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Eternal Justice Post by :simplem1 Category :Poems Author :Charles Mackay Date :September 2011 Read :3467

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Eternal Justice

The man is thought a knave, or fool.
Or bigot, plotting crime,
Who, for the advancement of his kind.
Is wiser than his time.
For him the hemlock shall distil;
For him the axe be bared;
For him the gibbet shall be built;
For him the stake prepared.
Him shall the scorn and wrath of men
Pursue with deadly aim;
And malice, envy, spite, and lies,
ShaU desecrate his name.
But Truth shall conquer at the last.
For round and round we run;
And ever the Right comes uppermost,
And ever is Justice done.

Pace through thy cell, old Socrates,
Cheerily to and fro;
Trust to the impulse of thy soul,
And let the poison flow.
They may shatter to earth the lamp of clay
That holds a light divine,
But they cannot quench the fire of thought
By any such deadly wine.
They cannot blot thy spoken words
From the memory of man
By all the poison ever was brew'd
Since time its course began.
To-day abhorred, to-morrow adored,
So round and round we run;
And ever the Truth comes uppermost.
And ever is Justice done.

Plod in thy cave grey anchorite;
Be wiser than thy peers;
Augment the range of human power,
And trust to coming years.
They may call thee wizard, and monk accursed,
And load thee with dispraise;
Thou wert bom five hundred years too soon
For the comfort of thy days;
But not too soon for humankind.
Time hath reward in store;
And the demons of our sires become
The saints that we adore.
The blind can see, the slave is lord,
So round and round we run;
And ever the wrong is proved to be wrongs
And ever is Justice done.

Keep, Galileo, to thy thought,
And nerve thy soul to bear;
They may gloat o'er the senseless words they wring
From the pangs of thy despair;
They may veil their eyes, but they cannot hide
The sun's meridian glow;
The heel of a priest may tread thee down.
And a tyrant work thee woe;
But never a truth has been destroy'd;
They may curse it and call it crime;
Pervert and betray, or slander and slay,
Its teachers for a time;
Bat the sunshine aye shall light the sky.
As round and round we run;
And the Truth shall ever come uppermost,
And Justice shall be done.

And live there now such men as these--
With thoughts like the great of old?
Many have died in their misery,
And left their thought untold;
And many live, and are rank'd as mad,
And placed in the cold world's ban.
For sending their bright far-seeing souls
Three centuries in the van.
They toil in penury and grief,
Unknown, if not malign'd;
Forlorn, forlorn, hearing the scorn
Of the meantest of mankind!
But yet the world goes round and round,
And the genial seasons run;
And ever the Truth comes uppermost.
And ever is Justice done.


(The end)
Charles Mackay's poem: Eternal Justice

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