not only against thee, it is not thy moneys or thy mer
chandise, But he hath done damage to the law, which duty constraineth thee to
sanction. Feast not thine appetite of vengeance, remembering thou also art a man, But weep for the sad compulsion, in which the chain of Providence hath
Mercy is not thine to give; wilt thou steal another's privilege ?
Or send abroad among thy neighbours, a felon whom impunity hath har.
Remember the Roman father, strong in his stern integrity,
And let not thy slothful self-indulgence make thee a conniver at the crime.
Also, if the knife of the murderer be raised against thee or thine,
And through good Providence and courage, thou slay him that would have
slain thee, Thou losest not a tittle of thy rectitude, having executed sudden justice; Still mayst thou walk among the blessed, though thy hands be red with
blood. For thyself, thou art neither worse nor better ; but thy fellows should
count thee their creditor: Thou hast manfully protected the right, and the right is stronger for thy
deed. Also, in the rescuing of innocence, fear not to smite the ravisher; What though he die at thy hand ? for a good name is better than the life; And if Phineas had everlasting praise in the matter of Salu's son, With how much greater honour standeth such a rescuer acquitted ? Uphold the laws of thy country, and fear not to fight in their defence; But first be convinced in thy mind : for herein the doubter sinneth. Above all things look thou well around, if indeed stern duty forceth thee To draw the sword of justice, and stain it with the slaughter of thy fellows.
She that lieth in thy bosom, the tender wife of thy affections,
Must obey thee, and be subject, that evil drop not on thy dwelling.
The child that is used to constraint, feareth not more than he loveth;
But give thy son his way, he will hate thee and scorn thee together.
The master of a well-ordered home, knoweth to be kind to his servants ;
Yet he exacteth reverence, and each one fcareth at his post.
There is nothing on earth so lowly, but duty giveth it importance;
No station so degrading, but it is ennobled by obedience:
Yea, break stones upon the highway, acknowledging the Lord in thy lot,
Happy shalt thou be, and honourable, more than many children of the
mighty. Thou that despisest the outward forms, beware thou lose not the inward
spirit; For they are as words unto ideas, as symbols to things unseen. Keep then the form that is good : retain, and do reverence to example ; And in all things observe subordination, for that is the whole duty of man.
A horse knoweth his rider, be he confident or timid,
And the fierce spirit of Bucephalus stoopeth unto none but Alexander;
The tigress roused in the jungle by the prying spaniels of the fowler,
Will quail at the eye of man, so he assert his dignity;
Nay, the very ships, those giant swans breasting the mighty waters,
Roll in the trough, or break the wave, to the pilot's fear or courage :
How much more shall man, discerning the Fountain of authority,
Bow to superior commands, and make his own obeyed.
And yet, in travelling the world, hast thou not often known
A gallant host led on to ruin by a feeble Xerxes ?
Hast thou not often seen the wanton luxury of indolence
Sullying with its sleepy mist the tarnished crown of headship?
Alas ! for a thousand fathers, whose indulgent sloth
Hath emptied the vial of confusion over a thousand homes :
Alas ! for the palaces and hovels, that might have been nurseries for heaver,
By hot intestine broils blighted into schools for hell :
None knoweth his place, yet all refuse to serve,
None weareth the crown, yet
the sceptre :
And perhance some fiercer spirit, of natural nobility of mind,
That needed but the kindness of constraint to have grown up great and good,
Now,—the rich harvest of his heart choked by unweeded tares,
All bold to dare and do, unchecked by wholesome fear,
A scoffer about bigotry and priestcraft, a rebel against government and God,
And standard-bearer of the turbulent, leading on the sons of Belial :
Such an one is king of that small state, head tyrant of the thirty,
Brandishing the torch of discord in his village-home:
And the timid Eli of the house, yon humble parish-priest,
Liveth in shame and sorrow, fearing his own handy-work;
The mother, heart-stricken years agone, hath dropped into an early grave;
The silent sisters long to leave a home they cannot love ;
The brothers, casting off restraint, follow their wayward wills ;
And the chance guest, early departing, blesseth his kind stars,
That on his humbler home hath brooded no domestic curse.
Yet is that curse the fruit; wouldest thou the root of the evil ?
