Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice
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Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
 
Batuschka

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich

(New England poet and journalist, 1836–1907)
 
FROM yonder gilded minaret
Beside the steel-blue Neva set,
I faintly catch, from time to time,
The sweet, aerial midnight chime—
      “God save the Tsar!”        5
 
Above the ravelins and the moats
Of the white citadel it floats;
And men in dungeons far beneath
Listen, and pray, and gnash their teeth—
      “God save the Tsar!”        10
 
The soft reiterations sweep
Across the horror of their sleep,
As if some demon in his glee
Were mocking at their misery—
      “God save the Tsar!”        15
 
In his red palace over there,
Wakeful, he needs must hear the prayer.
How can it drown the broken cries
Wrung from his children’s agonies?—
      “God save the Tsar!”        20
 
Father they called him from of old—
Batuschka!… How his heart is cold!
Wait till a million scourgèd men
Rise in their awful might, and then—
      “God save the Tsar!”        25
 
 
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