The Two Nations

Where men walked side by side, and stood together
As one, whatever be their class or trade,
On city street, or country lane or heather,
Now they are wrought asunder by the blade.

Where once were understanding and compassion,
And charity swift given, true and sure,
Now every man defends his meagre ration,
And those who prosper oft’ despise the poor.

Where in the eyes of Englishmen there glistened
A pride and self-respect excelled by none,
And where their ears to whispered greatness listened,
Now are the same eyes dull, the same ears dumb.

Where once the landed gentry in their thriving
Were held in reverence by the common man,
Now are they seen by paupers in their striving
As willing partners in a fiendish plan.

Where now one nation stands in twain divided,
By meadows green rewoven with decay,
The rich ensconsed, the poor downtrod, derided,
The mantle of its greatness rots away.

[The above was first published in A Purpose Strong And Bright].

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