Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. OF ALL THE SUFFERING, by EDWARD CARPENTER

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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. OF ALL THE SUFFERING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Of all the suffering
Last Line: Think think of these and learn what freedom is.
Subject(s): Pain; Suffering; Misery

OF all the suffering—
(Think think of it, and learn what Freedom is)—
All the weary disappointed faces,
The lives narrowed down, the dark and joyless prospect,
Capacities stunted that might have been developed, hope gone, the cross of
anguish on the forehead;

Of the fair might-have-been, the lips so loved that Death has hid from
The dread inexorable past, the nothing left to live for,
Age empty purposeless—a mere cold husk—
Death coming slow, with pain and foul disease,

Of all the cruelty of one to another,
Slights that cut the heart's tenderest chords, words said that can never be
Of the deliberate cruelty of savages and half-formed people, gloating in
revenge, or amused by others' pain;
The victim staked out horizontally on the ground, the little fires built
beside or under his arms and legs, or upon his breast,
The careful ingenious torture lasting for hours, the jeers, the diabolic
laughter—the moaning of the deserted and half-charred remnant through the
long night—the stars looking on;
Of the thousands languishing in prisons, slowly succumbing through all
mental tortures into madness;
Of the millions over whom the dread night-mares hang—deaths, partings,
exiles, illness, pain and persecution—the brief respite in sleep, the
waking to despair:
Think think of these, and learn what Freedom is.

Of all the delusion of thinking oneself apart from others—and all the
needless torment that springs from it;
Of the fear that one might somehow tumble out of the world of
Existence—dying oneself while others lived on;
Of the lightning-flashes of love which fitfully and for a moment to dazed
wanderers reveal the truth;
Of after pain endured the immense and widened outlook;

Of the poor little thing that shuts itself in its own cell, and then looks
forth with anxious eyes upon the world—as though there were no
escape—tossed by winds of Chance, subject to Death and Dissolution:
The little primitive cell that grows and differentiates and grows till that
which was in it attains at last to Manhood and Deliverance;
Of all the beating about in the dark round the walls of one's prison, yet
never hitting the secret door of exit;
Of all the sorrow and blindness that inveil for a time the unformed
embryonic creature—
Inveil fatally and forethoughtfully for ends glorious beyond all mortal
Think think of these and learn what Freedom is.

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