Francis William Lauderdale Adams (27 September 1862 – 4 September 1893)
I SAW them as they were born,
Erect and fearless and free,
Facing the sun and the wind
Of the hills and the sea.
I saw them naked, superb,
Like the Greeks long ago,
With shield and spear and arrow
Ready to strike and throw.
I saw them as they were made
By the Christianizing crows,
Blinking, stupid, clumsy,
In their greasy ill-cut clothes:
I heard their gibbering cant,
And they sung those hymns that smell
Of poor souls besotted, degraded
With the fear of 'God' and 'Hell.'
And I thought if Jesus could see them,
He who loved the freedom, the light,
And loathed those who compassed heaven
And earth for one proselyte,
To make him, etcetera, etcetera, —
Then this sight, as on me or you,
Would act on him like an emetic,
And he'd have to go off and spue.
O Jesus, O man of the People,
Who died to abolish all this —
The Pharisee rank and respectable,
The Scribe and the scabrous Priest —
O Jesus, O sacred Socialist,
You would die again of shame,
If you were alive and could see
What things are done in your Name.
Comments about this poem (New Guinea by Francis William Lauderdale Adams )
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