Poems

The Peasants' Revolt

THRO' the mists of years,
Thro' the lies of men,
Your bloody sweat and tears,
Your desperate hopes and fears
Reach us once again,
Brothers, who long ago,
For life's bitter sake,
Toiled and suffered so,
Robbery, insult, blow,
Rope and sword and stake:
Toiled and suffered, till
It burst, the brightening hope,
'Might and right' and 'will and skill,'
That scorned, and does, and will,
Sword and stake and rope!
Wat and Jack and John,
Tyler, Straw, and Ball,
Souls that faltered not,
Hearts like white iron hot,
Still we hear your call!
Yes, your 'bell is rung,'
Yes, for 'now is time!'
Come hither, every one,
Brave ghosts whose day's not done,
Avengers of old Crime,
Come and lead the way,
Hushed, implacable,
Suffering no delay,
Forgetting not that day
Dreadful, hateful, fell.
When the liar King,
The liar Gentlemen,
Wrought that foulest thing,
Robbing, murdering,
Men who trusted them!
Come and lead the way,
Hushed, implacable.
What shall stop us, say,
On that day, our day? '
Not unloosened hell!



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