Lo, all the age is rank with wrong!
The nations kneel to monstrous might,
And horrid cries that haunt the night,
Have hushed the notes of happy song;
Mankind the deepest truth has missed,
The best emotions have grown dim;
We praise the God that dwelt in Christ,
But crucify the man in him.
Laws, noble, good, and great at first,
With plan perverted, bind again
The regal rights of mind and men
And prove of tyrants far the worst;
With blinded eyes is Nature made,
And knows her constant purpose crossed,
While crafty Jacob plies his trade
And Esau finds his blessing lost.
Earth yields her fruits in ample store;
Her children all are heirs that trace
Their lineage through the royal race,
And all her wealth is theirs--and more;
But one with cunning hand controls
The portions that his brothers fed,
While thousands--just and worthy souls--
In aimless anguish cry for bread!
No royal blood by caste or creed,
No pride of place, no gild of gold
Can warm the weak, accursed with cold,
Or light the awful nights of need;
Labor alone can blessings bring
To crown the brows of freedom's brave;
The toiler is the truest king,
The idler is the only slave!
But laugh, O, Labor, dry thy tears!
A better day is drawing nigh;
Hope brightens all the somber sky;
The golden age of Love is near!
Behold! But yonder stands a Star!
The ancient lies are downward hurled;
A man--a child--is greater far
Than all the wealth of all the world!