The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law

The Critical Response
Harriett Jay

Site Diary
Site Search

{The New Rome 1898}





WITH slow monotonous tread,
     A Phantom hoary and grey,
While Heaven was shining overhead,
     He wandered on his way;

And still his thin feet bled,
     And his eyes were dim with tears—
“Surely at last,” he said,
     “My Father in Heaven hears?

“Surely now at last
     My Cross is a blossoming tree,—
Evil and sorrow are past,
     My Throne is ready for me?”

Worn and wan and white,
     He gazed to Heaven and smiled,
And the restless wind of the night
     Slept, like a sleeping child.

Slowly along the dark
     Unseen by men crept He,
But the Earth lay silently down to mark
     In the soft still arms of the Sea!

He came to a City great,                                                           45
     Silent under the sky,
And the watchmen at the gate
     Beheld him not go by.

Passing the empty mart,
     Creeping from shade to shade,
He found at last in the City’s heart
     A Temple that men had made.

Dark at the Temple door
     The ragged and outcast lay,
And Lazarus wail’d once more,
     Weary and gaunt and grey.

And an altar-light burn’d there,
     And a litany sounded thence—
“Rejoice! rejoice! for all gods that were
     Are banish’d and vanish’d hence!

“And the only god we know
     Is the ghost of our own despair;
Gaze in the glass, and lo!
     Is he not mirror’d there?

“Strong as when Time began,
     Creature of dust and breath,
God our Lord, the Spirit of Man,
     Crown’d with the crown of Death!”

And lo! from earth and sea,                                                      46
     And the skies now overcast,
A voice wail’d, “Woe is me!
     Death is the first and last!”

He went with silent feet
     Thro’ loathsome alley and den;
He heard around him from every street
     The moan of the Magdalen.

“How long, O Lord, how long,”
     He heard the lone voice cry,
“Shall they who wrought the wrong,
     While we lie lost, go by?

“Reach down thy hand,” it moaned,
     “To help the lost, and me,—
Rabbi, the Woman still is stoned,
     The Man still wanders free!”

Still and unseen crept He
     Into the prison-square,
And he saw the Upas Tree
     Of Man’s Invention there . . .

High as the Cross it stood,
     Cross-wise its shadows fell,
And the sap of the tree was tears and blood,
     And its roots sank deep as Hell.

“Rabbi!” again that cry                                                              47
     Came from a lonely place—
And she who waited to die
     Had a Woman’s form and face.

“Reach down thy hand,” she moaned,
     “To help the lost, and me,—
Rabbi, the Woman still is stoned,
     The Man still wanders free!

“The lie, the blight, and the ban,
     That doom me, men have cast—
By Man I fell, and my Judge, a man,
     Threw the first stone, and last.

“Master, master!” she said,
     “Hither, come hither to me!”
He left his blessing upon her head,
     His curse on the Upas Tree!

And all his soul was stirred,
     His tears like red blood ran,
While the light of the woful Word
     Flamed on the City of Man!

And the heavens grew black as night,
     And the voice cried: “Wander on!”
And the cold Moon’s arms clung wild and white
     Round a World all woe-begone!

He walked upon the Sea,                                                          48
     And the lamb-like waves lay still,
And he came to Calvary
     And the Crosses high on the hill.

Beneath his Cross He stood,
     Between the thief and the thief;
And lo, the Cross dript blood, dript blood,
     And never put forth a leaf!

With slow monotonous tread
     He passed from sea to sea.
“So long, so long!” he said,
     “And still no sleep for me!”






HO, heirs of Saxon Alfred
     And Coeur de Lion bold!
Mix’d breed of churls and belted earls
     Who worshipped God of old;
Who harried East and harried West
     And gather’d land and gold,
While from the lips of white-wing’d ships
     Our battle-thunder rolled!
With a hey! and a ho!
     And a British three times three!
At the will of the Lord of the Cross and Sword
     We swept from sea to sea!



And lo, our mighty Empire
     Rises like ROME of yore
Another Rome, that feasts at home
     And hugs its golden store;
Another and a mightier Rome!
     That, growing more and more,
Now reaches from Saint Paul’s great dome
     To far Tasmania’s shore!
With a hey! and a ho!                                                                        50
     And a British three times three!
True strain and seed of the Ocean-breed,
     We keep this Jubilee!



