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Tom Paine Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 0

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An Englishman was Thomas Paine

          Who bled for liberty;

But while his fight was far from vain

          He died in poverty:

Though some are of the sober thinking

          'Twas due to drinking.

Yet this is what appeals to me:

          Cobbet, a friend, loved him so well

He sailed across the surly sea

          To raw and rigid New Rochelle:

With none to say: 'Take him not from us!'

          He raped the grave of Thomas.

And in his library he set

          These bones so woe-begone;

I have no doubt his eyes were wet

          To scan that skeleton.

That grinning skull from which in season

          Emerged the Age of Reason.

Then Cobbet in his turn lay dead,

          And auctioneering tones

Over his chattels rudely said:

          'Who wants them bloody bones?'

None did, so they were scattered far

          And God knows where they are.

A friend of Franklin and of Pitt

          He lived a stormy span;

The flame of liberty he lit

          And rang the Rights of Man.

Yet pilgrims from Vermont and Maine

In hero worship seek in vain

          The bones of Thomas Paine.


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