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Poem by Gerald Massey

We Know There's Something Wrong

WHEN this bright world's a blessed place
    Where Paradise might be
If Love but lampt the sweet, sad, face
    Of our humanity
When heaven is full of sunshine, earth
    Full of fruit, flowers, and song,
Yet starvelings groan 'mid nature's mirth,
    We know there's something wrong.

When God's dear sunshine's taxt for gold,
    The smile of green fields bought,
And rulers league in power's stronghold,
    To crush the people's thought;
And statesmen cower tremblingly
    Before the pleading throng,
Nor stand in conscious dignity,
    We know there's something wrong.

When prison-ration, pauper-fare,
    Is better than theirs who plod
Twelve hours a day like slaves, yet wear
    The image of a God.
When Mother Church breaks hearts for bread,
    And sanctions drop and thong
We read what Christ the master said,
    And know there's something wrong.

When saintly rogues preach temperance
    Beneath the worship-dome,
Yet lust for luxury askance,
    And go get drunk at home!
When their creed-thunders hell-hot hurled,
    Buckler the blood-dyed strong
Who keep mind sheathed and freedom furled
    We know there's something wrong.

When conquering nationsbarbarous, win,
    And civilize with the sword
And thro' the bloody breech fling in,
    The voice from heaven, God's word!
And while good spirits preach good-will
    Roll red, grim strife, along
Keep men, and goad them mad, to kill,
    We know there's something wrong.

When hunger sits at Merit's board,
    And smiteth beauty down
While fools are worshiptgold adored
    And murderers win renown
When proud, rich robbers, grandly flaunt
    Amid a starving throng,
While thousands bite the dust for want
    We know there's something wrong.

Great heart of this old universe,
    Lord, Life, Love! rise and save
The people: Let this tyrant curse,
    In deep hell dig its grave.
For Faith is grey with waiting, God!
    How long, oh, God! how long,
Ere Truth shall vanquish force and fraud
    Right triumph over Wrong?

Gerald Massey

Gerald Massey's other poems:
  1. Love in Idleness
  2. A Maiden's Song
  3. A Night-Musing
  4. Long Expected
  5. A Lyric of Love

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