Liegemen of Bess the Virgin,
     Heirs of the harlot Nell!
Our once bright blood hath mix’d with mud
     More oft than song need tell;
But through each hour of pride and power,
     When free we fought and fell,
What gave us might to face the Fight
     Was—faith in Heaven and Hell!
With a hey! and a ho!
     And a British three times three!
Though the faith hath fled and our Lord lies dead,
     We keep this Jubilee!



Stay! By the Soul of Milton!
     By Cromwell’s battle-cry!
The voice of the Lord of the Cross and Sword
     Still rings beneath our sky!
Our faith lives still in the stubborn Will
     No Priest or Pope could buy—
Ours is the creed of the doughty Deed,
     The strength to do and die!
With a hey! and a ho!                                                                        51
     And a British three times three!
Still sword in hand ’neath the Cross we stand
     And keep this Jubilee!



Lady and Queen and Mother!
     Our long sea-race is run!
Let Love and Peace bless and increase
     What Cross and Sword have won!
The nameless guilt, the red blood spilt,
     The deeds in darkness done,
All these are past, and our souls at last
     Stand shriven in the sun.
With a hey! and a ho!
     And a British three times three!
We Men of the Deep sheathe swords, and keep
     Thy bloodless Jubilee!



Queen of the many races
     That round thy footstool cling,
Take heed lest Cain o’erthrow again
     His brother’s offering!
Beyond the waves crawl butchering knaves,
     Now crouching for the spring,
While stolen gold stains, as of old,
     The gift thy legions bring!
With a hey! and a ho!                                                                        52
     And a British three times three!
There are robbers still who are fain to spill
     Blood, on thy Jubilee!



Ghosts of sad Queens departed
     Watch thee from far away:
Not theirs the bliss and calm of this
     Thy peaceful triumph-day!
A faith more fearless and serene,
     A creed less swift to slay,
Are thine, if thou hast found, O QUEEN,
     A gentler God for stay!
With a hey! and a ho!
     And a British three times three!
We thy might proclaim in that One God’s Name
     On this thy Jubilee.








SHRIEKING and swinging legs, astride
On his native fence, the Cockney cried:
“Fee faw fum! beware of me!
I am the Lord of Land and Sea!”

Out on the fields, where day and night
The weary warriors strove in fight,
They paused a space to gaze upon
The moat-surrounded fence,—his throne!

And while they heard that war-cry float
From the smug Cockney’s raucous throat,
“Come off the fence,” they cried, “and share
The brunt of battle, if you dare!”

Yet still they heard him shriek and brag
Waving a little schoolboy’s Flag,
And angry at his martial mien
They tried to hoot him from the scene!

“Ho ho!” he said, “if that’s your plan,
I’ll teach you I’m an Englishman!—
Here, Tommie Atkins,—take your fee,—
Go fight these knaves who flout at me!”

Poor Tommie Atkins waiting stood,                                                    54
And heard his master’s cry for blood,
Then held out hand to take his pay,
And drew his sword, and sprang away!

All day the bloody strife was wrought,
The Cockney shriek’d, while Tommie fought.
Night came, the foe were driven away,—
But Tommie Atkins dying lay.

“Tommie, what cheer?” the Cockney said;
Poor Tommie raised his bleeding head,—
“You’ve lick’d them, sir!” poor Tommie cried,
And slowly droop’d his head, and died!

Still on his fence the Cockney swings,
Loud in the air the war-cry rings,
And still, in answer to his cries,
Poor Tommie Atkins bleeds and dies.








HERE’S to the health of Nelson! Hurrah and three times three!
Glory to him who gave us back our birthright of the Sea!
He gave us back the wide wide Sea, and bade us rule the wave,
And how did we pay him back, dear boys, for that great gift he gave?

Just as his life was ebbing (’Twas in Trafalgar’s bay)
He craved one little thing from us for whom he fell that day;
For in that hour of glorious death his last thoughts landward ran,
Since, alas and alas, my Christian friends, he wasn’t a moral man!

“Take care of Lady Hamilton!” the dying hero cried,—
’Twas all he asked from Englishmen for whom he fought and died;
“Now I have bought you with my blood the Sea and all thereon,
Take care of her I love,” he said, “when I am dead and gone!”

