The League of Crime.

When musing on the ills of life,1
Which throng the rugged path of man2
And swell the tide of human strife,3
Since first this weary world began4
I’ve sighed and thought their efforts vain,5
Who strove to set the millions free6
From madd’ning insult, want, and pain7
The prison-fruit of tyranny !8
Sad retrospect !  cold, drear, and bleak,9
Of blighted hope, and suffered wrong.10
Oh !  why is guileless worth so weak?11
And why is heartless guilt so strong ?12
Too strong, alas !  hath been the power13
Of England’s crime-fed ruling few !14
Yet, shall the millions crouch and cower15
Before the craven dastard crew ?16
No !  there’s a God enthron’d on high17
To crush the proud oppressor’s sway,18
And tell the tyrants they shall die,19
And answer for their infamy.20
To heaven, ye millions, breath a prayer,21
That dark oppression’s reign may cease22
That want, and hate, and wild despair23
May yield to plenty, love, and peace !24
Then up, and onward, to the fight,25
And dare, like men, your right to claim26
With heaven-born truths, unvanquished might,27
And soul-awak’ning freedom’s name28
By all on earth ye hold most dear !29
And by your hope of bliss on high,30
Arise ! ’tis base to serve or fear31
The spawn of fraud and villany !32
Arise ! with fearless heart and soul,33
And tread the scorpions in the dust ;34
Nor brook their guilt-gorged foul control35
The ruthless league of wealth and lust.36