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Poem by Gerald Massey

The People's Advent

'TIS coming up the steep of Time,
    And this old world is growing brighter!
We may not see its dawn sublime,
    Yet high hopes make the heart throb lighter.
We may be sleeping in the ground,
    When it awakes the world in wonder;
But we have felt it gathering round,
    And heard its voice of living thunder.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

'Tis coming now, the glorious time,
    Foretold by Seers, and sung in story;
For which, when thinking was a crime,
    Souls leapt to heaven from scaffolds gory!
They pass'd, nor see the work they wrought,
    Now the crown'd hopes of centuries blossom!
But the live lightning of their thought
    And daring deeds, doth pulse Earth's bosom.
                              'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Creeds, Empires, Systems, rot with age,
    But the great People's ever youthful!
And it shall write the Future's page,
    To our humanity more truthful!
The gnarliest heart hath tender chords,
    To waken at the name of "Brother;"
And time comes when brain-scorpion words
    We shall not speak to sting each other.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Out of the light, ye Priests, nor fling
    Your dark, cold shadows on us longer!
Aside! thou world-wide curse, call'd King!
    The People's step is quicker, stronger.
There's a Divinity within
    That makes men great, whene'er they will it.
God works with all who dare to win,
    And the time cometh to reveal it.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Freedom! the tyrants kill thy braves;
    Yet in our memories live the sleepers,
Thoe' murder'd millions feed the graves,
    Dug by Death's fierce, red-handed reapers;
The world shall not for ever bow
    To things which mock God's own endeavour;
'Tis nearer than they wot of now,
    When flowers shall wreathe the sword for ever.
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Fraternity!    Love's other name!
    Dear, heaven-connecting link of Being!
Then shall we grasp thy golden dream,
    As souls, full-statured, grow far-seeing.
Thou shalt unfold our better part,
    And in our Life-cup yield more honey:
Light up with joy the poor man's heart,
    And Love's own world, with smiles more sunny:
                             'Tis coming! yes, 'tis coming!

Ay, it must come!    The Tyrant's throne
    Is crumbling with our hot tears rusted;
The Sword earth's mighty have leant on
    Is canker'd, with our heart's blood crusted.
Room! for the men of Mind make way!
    Ye robber Rulers, pause no longer;
Ye cannot stay the opening day:
    The world rolls on, the light grows stronger,Ч
                             The People's Advent's coming!

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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