Tristram of Lyonesse and Other Poems


On the Russian Persecution of the Jews

Algernon Charles Swinburne

O SON of man, by lying tongues adored,
    By slaughterous hands of slaves with feet red-shod
    In carnage deep as ever Christian trod
Profaned with prayer and sacrifice abhorred
And incense from the trembling tyrant’s horde,
    Brute worshippers or wielders of the rod,
    Most murderous even of all that call thee God,
Most treacherous even that ever called thee Lord;
Face loved of little children long ago,
    Head hated of the priests and rulers then,
        If thou see this, or hear these hounds of thine
        Run ravening as the Gadarean swine,
Say, was not this thy Passion, to foreknow
    In death’s worst hour the works of Christian men?

        Jan. 23, 1882.

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