Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/103

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To Bera Pennoo: The Earth Goddess.

An Invocation before Human Sacrifice.

Goddess of earth! Dread source of ill!
Thy just revenge o'erwhelms us still
For rites unpaid;
But oh! forgive!—Our stores are small,
Our lessened means uncertain all.
Denied thine aid.

Goddess that taught mankind to feel
Poison in plants, and death in steel—
A fearful lore—
Forgive—forgive! and ne'er again
Shall we neglect thy shrine to stain
With human gore!

Let plenty all our land o'erspread.
Make green the ground with living bread.
Our pastures fill
So close with cattle side by side
That no bare spot may be descried
From distant hill.

And when unto the broad flat pool.
Their thirst to quench, their sides to cool,
Our herds are led;
So num'rous make them that no form
Of fish or frog, or toad or worm,
Survive their tread.

So fill with sheep each ample fold
That he who digs man-deep the mould,
Their compost rare.
Meet not a stone. May swine abound
Until their plough-like snouts the ground
For seed prepare.