A Diversity of Creatures/The Press

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THE PRESS

 
The Soldier may forget his sword,
   The Sailorman the sea,
The Mason may forget the Word
   And the Priest his litany:
The maid may forget both jewel and gem,
   And the bride her wedding-dress—
But the Jew shall forget Jerusalem
   Ere we forget the Press!


Who once hath stood through the loaded hour
   Ere, roaring like the gale,
The Harrild and the Hoe devour
   Their league-long paper bale,
And has lit his pipe in the morning calm
   That follows the midnight stress—
He hath sold his heart to the old Black Art
  We call the daily Press.


Who once hath dealt in the widest game
   That all of a man can play,
No later love, no larger fame
   Will lure him long away.

As the war-horse smelleth the battle afar,
   The entered Soul, no less,
He saith: 'Ha! Ha!' where the trumpets are
   And the thunders of the Press.

Canst thou number the days that we fulfil,
   Or the Times that we bring forth?
Canst thou send the lightnings to do thy will,
   And cause them reign on earth?
Hast thou given a peacock goodly wings
   To please his foolishness?
Sit down at the heart of men and things,
   Companion of the Press!

The Pope may launch his Interdict,
   The Union its decree,
But the bubble is blown and the bubble is pricked
   By Us and such as We.
Remember the battle and stand aside
   While Thrones and Powers confess
That King over all the children of pride
   Is the Press—the Press—the Press!


This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.