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- OLD Tubal Cain was a man of might
- In the days when earth was young:
- By the fierce red light of his furnace bright
- The strokes of his hammer rung;
- And he lifted high his brawny hand
- On the iron glowing clear,
- Till the sparks rush'd out in scarlet showers,
- As he fashion'd the sword and spear.
- And he sang - "Hurrah for my handiwork!
- Hurrah for the spear and sword!
- Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well,
- For he shall be king and lord!'
- To Tubal Cain came many a one,
- As he wrought by his roaring fire,
- And each one pray'd for a strong steel blade
- As the crown of his desire;
- And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
- Till they shouted loud for glee,
- And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,
- And spoils of the forest free.
- And they sang - "Hurrah for Tubal Cain,
- Who hath given us strength anew!
- Hurrah for the smith, hurrah for the fire,
- And hurrah for the metal true!"
- But a sudden change came o'er his heart
- Ere the setting of the sun,
- And Tubal Cain was fill'd with pain
- For the evil he had done;
- He saw that men, with rage and hate,
- Made war upon their kind,
- That the land was red with the blood they shed
- In their lust for carnage, blind.
- And he said - "Alas! that ever I made,
- Or that skill of mine should plan,
- The spear and the sword for men whose joy
- Is to slay their fellow-man!"
- And for many a day old Tubal Cain
- Sat brooding o'er his woe;
- And his hand forebore to smite the ore,
- And his furnace smoulder'd low.
- But he rose at last with a cheerful face,
- And a bright courageous eye,
- And bared his strong right arm for work,
- While the quick flames mounted high.
- And he sang - "Hurrah for my handiwork!"
- And the red sparks lit the air;
- "Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made;"
- And he fashion'd the first ploughshare!
- And men, taught wisdom from the past,
- In friendship join'd their hands,
- Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
- And plough'd the willing lands;
- And sang - "Hurrah for Tubal Cain!
- Our stanch good friend is he;
- And for the ploughshare and the plough
- To him our praise shall be.
- But while Oppression lifts its head,
- Or a tyrant would be lord,
- Though we may thank him for the plough,
- We'll never forget the sword!"
- Charles Mackay
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