About the Poem
About the poet
Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1886 –1962), grew up in East Lancashire. She is now best known as a...
They built the house of Power on Force and Fear,
And gave authority the key to hold,
Stamping it with the hall-mark of dead gold,
And rusting it in human Blood and Tear.
“Behold!” cried Power, “The glory of my state!
Here I conserve forever all that Is,
Here, manacled and gagged, my priests shall kiss
My sceptre. Prisons, dungeons, be my Gate!
Whilst outside millions claw and scratch for Bread,
And burdened lives go swiftly to the grave.
Hold fast my key, my mistress, and all’s well!”
But Liberty came by with rose-crowned head,
And piped upon her pipe to every slave
These words of Laughter, “Fear is all their spell.”
from Freedom newspaper; June 1925, © Ethel Carnie Holdsworth 1925, used by permission of the copyright holder Helen Brown.
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