Monday, February 27, 2017

Mark Twain's Version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic is Very Relevant Today

Every now and then, you read something from certain writers that just knock your socks off. Sometimes, this happens from someone quite long ago in the past, and this is the second time that I felt that way about a very short work from Mark Twain. 

The first was his War Prayer, which I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

But there was also this, and I highly recommend reading it right now:

Mine eyes have seen the orgy of the launching of the Sword; He is searching out the hoardings where the stranger's wealth is stored; He hath loosed his fateful lightnings, and with woe and death has scored; His lust is marching on.   

I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded him an altar in the Eastern dews and damps; I have read his doomful mission by the dim and flaring lamps— His night is marching on.   

I have read his bandit gospel writ in burnished rows of steel: "As ye deal with my pretensions, so with you my wrath shall deal; Let the faithless son of Freedom crush the patriot with his heel; Lo, Greed is marching on!"   

We have legalized the strumpet and are guarding her retreat;* Greed is seeking out commercial souls before his judgement seat; O, be swift, ye clods, to answer him! be jubilant my feet! Our god is marching on!   

In a sordid slime harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch, With a longing in his bosom—and for others' goods an itch. As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich— Our god is marching on.

Twain wrote this in 1900, but if anything, it seems perhaps more relevant now than ever before in this nation's history!

As soon as I saw it, it felt like something that needed to be shared here, and so here it is!

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