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



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THE CURSE OF PROPERTY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Are they not mine, saith the lord, the everlasting hills
Last Line: I the lord demos have spoken it—and the mountains are my throne.
Subject(s): Property; Possessions


ARE they not mine, saith the Lord, the everlasting hills?
(Where over the fir-tree tops I glance to the valleys.)
The rich meads with brown and white cattle, and streams with weirs and
water-mills,
And the tender-growing crops, and hollows of shining apple-blossom—
From my mountain terraces as from a throne beholding my lands—
Are they not mine, where I dwell, and for my children?

How long, you, will you trail your slime over them, and your talk of rights
and of property?
How long will you build you houses to hide yourselves in, and your baggage?
to shut yourselves off from your brothers and sisters—and Me?
Beware! for I am the storm; I care nought for your rights of property.
In lightning and thunder, in floods and fire, I will ruin and ravage your
fields;
Your first-born will I slay within your house, and I will make your riches
a mockery.

Fools! that know not from day to day, from hour to hour, if ye shall live,
And yet will snatch from each other the things that I have showered among
you.
For I will have none that will not open his door to all, treating others as
I have treated him.
The trees that spread their boughs against the evening sky, the marble that
I have prepared beforehand these millions of years in the earth; the cattle that
roam over the myriad hills—they are Mine, for all my children—
If thou lay hands on them for thyself alone, thou art accursed.

The curse of property shall cling to thee;
With burdened brow and heavy heart, weary, incapable of joy, without
gaiety,
Thou shalt crawl a stranger in the land that I made for thy enjoyment.
The smallest bird on thy estate shall sing in freedom in the branches, the
plough-boy shall whistle in the furrow,
But thou shalt be weary and lonely—forsaken and an alien among men:
For just inasmuch as thou hast shut thyself off from one of the least of
these my children, thou hast shut thyself off from Me.

I the Lord Demos have spoken it—and the mountains are my throne.





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