His health, the health of Nelson! health to the good, the brave!                       56
But still we’re moral men, dear boys, with moral souls to save . . .
We suffered her he loved to starve, to fill a pauper’s grave,—
That’s how we paid him back, dear boys, for the great gift he gave!

Honour to Nelson’s memory! his health with three times three!
If we are freemen ’twas his gift—he gave us back the Sea,—
Crow, west to east! but while we shout his name from wave to wave,
Think how we paid our Hero back for the great gift he gave!





               THIS is the Song of the Weak
                   Trod ’neath the heel of the Strong!
               This is the Song of the hearts that break
                   And bleed as we ride along,—
From sea to sea we singing sweep, but this is the slain man’s Song!

               Southward, a shriek of pain,
                   As the martyred races fall!
               The wild man’s land and his herds we gain,
                   With the gold that’s best of all,—
Because the leaves of the tree are black ’tis meet that they should fall!

               Eastward, another cry,
                   Wrung from the black and red!
               But merrily our hosts go by,
                   Trampling the quick and dead,—
’Tis meet that the heathen tribes should starve, and the Christian dogs be fed.

               Westward, close at the door,
                   A cry for bread and light!
               But lo, we hug our golden store
                   And feast from morn to night:—
Our brother Esau must perish too, altho’ his skin be white!

               In the name of the Jingo-Christ                                                     58
                   We raise our savage song,
               In gold the martyr’s blood is priced
                   Wherever we march along,
How should we heed our brother’s cry,—he is weak and we are strong!

               We have sow’d, and lo! we reap,
                   We are strong, and lo! we slay;
               We are lords of Earth and Deep,
                         And this is our triumph-day,—
The broken wave and the broken heart are spent, and vanish away!

               Ever the Weak must fall
                   Under the strength of the Strong!
               And God (they say), who is Lord of all,
                   Smiles as we sweep along;
Yet tho’ we are strong and our song is loud, this is the slain man’s Song!






THE Devil’s* will is the Devil’s still, wherever the Devil may be,—
He used to delight in the thick of the fight, whether on land or sea;
’Twas difficult then for mortal men to know what side he took,
When the wrath of the Lord from heaven was poured and the whole creation shook;
Yet for many a day the Devil’s way was ever mighty and grand,
’Mid the swift sword’s flash and the cannon’s crash he boldly took his stand:
Such perilous work he has learn’d to shirk, and quiet at home sits he,
Having turn’d himself for the love of pelf to a Charter’d Companie!



“Ho! better far than the work of War, and the storm and stress of strife,
Is to rest at home, while others roam,” he murmurs to Sin, his wife!


* Not the great Æon, whom I have vindicated,
     Call’d falsely Devil by the blind and base,
But Belial, a creature execrated
     Except in Church and in the Market-place.—R. B.


“Tho’ the fiends my sons make Gatling guns, they’re Christians to the core,            60
And they love the range of the Stock Exchange far better than battle-roar.
They are spared, in truth, much strife uncouth and trouble by field and flood,
Since the work of Hell is done so well by creatures of flesh and blood;
And I think on the whole,” says the grim old Soul, “’tis better for you and me
That I’ve turned myself, ere laid on the shelf, to a Charter’d Companie!



“The thin red line was doubtless fine as it crept across the plain,
While the thick fire ran from the black Redan and broke it again and again,
But the hearts of men throbb’d bravely then, and their souls could do and dare,
’Mid the thick of the fight, in my despite, God found out Heroes there!
The Flag of England waved on high, and the thin red line crept on,
And I felt, as it flashed along to die, my occupation gone!
O’er a brave man’s soul I had no control in those old days,” said he,
“So I’ve turned myself, ere laid on the shelf, to a Charter’d Companie!



“The Flag of England still doth blow and flings the sunlight back,
But the line that creepeth now below is changed to a line of black!
Wherever the Flag of England blows, down go all other flags,
Wherever the line of black print goes, the British Bulldog brags!
The Newspaper, my dear, is best to further such work as mine,—
My blessing rest, north, south, east, west, on the thin black penny-a-line!
For my work is done ’neath moon or sun, by men and not by me,
Now I’ve changed myself, in the reign of the Guelph, to a Charter’d Companie!