A kindness—most unkind, that hath always spared the rod;
A weak and numbing indecision in the mind that should be master ;
A foolish love, pregnant of hate, that never frowned on sin;
A moral cowardice of heart, that never dared command.
A kingdom is a nest of families, and a family a small kingdom ;
And the government of whole or part differeth in nothing but extent.
The house, where the master ruleth, is strong in united subjection.
And the only commandment with promise, being honoured, is a blessing to
But and if he yieldeth up the reins, it is weak in discordant anarchy,
And the bonds of love aud union melt away, as ropes of sand.
The realm, that is ruled with vigour, lacketh neither peace nor glory,
It dreadeth not foes from without, nor the sons of riot from within :
But the meanness of temporizing fear robbeth a kingdom of its honour,
And the weakness of indulgent sloth ravageth its bowels with discord.
The best of human governments is the patriarchal rule ;
The authorized supremacy of one, the prescriptive subjection of many :
Therefore, the children of the East have thriven from age to age,
Obeying, even as a god, the royal father of Cathay:
Therefore, to this our day, the Rechabite wanteth not a man, (10)
But they stand before the Lord, forsaking not the mandate of their sire.
Therefore shall Magog among the nations arise from his northern lair,
And rend, in the fury of his power, the insurgent world beneath him :
For the thunderbolt of concentrated strength can be hurled by the will of one,
While the dissipated forces of many are harmless as summer lightning.
In the silent watches of the night, calm night that breedeth thoughts, (13)
When the task-weary mind disporteth in the careless play-hours of sleep,
I dreamed; and behold, a valley, green and sunny and we watered,
And thousands moving across it, thousands and tens of thousands :
And though many seemed faint and toil-worn, and stumbled often, and fell,
Yet moved they on unresting, as the ever-flowing cataract.
Then I noted adders in the grass, and pitfalls under the flowers,
And chasms yawned among the hills, and the ground was cracked and
But Hope and her brother Fear snffered not a foot to linger;
Bright phantoms of false joys beckoned alluringly forward,
While yelling grisly shapes of dread came hunting on behind :
And ceaselessly, like Lapland swarms, that miserable crowd sped along
To the mist-involved banks of a dark and sullen river.
There saw I, midway in the water, standing a giant fisher,
And he held many lines in his hand, and they called him Iron Destiny.
So I tracked those subtle chains, and each held one among the multitude :
Then I understood what hindered, that they rested not in their path:
For the fisher had sport in his fishing, and drew in his lines continually,
And the new-born babe, and the aged man, were dragged into that dark
river: And he pulled all those myriads along, and none might rest by the way, Till many, for sheer wearinsss, were eager to plunge into the drowning
So I knew that valley was Life, and it sloped to the waters of Death.
But far on the thither side spread out a calm and silent shore,
Where all was tranquil as a sleep, and the crowded strand was quiet :
And I saw there many I had known, but their eyes glared chillingly upon me,
As set in deepest slumber; and they pressed their fingers to their lips.
Then I knew that shore was the dwelling of Rest, where spirits held their
And it seemed they would have told me much, but they might not break
that silence; For the law of their being was mystery : they glided on, hushing as they
went. Yet further, under the sun, at the roots of purple mountains, I noted a blaze of glory, as the night-fires on northern skies ; And I heard the hum of joy, as it were a sea of melody ; And far as the eye could reach, were millions of happy creatures Basking in the golden light; and I knew that land was Heaven. Then the hill whereon I stood split asunder, and a crater yawned at my feet, Black, and deep, and dreadful, fenced round with ragged rocks : Dimly was the darkness lit up by spires of distant flame : And I saw below a moving mass of life, like reptiles bred in corruption, Where all was terrible unrest, shrieks and groans and thunder.
So I woke, and thought upon my dream : for it seemed of wisdom's
ministration. What man is he that findeth rest, though he hunt for it year after year ? As a child he had not yet becn wearied, and cared uot then to court it; As a youth he loved not to be quiet, for excitement spurred him into strife ; As a man he tracketh rest in vain, toiling painfully to catch it, But still is he pulled from the pursuit, by the strong compulsion of his fate. So he hopeth to have peace in old age, as he cannot rest in manhood, But troubles thicken with his years, till Death hath dogged him to the grave.