The Rhyme of the Beast

Original Text: 
The Collected Poems of T. W. H. Crosland (London: Martin Secker, 1917): 145-46. PR 4518 C686A17
1Lo, the Beast that rioteth,
2     Sick with hate and coveting --
3To the sons of men he saith,
4     I will show you a new thing.
5This, the Earth, which was the Lord's,
6     Prodigal of rose and vine,
7I will desolate with swords
8     Till it own that it is mine.
9Every brow must bear my brand
10     Every wrist must wear my steel,
11Every throat be for my hand,
12     Every neck be for my heel.
13I will thrust into your souls
14     Unnamed terrors and despairs --
15Populate the air with ghouls
16     And the sea with murderers.
17While I prove that war is war,
18     Saints shall mourn and angels weep,
19Star commiserate with star,
20     Deep cry out to shuddering deep;
21Tigers marvel in their lust
22     At the tale of blood and pain,
23Pity move the insensate dust,
24     And the very stones complain.
25I will twist the tongue of Truth
26     Till her speech be nought but lies,
27I will kill the faith of Youth,
28     And the hope in Age's eyes.
29Not the altar, nor the tomb,
30     Nor the Sufferer on the Tree,
31Nor the babe within the womb
32     Shall be sacred unto me.
34     Rob and ravish till I die;
35I will be the Supreme Hog,
36     And the world shall be my sty.

Notes

33] cog: lie. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1916
Publication Notes: 
War Poems, by "X" [1916].
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Rhyme: 
Form: