Under Which King . . . ?

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

The fight I loved - the good old fight -
Was clear as day 'twixt Might and Right;
Satrap and slave on either hand,
Tiller and tyrant of the land;
One delved the earth the other trod,
The writhing worm, the thundering god.
Lords of an earth they deemed their own,
The tyrants laughed from throne to throne,
Scattered the gold and spilled the wine,
And deemed their foolish dust divine;
While, 'neath their heel, sublimely strove
The martyred hosts of Human Love.

Such was the fight I dreamed of old
'Twixt Labour and the Lords of Gold;
I deemed all evil in the king,
In Demos every lovely thing.
But now I see the battle set -
Albeit the same old banners yet -
With no clear issue to decide,
With Right and Might on either side;
Yet small the rumour is of Right -
But the bared arms of Might and Might
Brandish across the hate-filled lands,
With blood alike on both their hands.

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