Treasure Island

Martin Farquhar Tupper

(July 17, 1810 - November 1889 / London)

A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. VI. The Outcast

A walk in the city by day ;-
When rural simplicity stops
To wonder at all that is glittering gay
Heap'd in the ticketing shops;
And oftener too gets stopp'd as it goes
By many a sorrow it meets,
The sins and the shames, the troubles and woes
Found in the flinty streets!

In spite of Philanthropy's rules,
And all that Exertion has won
By Orderly badges, and Ragged Schools,-
Alas! how little is done:
For an orphaned legion of desperate youth
The scum and the lees of the town,
Outcasts of virtue, and outlaws of truth,
Are prowling up and down!

They live - Heav'n only knows how -
Uncared-for in body and soul,
As foxes in holes, or the rook on the bough,
Or scavenger-dogs of Stamboul:
Three myriads of such (as they tell us) are known,
A homeless and famishing crew
Who roam up and down this labyrinth town
Like jackals in Timbuctoo!-

A stroll in the city by night ;-
Where sadden'd Humanity's tear
Must ever be dropt for a sorrier sight
The ruins of Womanhood here!
Alas! for their bondage; no heavier chain
Has ever poor African worn,
Than yon wretched creature, whom pleasure and pain
Make equally foul and forlorn!

Six myriads (they tell us) of these,
Society's commonest slaves,
Live only for guilt, and scorn, and disease
And pine for the beds of their graves;
And profligate men, who from boyhood are curst
By daring to sin as they will,
Add ever new victims, to live like the worst
And perish like reprobates still!

-Who can pretend they are Free?
Free to be starved, if they cease
By sinning, or stealing, or begging, to be
Scabs on the world's increase!
Free? - when a network of Circumstances strong
Closes them only to Crime,
And multiplied evil and manifold wrong
Are rife in a Christian clime!

O world,- poor travailing world,-
When shall your oppressed go free?
And Rights be set up? and Wrongs be down-hurl'd?
Ah, when shall these things be?
-Come speedily, Holy One, King of the Just!
No power but Thine can save
The cruel from treading the meek in the dust,
Or ransom the poor White Slave!

Submitted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. VI. The Outcast by Martin Farquhar Tupper )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

New Poems

  1. She knows now, hasmukh amathalal
  2. I am on the top, gajanan mishra
  3. Invocation, Hans Raj Sharma
  4. The tempest death, Akshansh Pandey
  6. Let us feel the love, gajanan mishra
  7. Blind Owl, Nassy Fesharaki
  8. No number, gajanan mishra
  9. We Are Tourist, Aftab Alam
  10. Two Baldy Ladies, Neela Nath

Poem of the Day

poet George Gordon Byron

So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart still be as loving,
And the moon still be as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
...... Read complete »


Modern Poem


Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]