Comparison of Texts of 1860 and 1867 Editions
Part II, Canto VI
[first 46 lines omitted:]
But when Man hath tamed Nature, asserted his place
And dominion, behold! he is brought face to face
With a new foe - himself! War is open'd within
His own heart: for self-knowledge is knowledge of sin.
And many have striven, and many in vain,
With the still rebel heart, and the still baffled brain; -
Some have conquer'd, some died of that conquest, but all
Have suffer'd, all struggled ; and, whether he fall
Or whether he vanquish, still man, on the field
Of life's lasting war, may not rest on his shield,
May not lean on his spear, till the armed Archangel
Sound o'er him the trump of earth's final evangel.
Now 'tis Thought attacks Thought. And the dread battle-plain
Of that war is the soul, now, herself. And again
The Immortals take part in the battle; and Heaven
And Hell to the conflict their counsels have given.
See! stern Torqucmada dooms Thought to expire!
Hark! the psalm of the martyr soars upward in fire!
Then the auto-da-fes are extinguish'd : back roll
Dense volumes of darkness : and, sovran, the soul
Chants her paean, proclaiming to Earth Heaven's freedom.
And who is it that comes with dyed garments from Edom?
His foot in the blood of the winepress is wet,
And that foot on the head of the serpent is set!
Oh were nought gain'd beside from this conflict of Thought,
Man, at least, in alliance with man hath been brought.
The wide world owns no longer one master alone,
And no more every nation is vassal to one.
Now the strong need the weak, and the weak aid the strong;
Gracious laws whereby Peace may her lifetime prolong
Have been wrought out, of wrath by the swords of mankind,
And the shout of free nations rolls forth on the wind.
May the sword then be sheath'd ? may the banner be furl'd?
And is Peace crown'd for ever, fair Queen of the World?
Nay, Peace holds the sword to establish her state,
And the sentinel walks by the white temple-gate,
Lest the Lion, by night, to the Leopard should say,
'Arise, Brother Leopard, and forth on the prey!'
Still the watchfire must burn, still the watchman must wake,
And still Force arm to keep what still Force arms to take.
What is worth living for is worth dying for too.
And therefore all honour, brave hearts! unto you
Who have fallen, that Freedom, more fair by your death,
A pilgrim, may walk where your blood on her path
Leads her steps to your graves!
-------------------------Let them babble above you!
Sleep well! where no breath of detraction may move you,
And the peace the world gives not is yours at the last!
Chiefly you, sons of England, whose life-blood hath past
Into England's own being ! or whether your names,
'Mid the shrines of her kings, the pale tablet proclaims;
Or, recorded alone in some fond widow'd heart,
Amidst Spain's arid vines, vex'd no more by the dart
Of the suns of the south, or on wide Waterloo,
You now slumber; or where the chill Baltic rolls blue;
Or the crocus of Asia may brighten your bed;
Or 'mid halls in the Orient, where latest you bled,
Where Horror still hears, up the pale marble floor,
Thro' curtains twice crimson'd, the drip of your gore.
You, sons of one mother, who boast from your birth
Of our England's fair name 'mid the nations of earth,
You who - 'midst the grey castles the swords of our sires
Have left us to fight for; the pastoral spires
Where we breathed our first prayers; and our green lanes, so green!
Where spring is thrice spring, and each maiden a queen -
Love these things with a love that is threefold, because
There a man may, unvex'd by iniquitous laws,
Say the thing that he thinks, do the thing that he needs:
There Thought may find freedom for all honest creeds;
There Opinion may circle from soul on to soul;
And Enterprise broadly embrace either pole;
Forget not whose blood with its sanction hath seal'd
This, our boast, upon many a far foughten field.
What is worth living for is worth dying for too.
Forget not the Dead who died for us!
Whom this song cannot reach with its transient breath,
Deaf ears that are stopp'd with the brown dust of death,
Blind eyes that are dark to your own deathless glory,
Silenced hearts that are heedless to praise murmur'd o'er ye,
Sleep deep! sleep in peace! sleep in memory ever!
Wrapt, each soul in the deeds of its deathless endeavour,
Till that great Final Peace shall be struck through the world;
Till the stars be reeall'd, and the firmament furl'd
In the dawn of a daylight undying; until
The signal of Sion be seen on the Hill
Of the Lord ; when the day of the battle is done,
And the conflict with Time by Eternity won!
Till then, while the ages roll onward, thro' war,
Toil, and strife, must roll with them this turbulent star.
And man can no more exclude War, than he can
Exclude Sorrow ; for both are conditions of man,
And agents of God. Truth's supreme revelations
Come in sorrow to men, and in war come to nations.
Then blow, blow the clarion! and let the war roll!
And strike steel upon steel, and strike soul upon soul,
If, in striking, we kindle keen flashes and bright
From the manhood in man, stricken thus into light.
Last revised: 17 January 2012