Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

indexA poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice:

When wilt thou save the people?

O God of mercy! when?

Not kings and lords, but nations!

Flowers of the heart, O God, are they!

Let them not pass, like weeds, away!

Their heritage a sunless day!

God save the people!

Shall bring crime for ever,

Strength aiding still the strong?

Is it thy will, O Father?

That man shall toil for wrong?

“No!” say thy mountains; “No!” thy skies;

“Man’s clouded sun shall brightly rise,

And songs be heard instead of sighs.”

God save the people!

When wilt thou save the people?

O God of mercy! when?

The people, Lord! the people!

Not thrones and crowns, but men!

God save the people! thine they are;

Thy children, as thy angels fair;

Save them from bondage and despair!

God save the people!





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