Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

France In '93

Ark! the onward heavy tread
Hark! the voices rude
’Tis the famished cry for Bread
From a wildered multitude.

They come! They come!
Point the cannon—roll the drum;
Thousands wail and weep with hunger
Faster let your soldiers number.
Sword, and gun, and bayonet
A famished people’s cries have met.

Hark! the onward heavy tread
Hark! the voices rude—
’Tis the famished cry for Bread
From an armed multitude.
They come! They come!
Not with meek submission’s hum.
Bloody trophy they have won,
Ghastly glares it in the sun
Gory head on lifted pike.
Ha! they weep not now, but strike.

Ye, the deaf ones to their cries
Ye, who scorned their agonies
’Tis no longer prayers for bread
Shriek in your ears the famishéd;
But wildly, fiercely, peal on peal,
Resoundeth—Down with the Bastile!
Can ye tame a people now?
Try them—flatter, promise, vow,
Swear their wrongs shall be redressed
But patience—time will do the rest;
Swear they shall one day be fed
Hark! the People—Dead for Dead!

Calculating statesmen, quail;
Proud aristocrat, grow pale;
Savage sounds that deathly song:
Down with tyrants! Down with wrong!
Blindly now they wreak revenge
How rudely do a mob avenge!

What! coronetted Prince of Peer,
Will not the base‐born slavelings fear?
Sooth, their cry is somewhat stern:
Aristocrats, à la Lanterne!
Ghastly fruit their lances bear
Noble heads with streaming hair;
Diadem and kingly crown
Strike the famine‐stricken down.
Now, the People’s work is done
On they stride o’er prostrate throne;
Royal blood of King and Queen
Streameth from the guillotine;
Wildly on the people goeth,
Reaping what the noble soweth.
Little dreamed he, prince or peer,
Of who should be his heritor.
Hunger now, at last, is sated
In halls where once it wailed and waited;
Wild Justice fiercely rives the laws
Which failed to right a people’s cause.
On that human ocean floweth,
Whither stops it no one knoweth
Surge the wild waves in their strength
Against all chartered rights at length
Throne, and King, and Noble fall;
But the People—they hold Carnival!
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