Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Norfolk Island -- the Convicts

The lash of time, the grinding seas
Have beaten on this lonely rock
Where the wild seabirds wheel and turn,
Alone amidst their seeming flock.

Here history has shed her tears
On bitter, dark brutality:
The monstrous sadism of man
Destroying human dignity.

Here many, many men were crushed
For the dull crimes of humankind;
And Hope was buried in the dust
And Pity was made deaf and blind.

And Justice turned away her head
And cunning wrought new paths to pain,
Men’s souls were to a treadmill fixed
To limp through hell again, again.

And down the way, in finer homes,
Sat genteel ladies taking tea
Their eyes averted from the things
It was not suitable to see.

And now the stones are crumbled down
And the sweet grass grows green and free
But still a sorrow soaks this place
Where men once moved in misery.

May we in prayer be thoughtful here
Lest careless hearts be turned to stone
And history on her treadmill still
Brings us to do as they had done.

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