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Alfred George Stephens

Babylon

Babylon has fallen! Aye; but Babylon endures
Wherever human wisdom shines or human folly lures;
Where lovers lingering walk beside, and happy children play,
Is Babylon! Babylon! for ever and for aye.
The plan is rudely fashioned, the dream is unfulfilled,
Yet all is in the archetype if but a builder willed;
And Babylon is calling us, the microcosm of men,
To range her walls in harmony and lift her spires again;
The sternest walls, the proudest spires, that ever sun shone on,
Halting a space his burning race to gaze on Babylon.


Babylon has fallen! Aye; but Babylon shall stand:
The mantle of her majesty is over sea and land.
Hers is the name of challenge flung, a watchword in the fight
To grapple grim eternities and gain the old delight;
And in the word the dream is hid, and in the dream the deed,
And in the deed the mastery for those who dare to lead.
Surely her day shall come again, surely her breed be born
To urge the hope of humankind and scale the peaks of morn --

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The Hanging Judge

I am the Judge, the flower of the law,
Bolstered in, privileged, all men’s awe;
When I am pleased to display my wit
The court is a-cackle with joy of it;
When my liver is slightly out of order
Woe to who crosses me—barrister, warder!
How do I rule the obsequious gang?
The secret is simple—I always hang!
One plant in my legal garden grows:
The mandrake’s shriek is the solace I chose;
And I water my treasure whenever I can
With the blood that drips from a gibbeted man.
Justice? Fiddlesticks! Mercy? Fudge!
I am the Judge!
I am the Judge. I like to dine
Before I charge: then, flushed with wine,
I bully the jury into submission
And rise to the height of judicial ambition.
O how I thrill deliciously
At the wretch in his anguish under me!

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