“Of Church and of State let others prate, let martyr’d thousands moan,—
I’m responsible, I beg to state, to my shareholders alone!
The Flag of England may rot and fall, both Church and State may end,
Whate’er befall, I laugh at it all, if I pay a dividend!
But O my dear, it is very clear that the thing is working well—
When they hunt the black man down like deer, we devils rejoice in Hell!
’Tis loot, loot, loot, as they slaughter and shoot out yonder across the sea,              62
Now I’ve turned myself, like a gamesome elf, to a Charter’d Companie!



“Just study, my dear, the record here, of the mighty deeds they’ve done—
Hundreds, en masse, mowed down like grass, to an English loss of one!
Then loot, loot, loot, as they slaughter and shoot, to the shrieks of the naked foe,
While murder and greed on the fallen feed, right up my stock must go!
And the best of the lark, you’ll be pleased to mark, is the counter-jumper’s cry,
As he clutches his shares and mumbles his prayers to the Jingo-God on high!
With Bible and Gun the work is done both here and across the sea,
Now I’ve turned myself, in the reign of the Guelph, to a Charter’d Companie!”



The Devil’s will is the Devil’s still, though wrought in a Christian land,
He chuckles low and laughs his fill, with the latest news in hand;
Nor God nor man can mar his plan so long as the markets thrive,
Tho’ the Flag be stained and the Creed profaned, he keepeth the game alive!
“The Flag of England may rot and fall, both Church and State may end,                  63
Whatever befall, I laugh at it all, if I pay a dividend!
Right glad I dwell where I make my Hell, in the white man’s heart,” cries he,
“Now I’ve turned myself, for the love of pelf, to a Charter’d Companie!”


‘The Charter’d Companie’ was originally published in The Daily Chronicle on 7th November, 1893 under the title, ‘The Devil, Unlimited’. Two verses from the poem were reprinted in The Portsmouth Evening News on 7th November, adding this information:
     ‘Mr. Buchanan has exercised his muse on the following text:—“We are responsible, I beg to say, to the Shareholders alone!”—QUASI-OFFICIAL UTTERANCE.’
And the same two verses appeared in The Edinburgh Evening News the following day with this explanation:
     “Mr Robert Buchanan has a poem of six stanzas in the Daily Chronicle, giving his views of the conduct of the Chartered Company in South Africa.”
More information about the British South Africa Company is available on wikipedia.]





THERE came a knock at the Heavenly Gate, where the good St. Peter sat,—
“Hi, open the door, you fellah there, to a British rat-tat-tat!”

The Saint sat up in his chair, rubb’d eyes, and prick’d his holy ears,
“Who’s there?” he muttered, “a single man, or a regiment of Grenadiers?”

“A single man,” the voice replied, “but one of prodigious size,
Who claims by Jingo, his patron Saint, the entry to Paradise!”

The good St. Peter open’d the Gate, but blocking the entry scan’d
The spectacled ghost of a little man, with an infant’s flag in his hand.

“Your name? Before I let you pass, say who and what you were!
Describe your life on the earth, and prove your claim to a place in there!

“Wot! haven’t you heard of Kiplingson? whose name and fame have spread
As far as the Flag of England waves, and the Tory prints are read?

“I was raised in the lap of Jingo, sir, till I grew to the height of man,                        65
And a wonderful Literary Gent, I emerged upon Hindostan!

“I sounded the praise of the Empire, sir, I pitch’d out piping hot
The new old stories of British bounce (see Lever and Michael Scott);

“And rapid as light my glory spread, till thro’ Cockaigne it flew,
And I grew the joy of the Cockney cliques, and the pet of the Jingo Jew!

“For the Lord my God was a Cockney Gawd, whose voice was a savage yell,
A fust-rate Gawd who dropt, d’ye see, the ‘h’ in Heaven and Hell!

“O I was clever beyond compare, and not like most young muffs,
Tho’ I died last night, at an early age, of a plethora of puffs.

“O lollipops are toothsome things, and sweet is the log-roll’d jam,
But the last big puff of the Log-rollers has choked me, and here I am!

