Francis W. L. Adams, “Anarchism” (1894)

“Anarchism.”

‘Tis not when I am here,
     In these homeless homes, 
Where sin and shame and disease 
     And foul death comes;

‘Tis not when heart and brain
     Would be still and forget 
Men and women and children
     Dragged down to the pit.

But when I hear them declaiming 
     Of “liberty,” “order” and “law,” 
The husk-hearted gentleman 
     And the mud-hearted bourgeois, 

That a sombre, hateful desire 
     Burns up slow in my breast, 
To wreck the great, guilty temple. 
     And give us rest! 

          — Francis W. L. Adams.

Francis William Lauderdale Adams, “Anarchism,” Songs of the Army of the Night (London: William Reeves, 1894): 36.

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Independent scholar, translator and archivist.