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YE brood of Conscience-Spectres! that fre


The bad man's restless walk, and haunt his bed

Fiends in your aspect, yet beneficent

In act, as hovering Angels when they spread Their wings to guard the unconscious Inno



Slow be the Statutes of the land to share
A laxity that could not but impair
Your power to punish crime, and so prevent.
And ye, Beliefs! coiled serpent-like about
The adage on all tongues," Murder will out," 10
How shall your ancient warnings work for

In the full might they hitherto have shown,
If for deliberate shedder of man's blood
Survive not Judgment that requires his own?


BEFORE the world had past her time of youth
While polity and discipline were weak,
The precept eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,
Came forth a light, though but as of day-


Strong as could then be borne. A Master



Proscribed the spirit fostered by that rule,
Patience his law, long-suffering his school,
And love the end, which all through peace

must seek.

But lamentably do they err who strain

His mandates, given rash impulse to control 10
And keep vindictive thirstings from the soul,
So far that, if consistent in their scheme,
They must forbid the State to inflict a pain,
Making of social order a mere dream.


FIT retribution, by the moral code Determined, lies beyond the State's embrace, Yet, as she may, for each peculiar case

She plants well-measured terrors in the road Of wrongful acts.


Downward it is



And, the main fear once doomed to banishment, Far oftener then, bad ushering worse event, Blood would be spilt that in his dark abode Crime might lie better hid. And, should the change


Take from the horror due to a foul deed,
Pursuit and evidence so far must fail,
And, guilt escaping, passion then might plead
In angry spirits for her old free range,
And the "wild justice of revenge" prevail.


THOUGH to give timely warning and deter
Is one great aim of penalty, extend
Thy mental vision further and ascend
Far higher, else full surely shalt thou err.
What is a State? The wise behold in her
A creature born of time, that keeps one eye
Fixed on the statutes of Eternity,
To which her judgments reverently defer.


Speaking through Law's dispassionate voice

the State

Endues her conscience with external life
And being, to preclude or quell the strife
Of individual will, to elevate

The grovelling mind, the erring to recall,
And fortify the moral sense of all.



OUR bodily life, some plead, that life the shrine

Of an immortal spirit, is a gift


So sacred, so informed with light divine,
That no tribunal, though most wise to sift
Deed and intent, should turn the Being adrift
Into that world where penitential tear
May not avail, nor prayer have for God's ear
A voice-that world whose veil no hand can

For earthly sight. "Eternity and Time"
They urge, "have interwoven claims and rights
Not to be jeopardised through foulest crime: 11
The sentence rule by mercy's heaven-born

Even so; but measuring not by finite sense
Infinite Power, perfect Intelligence.


Ан, think how one compelled for life to abide Locked in a dungeon needs must eat the heart Out of his own humanity, and part

With every hope that mutual cares provide; And, should a less unnatural doom confide 5

In life-long exile on a savage coast,
Soon the relapsing penitent may boast

Of yet more heinous guilt, with fiercer pride. Hence thoughtful Mercy, Mercy sage and pure, Sanctions the forfeiture that Law demands, 10 Leaving the final issue in His hands

Whose goodness knows no change, whose love is sure,

Who sees, foresees; who cannot judge amiss, And wafts at will the contrite soul to bliss.


SEE the Condemned alone within his cell
And prostrate at some moment when remorse
Stings to the quick, and, with resistless force,
Assaults the pride she strove in vain to quell.
Then mark him, him who could so long rebel, 5
The crime confessed, a kneeling Penitent
Before the Altar, where the Sacrament
Softens his heart, till from his eyes outwell
Tears of salvation. Welcome death! while


Does in this change exceedingly rejoice;
While yet the solemn heed the State hath given
Helps him to meet the last Tribunal's voice
In faith, which fresh offences, were he cast
On old temptations, might for ever blast.



YES, though He well may tremble at the sound Of his own voice, who from the judgment-seat Sends the pale Convict to his last retreat

In death; though Listeners shudder all around, They know the dread requital's source profound;

Nor is, they feel, its wisdom obsolete


(Would that it were!) the sacrifice unmeet
For Christian Faith. But hopeful signs abound;
The social rights of man breathe purer air;
Religion deepens her preventive care;
Then, moved by needless fear of past abuse,
Strike not from Law's firm hand that awful


But leave it thence to drop for lack of use:
Oh, speed the blessed hour, Almighty God!




THE formal World relaxes her cold chain
For One who speaks in numbers; ampler scope
His utterance finds; and, conscious of the


Imagination works with bolder hope

The cause of grateful reason to sustain ;


And, serving Truth, the heart more strongly


Against all barriers which his labour meets
In lofty place, or humble Life's domain.
Enough;-before us lay a painful road,
And guidance have I sought in duteous love 10
From Wisdom's heavenly Father. Hence hath

Patience, with trust that, whatsoe'er the way
Each takes in this high matter, all may move
Cheered with the prospect of a brighter day.

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