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 snuffeth 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 fulfill,
 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!


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