EMPEROR AND PROLETARIAN
On dreary wooden benches, in low- ceiled tavern
Where day but palely falters, through smoke-
Beside long cheerless tables, with sullen
looks and pallid,
A group of outcast wanderers forlornly there
The poor and sceptic children of proletarian
Dost say man shines effulgent, quoth one with
In this dark world of hardship, of bitterness
No spark in him appeareth of candid light
His ray is dull and clouded, like this be-
Whereon he ruleth sovereign, unchallenged
in his reign.
What's justice? See the mighty, behind their
Erect their laws and edicts, to serve them
Against ye ever plotting, with wealth stolen
from your yielding,
Whom they to labour sentence, by boundless
powers they're wielding
And hold in subjugtion your lives of ceaseless
With sated langour gorge they the sweets their
Bright hours upon them smiling, their day
in dalliance flies;
In winter, 'mind green gardens, they quaff
the wine's rich amber,
In heat of summer sweltering' mid Alpine peaks
And night to morn transforming, they close
day's sleepy eyes.
For them what folk call virtue exists not;
To ye, they falsely preach it; your doughty
brawn and sweat
Their lumbering States are needing, for their
Their fiery wars need fighting, that they
may rise victorious;
That by your bloody slaughter your rulers
may be great.
Their navies flaunting proudly, and armies
The crowns, by reigning monarchs, on haughty
Those millions piled on millions, in lavish
heaps, safe- hoarded,
Rich vampires are amassing, depress the poor,
And from o' er- burdened toiling of weary
mobs are drawn.
Religion- 'tis but phrasing, created for your
That by its lure enthralling, your yoked necks
ye' ll bow;
For held the heart no vision of recompense
After your bitter labours and life of constant
Would ye the curse still carry, like oxen
at the plough?
With shadows vague and formless your sight
they have extinguished;
By faith in last requital, mendaciously have
Ah, no; when life lies dying, all joy must
To whom this world naught gifted, save sorrow,
sore and anguished
Gains no redress post- mortal; for they who
die are dead.
Vain lies, empty phrases alone the States sustaining;
Pretence that destined order they cunningly
To make ye strong defenders, their wealth
and power maintaining,
In armed ranks conscribing, by discipine constraining;
To fight your very brothers, they drive ye
to the fray.
Unto malignant millions why are ye subjugated;
Ye that a mere subsistence scarce wring from
To early death and wastage why are ye dedicated,
Whilst they in easeful comfort have aye luxuriated;
Scarce time amid their feasting to cast the
Bethink thee; power and numbers are yours for
It needs but that ye will it, to part the
soil by might.
Build no more walls and ramparts to serve
wealth' s preservation;
Or make for ye a prison, when, by desperation,
Ye fancy to life' s bounty, ye also have the
By their own laws encompassed, they take their
fill of treasure,
An drain earth' s sweetest juices, till sweets,
from surfeit, cloy,
Calling in gay carousals and revel- sated
For your fair daughters virgin, as tools to
serve their pleasure;
Their foul lascivious ancients our lovely
Know ye what bitter portion to ye is harshly
Hard toil, wherefrom their riches they draw
Black bread your tears have moistened, a life
of serfdom hated,
Your maidens smirched and shameful, their
The heaven unto the mighty; to ye, the bitter
Rich men require no statutes, for virtue grows
When every want is furnished; for ye the lawyer'
For ye the regulations, and punishments deterrent,
When forth your hands are reaching, for like'
s good gifts aspirant;
Exists there no forgiveness, e' en for your
Crush down the social order, accursed and unfair,
That 'twixt the poor wealthy our human kind
Since after death remaineth no hope to make
On this old earthly planet let each with other
Be like a band of brothers that equally abides.
The naked antique Venus shatter to swift destruction!
Oh, fling in ruthless fury, unto the fire'
s fierce jaws,
Pictures of snow- nude bodies that wake the
Sadly the heart disturbing, of ultimate perfection,
Working our maidens' downfall to lust' s destroying
Demolish all, unsparing, that pruriency engender;
Raze palaces and temples that crimes from
Statues of lord and tryant to molten lava
Wash out the servile footprints of they who
Fawing behind the mighty unto the wide world'
Yea, shiver unto atoms all pomp and ostentation,
And from its granite clothing our human life
Cast off its gold an purple, its grief and
Make life a dream unfathomed, a vision' s
That moveth to eternity exempt from passions'
Build pyramids gigantic from out the desolation
As a memento mori from history to arise;
This is the art shall waken your minds in
To face the great eternal; not whoring degradation,
With mocking sneers grimacing; with vile and
Oh, bring ye down the deluge; too long indeed
To see what goodlyoutcome would patient goodness
Came nothing . . . ! The hyena by chatterers
Unto the ancient cruelty was clemency translated;
Only the form is altered; remains the evil
Ye' ll turn then to the era of gold without
Whereof the far blue legends oft whisper to
Where free and equal pleasure all equal are
When to life' s transient flicker Death comes
at last, destroying,
Twill seem to ye an angel with tresses fair
Then shall ye die, untroubled by love or sorrow'
As on this planet ye have lived, your offspring
The death bell cease bewailing, with
iron- tongued clangour,
Folk, to whom e' en old fortune, hath shown
her tender favour;
None shall have cause for mourning the dead
who lived indeed.
