Dies Irae by William Mountain

Go fight your fight with Tagal and with Boer,

Cheer in the lust of strength and brutal pride;

Beat down the lamb to fatten up the fox,

Shout victory o'er the prostrate shape of truth.

 

Take cross and pike and gold and sophistry,

To pray and prod and purchase, wheedle, wile;

Stamp out the roses in a waste of weeds,

Shout while the trembling voice of truth is hushed.

 

Shatter with iron heel the poet's dream,

The prophet's protest, and the ages' hope,

Of brotherhood and light and love on earth--

Of peace and plenty and a perfect race.

 

Tear down the fabric of ten thousand years,

The world's best wisdom woven in its woe;

Lift ruthless hands to rend the fairy fane

That holds the heart hopes of humanity.

 

Let loose greed, envy, lust, and avarice,

The myriad throated dragon of desire;

Let might rule, riot, batten on the meek,

The tyranny of man o'er man seem right.

 

Forget the Lord Christ smiled, forgave, and died;

Frowned down every appeal to brutish strength;

Bade man put up the sword, lest by the sword

He perish; prayed evil might be paid by good.

 

Forget he turned cheek to the coward blow,

Cried "Pardon!" yes, seven and seventy times! "Judge not;

Do not condemn; give coat as well as cloak;

Resist not evil, wrong's not made right by wrong."

 

Forget each drop of blood burns in the race,

Cries for atonement while the last man lives;

That murder for the state is murder still,

The gilded not less guilty though more great.

 

Forget, and flay and flame; in din grow deaf

To piteous cries without, and voice within;

Conquer, triumph, and when the world is won,

Turn terroring towards the demon in your heart.