Why pour the ruby wine,
For glad carousal, brothers mine,
In the sparkling glass that flashes
In your hand,
When, mourning, sits in dust and ashes
What means the joyous song
Of the festive bridal throng?
Oh! let music no more waken
The echoes of our strand,
For the bridegroom hath forsaken
No more your masses falter,
Trembling priests, before the altar.
Can prayer avail the dead or dying?
Oh! vain demand!
Prostrate, trodden on the ground, is lying
Ye princes, fling ye down
Your blood‐bought jewelled crown
Bear the circlet on your brow no more,
Nor signet on your hand;
For, shivering, stands before your door
Woe to ye rich; in gloom
Hath toll’d your hour of doom
There, reck’ning up your gold, ye sit in state
In palace grand,
While Lazarus is dying at your gate,
And woe to you, ye poor
Want and scorn ye must endure;
Yet before ye many noble jewels shine
In the sand.
Ah! they are patriots’ tears—even mine
But the Poet’s mission
Is but prophetic vision;
To him the daring heart is granted
Not the hand.
He may cease—the death‐song has been chanted