The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

THE EXCEEDING BITTER CRY

JANUARY, 1897.


 

FROM the lands burnt dead with sunshine, where our fathers
  fought and bled,

And have reaped a golden harvest, comes a cry to us for bread;
For the millions, famine-stricken, starve and sicken in despair,
And the glazing eyes of famine see the vultures in the air.

Shall we shut up human pity? Shall they cry to us in vain?

5
Shall we sate ourselves with plenty, while they perish in their  
  pain?  
Can we kneel and say “Our Father,”—can our spirits hope for  
  rest,  
While the babe lies dead from starving on its starving mother’s  
  breast?  

They are black,—but they are brother, and they suffer pain as we,
And the four great winds of heaven bring their death-cries o’er the
 
  sea;
10
They are black,— but they are brothers, and the flag of England  
  stands  
Where the dead forms, drawn together, dry and whiten on the  
  sands.  

Lion-blooded sons of England, breathing glory as your breath,
Up and gird you now, my brothers, for a giant strife with death;
By the flag we guard unsullied, by the God that reigns above,
15
Rise and bind our mighty empire with the bands of human love.