O Plains of Tours

Men will be slaves; let them; but force them not;
To force them into freedom is stil worse;
In one they follow their prone nature's bent,
But in the other stagger all awry,
Blind, clamorous, and with violence overthrow
The chairs and tables of the untasted feast.
Bastiles are reconstructed soon enough,
Temples are long in rising, once cast down,
And ever, when men want them, there are those
Who tell them they shall have them, but premise
That they shall rule within them and without.
Their voices, and theirs only, reach to heaven,
Their sprinkler cleanses souls from inborn sin
With its sow-bristles shaken in the face,
Their surplice sanctifies the marriage-bed,
Their bell and candle drive the devil off
The deathbed, and their purchast prayers cut short
All pains that would await them after death.
O plains of Tours that rang with Martel's arms
Victorious! these are then the fruits ye bear
From Saracenic blood! one only God
Had else been worshipt . . but that one perhaps
Had seen less fraud, less cruelty, below.
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