“But I was a real Phenomenon,” continued Kiplingson,
“The only genius ever born who was Tory at twenty-one!”

“Alas, and alas,” the good Saint said, a tear in his eye serene,                                 66
“A Tory at twenty-one! Good God! At fifty what would you have been?

“There’s not a spirit now here in Heaven who wouldn’t at twenty-one
Have tried to upset the very Throne, and reform both Sire and Son!

“The saddest sight that my eyes have seen, down yonder on earth or here,
Is a brat that talks like a weary man, or a youth with a cynic’s leer.

“Try lower down, young man,” he cried, and began to close the Gate—
“Hi, here, old fellah,” said Kiplingson, “by Jingo! just you wait—

“I’ve heaps of Criticisms here, to show my claims are true,
That I’m ’cute in almost everything, and have probed Creation through!”

“And what have you found?” the Saint inquired, a frown on his face benign—
“The Flag of England!” cried Kiplingson, “and the thin black penny-a-line!

“Wherever the Flag of England waves, down go all other flags;
Wherever the thin black line is spread, the Bulldog bites and brags!

“And I warn you now, if you close that Gate, the moment it is done,                        67
I’ll summon an army of Cockney Gents, with a great big Gatling gun!

“O Gawd, beware of the Jingo’s wrath! the Journals of Earth are mine!
Across the plains of the earth still creeps the thin black penny-a-line!

“For wherever the Flag of England waves”— but here, we grieve to state,
His voice was drown’d in a thunder-crash, for the Saint bang’d-to the Gate!





PANSIES, for thoughts; and Rue, for gentle grief;
     Roses,—for gladness given in large increase:
Add now to these one soft grey silvern leaf,
         OLIVE,—for Peace!

O life that put’st our noisier lives to shame,
     Sign that the Bow shall shine, the Deluge cease!
Steadfast and true and holy like thy name:
         OLIVE,—for Peace!






“We are men in a world of men, not gods!” the Strong Man cried;
“Yea, men, but more than men,” the Dreamer of Dreams replied;
“’Tis not the mighty Arm (the Lion and Bear have that),
’Tis not the Ear and the Eye (for those hath the Ounce and the Cat),
’Tis not the form of a Man upstanding erect and free,
For this hath the forest Ape, yea the face of a Man hath he;
’Tis not by these alone, ye compass’d the mighty things,
Hew’d the log to a ship, till the ship swept out on wings,
Ye are men in a world of men, lord of the seas and streams,
But ye dreamed ye were more than men when ye heark’d to the Dreamers of Dreams!
And the Dream begat the Deed, and grew with the growth of the years,
So ye were the Builders of Earth, but we were the Pioneers!



“By the Arm and the Ear and the Eye, and the upright Form divine
(Thus the Dreamer of Dreams), thou hast conquered the world—’tis thine;
Wherefore rejoice, O Man, in the wonders thy might hath wrought,
But woe to thy pride the day thou forgettest the Dream we brought;
The Dream that made thee a Man (the beast was as swift in the fray),                     70
The Dream that found thee a Soul, and lit thee along on thy way,
The Dream that guided thine Arm, and taught thee with sight and with sound,
The Dream that held thee erect when the beast was prone on the ground!
A man in a world of men, and strong as a man beseems,
Thou art indeed, but thy strength was drawn from the Dreamers of Dreams!
Wert thou no more than a man, the Fox and the Ape were thy peers,
We dream’d thou wast more than a man, when we led thee, thy Pioneers!



“And now thy triumph hath come, the sceptre is set in thy hand,
See (said the Dreamer of Dreams) that thy spirit doth understand:
Not by the lust of the Ape, or the courage and strength of the Beast,
Thou risest to rule thy Realm, and sit at the head of the Feast—
We dream’d there was love in thy heart, the love that no beast doth gain,
We held thee just in our Dream, and therefore fitter to reign,
And though there was blood on thy sword, and lust of blood in thy breast,
We taught thee (still in our Dream) that Pity and Prayer were best:
Pity for all thy kind, and most for the undertrod,                                                     71
Prayer to the Power unseen which stiffen’d thy soul ’gainst God,
Then out of the Dream the Deed, which grew with the growing years
And made thee Master of Earth, but we were thy Pioneers!”



