Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

To Mother Earth

O earth, earth, earth! where wilt thou hide thy slain?
How cover up the blood thy children pour in vain?
The air is rank with death, and rent with shrieks and groans,
For still the voice of war rolls out in thunder tones.
O earth, earth, earth! there comes an awful day,
When thou and all thy works shall burn and melt away;
When all thy dead shall rise, and the sepulchral sea
Shall render up the dead that in her caverns be.
O earth, earth, earth! thy heart is hard and cold,
More cruel, cruel still when waxing dim and old;
'Thy voice is still for war,' and through the oceans spilt
Of kindred blood-thou still would'st wade to deeper depths of guilt.
O earth, earth, earth! let not poor Poland's name
In mocking sympathy be breathed for very, very shame;
'The boar that from the forest comes doth waste her at his pleasure,'
Much soulless sympathy thou giv'st and savest thy blood and treasure.
O earth, earth, earth! was thy maternal breast
E'er so outraged, so foully stained, so reft of peace and rest?
The children of one home, the brothers of one race,
Who flash their fratricidal swords before the mother's face.
O earth, earth, earth! hear'st thou the solemn call?
The voice of Him who speaks, the Father-God of all?
Let tyrants quail, for God is judge, and sets the prisoners free,
The wrath of man but works His will, earth's sovereign judge is He.
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