Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality.

To Thought’s metropolis sublime,1
Where never sets the morning star,2
Across the desert wastes of Time,3
Two travellers journey’d from afar.4
The one a royal mantle wore,5
A golden buckler girt his breast,6
A banner in his hand he bore,7
A plume upon his stately crest :8
The other, clad in rags, and bare9
Of head and foot, with weary haste10
To reach that city shining fair,11
Plodded the wide and pathless waste :12
But ere the day was down, the two13
Together reach’d the gated wall ;14
And both upon the bugle blew,15
High challenge to the watchmen all.16
What pilgrim from the waste of years,17
Seeks entrance here ?”  the warden cried.18
Go, greet from me my princely peers,”19
The mail’d and mantled guest replied.20
And spread for me the banquet fair,21
And open wide the palace door,22
For me the lighted hall prepare,23
For me the kingly goblet pour.24
For Shakespeare’s royal son am I !25
But strew the straw, the fagot light,26
In any common hostelry27
Where this poor wretch may rest to-night.28
My lordly lineage I proclaim ;29
My sire is known o’er all the earth :30
But no man knows, or asks, the name31
Of him who gave this beggar birth.32
High feast in banner’d hall be mine,33
And his some hole to hide his head,34
And pour for me the noble wine,35
And fling to him a crust of bread !”36
That may not be !” the answer fell37
From tower to tower in merry scorn,38
For all who enter here and dwell,39
Are brethren, free, and equal born,40
So enter, side by side, ye two,41
As equal guests; or enter not.42
For here is neither high nor low,43
But unto all one equal lot.44
And unto each the same degree ;45
Nor first nor last, nor great nor small :46
All children of one sire are we,47
Thought is the father of us all !”48