“We are men in a world of men, not gods,” the Strong Man cried;
“Then woe to thy race and thee,” the Dreamer of Dreams replied;
“The Tiger can fight and feed, the Serpent can hear and see,
The Ape can increase his kind, the Beaver can build, like thee.
Have I led thee on to find thee of all things last and least,
A Man who is only a Man and therefore less than a beast?
Who bareth a red right arm, and crieth ‘Lo, I am strong!’
Who shouts to an empty sky a savage triumphal song,
Who apes the cry of the woods, who crawls like a snake and lies,
Who loves not, neither is loved, but crawleth a space and dies,—
Ah, woe indeed to the Dream that guided thee all these years,
And woe to the Dreamers of Dreams who ran as thy Pioneers!”





THOU canst not right the ancient wrong,
     Or mend the broken thread;
Thou canst not raise with spell or song
     The countless martyrs dead,—
Yet one kind thought may sometimes bless
     Lives which the dark gods ban;
Wherefore, since they are pitiless,
     Be pitiful, O MAN!

Raised on the rock of endless woe,
     Thy throne is built, O King!
Yet from that rock some dews may flow
     To show the hidden spring;—
Lord in thy place of life and death
     Complete the cruel plan,
But, gazing down on things of breath,
     Be pitiful, O MAN!

Be pitiful! be pitiful!
     More grace in Pity lies
Than in the gladdest flowers they cull
     In Passion’s Paradise!
Thron’d on the earth even as a god,
     All creatures gently scan—
Thy sceptre then like Aaron’s rod
     Shall bud and bloom, O MAN!

Be pitiful to every thing                                                            73
     That creeps around thy throne,
Yea, with thy love as with a wing
     Shelter the lost and lone;—
Tho’ from the cradle to the tomb
     Thy reign is but a span,
Still, in despite of Death and Doom,
     Be pitiful, O MAN!

So shall thy soul arise in strength
     Above the coward’s dread,
So shall thy love avenge at length
     The blood the gods have shed,
So shalt thou scorn the cruel Law
     That is since Time began,
And, held by Heaven and Hell in awe,
     Shame all the gods, O MAN!





MAN with the Red Right Hand knelt in the night and prayed:
“Pity and spare, O God, the mortal whom thou hast made!
Strengthen the house he builds, adorn his glad roof-tree,
Blessing the bloody spoil he gathers on earth and sea!
The bird and the beast are blind, and they do not understand,
But lo! thy servant kneels!” said Man with the Red Right Hand.

God went by in the Storm, and answered never a word.
But the birds of the air shriek’d loud, and the beasts of the mountain heard,
And the dark sad flocks of the Sea and the Sea-lambs gentle-eyed
Wail’d from their oozy folds, and the mild Sea-kine replied,
And the pity of God fell down like darkness on sea and land,
But froze to ice in the heart of Man with the Red Right Hand.

Then up he rose from his knee and brandish’d the crimson knife,
Saying: “I thank thee, God, for making me Lord of Life!
The beasts and the birds are mine, and the flesh and blood of the same,
Baptised in the blood of these, I gladden and praise thy name!
Laden with spoils of life thy servant shall smiling stand!”                                75
And out on the Deep he hied, this Man with the Red Right Hand.

Afar on the lonely isles the cry of the slaughtered herds
Rose on the morning air, to the scream of the flying birds,
And the birds fell down and bled with pitiful human cries,
And the butcher’d Lambs of the Sea lookt up with pleading eyes,
And the blood of bird and beast was red on sea and land,
And drunk with the joy of Death was Man with the Red Right Hand.

And the fur of the slain sea-lamb was a cloak for his bride to wear,
And the broken wing of the bird was set in his leman’s hair,
And the flesh of the ox and lamb were food for his brood to eat,
And the skin of the mild sea-kine was shoon on his daughter’s feet!
And the cry of the slaughtered things was loud over sea and land
As he knelt once more and prayed, upraising his Red Right Hand.

“Pity me, Master and Lord! spare me and pass me by,
Grant me Eternal Life, though the beast and the bird must die!
Behold I worship thy Law, and gladden in all thy ways,
The bird and the beast are dumb, but behold I sing thy praise,
The bird and the beast are blind, and they do not understand,                      76
But lo, I see and know!” said Man with the Red Right Hand.

