The Outlaws

Through learned and laborious years
 They set themselves to find
Fresh terrors and undreamed-of fears
 To heap upon mankind.
ALl that they drew from Heaven above
 Or digged from earth beneath,
They laid into their treasure-trove
 And arsenals of death:
While, for well-weighed advantage sake,
 Ruler and ruled alike
Built up the faith they meant to break
 When the fit hour should strike.
They traded with the careless earth,
 And good return it gave:
They plotted by their neighbour’s hearth
 The means to make him slave.
When all was ready to their hand
 They loosed their hidden sword,
And utterly laid waste a land
 Their oath was pledged to guard.
Coldly they went about to raise
 To life and make more dread
Abominations of old days,
 That men believed were dead.
They paid the price to reach their goal
 Across a world in flame;
But their own hate slew their own soul
 Before that victory came.
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