The pestilent diseases of poverty' s dire paining,
And eke of wealth abnormal, shall scourge
not as of yore,
And they whose growth is destined shall grow
Until men will to break it, the cup they'
ll still be draining;
For none shall ever perish, till life can
give no more.
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Beside the old Seine' s waters, with pallid
looks and sombrous,
In choach of gala splendour, the mighty Caesar
His brooding not distracted by thundrous waves
Nor yet by stony rumbling of equipages
In presence of his people, grown silent and
With ready smile and subtle, and piercing glances
Probing the mind' s recesses where secret
With raised hand controlling a world in pomp
He greets upon his passage the ragged crowd
Whereto his mighty grandour mysteriously is
All loveless and unfriended, in lonely elevation,
Like ye, is he persuaded that malice and untruth
To human nature' s bridle alone give orientation;
And thus the scroll of history will wind through
time' s duration:
The hammer on the anvil- a tale that knows
And he, the haughty summit of great oppressors
Saluteth in passing his mute defender. Know;
If from the world wert absent, thou, the dark
cause and latent
Of mighty overthrowing, in grandeur, high
The Caesar, aye the Caesar, long since had
Your shades, with savage outrage, that conquer
Your pitiless, cold smiling, no mercy can
Your bitter mind all justice, as vain pretence,
Dread powers, ' tis by your shadows, your
shadows dark misguiding,
He drives the poor and hostile to toil beneath
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Paris in flames is seething, wherein the storm
And towers, like inky torches, flare crashing
to their doom.
Through fiery tongues devouring, that rend
in waves the gloom
Great cries and clash of weapons sound from
that ocean blanzing:
An epoch on its death- bed, with Paris for
Dark streets in conflagration flash glares
that daze the vision;
A- top the barricading of heaped- up granite
To bloody confict moving, the proletarian
Its pikes and muskets gleaming, and capped
with bonnets Phrygian.
The belfreis' clangour deafens, with hoarse
Their arms with weapons landen, passing through
The women of the people, with gorgeous raven
Veiling their tender bosoms; impassible and
Pallid and cold as marble; the fire of rage
Fierce in their black eyes burning; their
eyes of deep despair.
Oh! lanch thee in the struggle, wrapped in
thy splendid tresses!
To- day reveals heroic the poor abandoned
Aloft the scarlet standard, with common justice
Hallows thy life besmirched, thy sins and
Ah, no, not thine, the stigma; but theirs
who thee defiled!
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Glistens the tranquil ocean; its plates of
Move each upon each other, in following sheets
O' er the mysterious forest with trackless
Their dark recesses flooding; in azure fields
Large- faced, the full moon riseth, with proud
In gentle rocking motion, on billows quietly
With battered wooden bare- bones, go vessels
gaunt and old,
In grey and silent passing, like eerie specters
The moon their bellied canvas is piercing
with its glowing;
It lingers as a token, a disk of fiery gold.
Beside the shore eroded, and worn with waves'
The Caesar keeps his vigil, where bent unto
Mournful the willow weepeth. Wide reaches
of the ocean,
In fleet as lightning circles, all humbly
To night' s sweet silken breezes, and heave
with cadent sound.
Amid the sikes be- starred, to him a vision
Treading the time- worn forests and splendid
Hoar locks and brows be- darkened by sorrow'
s night, descended;
The crown of straw hangs piteous, that idile
winds have rended;
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The ancient man, King Lear.
With mute amaze, he watches the figment of
Betwixt the trcery, that fair stars quivering
A host of chaning phantoms across his mind
Visions of wealth and radiance- scattered
by stormy echoes;
The voices of the people; a world of sorrow
In every man is bosomed a world of dear endeavour,
Old Demiurgus vainly, but ceaseless, striving
In every mind existing, the world demandeth
Whence hath it come, and wherefore it goeth
hence, and whither;
The flower of strange desiring, in chaos that
The yearning for perfection: the universal
Immutable it lurketh within the hearts of
'Tis sown at large by hazard; the tree in
Yet ere buds are fruited, the greater part
Thus frozen in its ripening, the human fruit
One to a slave; the other to emperor concealed,
Covering with tinselled follies his feeble
life and arid;
Unto the sun revealing his face, forlorn and
His face, for in each bosom the same deep
self' s conceald.
The same desires resurgent- new habits yet
For aye, the human fabric remaineth changeless
The world' s malignant mystery in many shapes
To none the all- deceiver its secret strange
With longing for the infinite the atom doth
And when ye know this semblance will cease
with your expiring,
And after ye, unchanged, dure all ye strove
This hasting here and thither, in anxious
Fills with fatigued langour; one sole thought
" This world of life is merely a dream of