God went by in the Storm and answered never a word.
But deep in the soul of Man the cry of a God was heard:
“Askest thou pity, thou, who ne’er drew pitying breath?
Askest thou fulness of life, whose life is built upon death?
Even as thou metest to these, thy kin of the sea and land,
Shall it be meted to thee, O Man of the Red Right Hand!

“When thou namest bird and beast, and blessest them passing by,
When thy pleasure is built no more on the pain of things that die,
When thy bride no longer wears the spoil of thy butcher’s knife,
Perchance thy prayer may reach the ears of the Lord of Life;
Meantime be slain with the things thou slayest on sea and land,—
Yea, pass in thy place like those, O Man with the Red Right Hand!”





                   WHO cometh out of the sea
                         Wrapt in His winding-sheet?
                   He who hung on the Tree
                         With blood on his hands and feet,—
On the frozen isles He leaps, and lo, the sea-lambs round him bleat!

                   The cry of the flocks o’ the Sea
                         Rings in the ears of the Man!
                   Gentle and mild is He,
                         Tho’ worn and weak and wan;
The mild-eyed seals look up in joy, his pitiful face to scan.

                   They gather round him there,
                         He blesses them one and all,—
                   On their eyes and tangled hair
                         His tears of blessing fall;—
But he starteth up and he listeneth, for he hears the hunter’s call!

                   Moaning in fear he flies
                         Leading the wild sea-herds,
                   O’er him, under the skies,
                         Follow the startled birds,—
“Father, look down!” he moans aloud, and the Heavens fling back his words!


     * See, passim, the descriptions of Dr. Gordon Stables, R.N., Captain Borchgrevink, Professor Jukes, and others, of the devilries which accompany the slaughter of the Fur-Seal.


                   The hunter’s feet are swift,                                                       78
                         The feet of the Christ are slow,
                   Nearer they come who lift
                         Red hands for the butcher’s blow,—
Aye me, the bleeding lambs of the Sea, who struggle and wail in woe!

                   Blind with the lust of death
                         Are the red hunter’s eyes,
                   Around him blood like breath
                         Streams to the silent skies,—
Slain again ’mong the slain sea-lambs the white Christ moans and dies!

                   “Even as the least of these,
                         Butcher’d again, I fall!”
                   O gentle lambs of the Sea,
                         Who leapt to hear him call,
Bleeding there in your midst he lies, who gladden’d and blest you all!

                   And the hunter striding by,
                         Blind, with no heart to feel,
                   Laughs at the anguish’d cry,
                         And crushes under his heel
The head of the Christ that looketh up with the eyes of a slaughter’d seal!





TURN from that mirage of a God on high
     Holding the sceptre of a creed outworn,
And hearken to the faint half-human cry
     Of Nature quickening with the God unborn!

The God unborn, the God that is to be,
     The God that has not been since Time began,—
Hark,—that low sound of Nature’s agony
     Echoed thro’ life and the hard heart of Man!

Fed with the blood and tears of living things,
     Nourish’d and strengthen’d by Creation’s woes,
The God unborn, that shall be King of Kings,
     Sown in the darkness, thro’ the darkness grows.

Alas, the long slow travail and the pain
     Of her who bears Him in her mighty womb!
How long ere he shall live and breathe and reign,
     While yonder Phantom fades to give him room?

Where’er great pity is and piteousness,
     Where’er great Love and Love’s strange sorrow stay,
Where’er men cease to curse, but bend to bless,
     Frail brethren fashion’d like themselves of clay;

Where’er the lamb and lion side by side                                              80
     Lie down in peace, where’er on land or sea
Infinite Love and Mercy heavenly-eyed
     Emerge, there stirs the God that is to be!

His light is round the slaughter’d bird and beast
     As round the forehead of Man crucified,—
All things that live, the greatest and the least,
     Await the coming of this Lord and Guide;

And every gentle deed by mortals done,
     Yea, every holy thought and loving breath,
Lighten poor Nature’s travail with this Son
     Who shall be Lord and God of Life and Death!

No God behind us in the empty Vast,
     No God enthroned on yonder heights above,
But God emerging, and evolved at last
     Out of the inmost heart of human Love!

