A Toast - Poem by Lola Ridge
Not your martyrs anointed of heaven -
The ages are red where they trod -
But the Hunted - the world's bitter leaven -
Who smote at your imbecile God -
A being to pander and fawn to,
To propitiate, flatter and dread
As a thing that your souls are in pawn to,
A Dealer who traffics the dead;
A Trader with greed never sated,
Who barters the souls in his snares,
That were trapped in the lusts he created,
For incense and masses and prayers -
They are crushed in the coils of your halters;
'Twere well - by the creeds ye have nursed -
That ye send up a cry from your altars,
A mass for the Martyrs Accursed;
A passionate prayer from reprieval
For the Brotherhood not understood -
For the Heroes who died for the evil,
Believing the evil was good.
To the Breakers, the Bold, the Despoilers,
Who dreamed of a world over-thrown…
They who died for the millions of toilers -
Few - fronting the nations alone!
- To the Outlawed of men and the Branded,
Whether hated or hating they fell -
I pledge the devoted, red-handed,
Unfaltering Heroes of Hell!
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