Wound Love, thou woundest, too, this God unborn!
     Of Love and Love’s compassion is he bred!
His strength the grace that holds no thing in scorn,
     His very blood the tears by Pity shed!

And every cruel thought or deed on earth,
     Yea, even blood-sacrifice on bended knee,
Lengthens the travail and delays the birth
     Of this our God, the God that is to be!




     “Throughout all this period of Titanic struggle, patriotism was the most
potent factor in the contest, and ultimately decided the issue. Animated
by patriotism, which gave to her armies a superhuman strength, France
was able to confound all the efforts of her enemies. Then, ignoring in all
other nations a love of independence and freedom as strenuous as her own,
she at last created and evoked in them this all-powerful sentiment, and
was in the end driven back to her frontiers by an exhibition of the same
spirit as that which had enabled her to defend them. . . . The fact is, that
a vague attachment to the whole human race is a poor substitute for the
performance of the duties of a citizen; and professions of universal philan-
thropy afford no excuse for neglecting the interests of one’s own country.”



JUDAS to Caiaphas,
     The Elders, and the Priests:
“I, heir of him who sold the Man
     Whose voice disturb’d your feasts,
My thirty pieces duly gain’d,
     The Cross and Sword upraise,
And claim, for triumph thus attained,
     The Patriot’s palm and bays!



“Who is the Patriot? He
     Who, swift and keen to slay,
Spieth the helpless quarry out
     For home-bred birds of prey;
Who heeds not hearts that ache and break,
     But peers from sea to sea,
And ever, for his Country’s sake,
     Points Christ to Calvary!



“The black Christs and the white,
     Lo, how they shriek and die,
While the great conquering Flag floats on
     And merry hosts go by!
I price in our imperial Mart
     Their land, their gold, their lives—
Ho, Priests, who heeds the broken heart,
     So that the Market thrives?



“Who is the Patriot? He
     Who strideth, sword in hand,
To reap the fields he never sowed,
     For his own Fatherland!
Who, sweeping human rights aside,
     Sets up the cross-shaped Tree,
And while the Christ is crucified,
     Bids all the Thieves go free!



“This for a sign I speak—
     Heed it and understand—
Who loves his neighbour as himself
     Loves, too, his neighbour’s land!
His neighbour’s land, his wives, his gold,
     All the good thief may seize,
And he’s a Patriot twentyfold
     Who garners all of these!



“All, for his Country’s sake,
     His God, his Lord, his Home,
Ev’n so the Roman stalk’d abroad
     And claimed the world for Rome!
Ev’n so the patriot Nations still
     In emulation toil,
Confront each other, shrieking shrill,
     And hungering for the spoil!



“Remember how the Patriot’s fire
     Swept Europe west to east,
While on its trail devouring ran
     The many-headed Beast;
Till dawn’d at last the glorious morn
     When all the Earth was priced
By Patriotism’s latest born,
     The Imperial Antichrist!



“Hark! still the Patriot’s cry
     Yonder in France is heard—
She slew her Kings, she found for men
     The blood-compelling Word:
Arm’d to the teeth still croucheth she,
     Waketh, and sleepeth not—
‘Allons, enfants de la Patrie—
     To cut our neighbour’s throat!’



“Lo, how the same grand dream
     Of God and Fatherland
Fills the brave Teuton’s warrior-soul
     And arms his mailëd hand;
Beast-like for battle he prepares,
     Bow’d down with helm and glaive,—
How proudly he, the Patriot, wears
     The livery of the Slave!”



Judas to Caiaphas,
     The Elders, and the Priests:
“I, heir of him who sold the Man
     Whose voice disturb’d your feasts,
Bid ye, my brethren of the Blood,
     March on from sea to sea,
Nor heed, ’mid Conquest’s roaring flood,
     The cries from Calvary!



“Patriots ye were and are,
     Yours is the Patriot’s crown;
The Patriot is the strong man, he
     Who strikes the weak man down!
Onward with Cross and Sword, still race,
     With all the world for prey,—
I price, in this your market-place,
     The robes of Him ye slay!”



The New Rome continued

or back to The New Rome - Contents








The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law


The Critical Response
Harriett Jay


Site Diary
Site Search