I SAW them as they were born,
Erect and fearless and free,
Facing the sun and the wind
Of the hills and the sea.
I saw them naked, superb,
Like the Greeks long ago,
With shield and spear and arrow
Ready to strike and throw.
I saw them as they were made
By the Christianizing crows,
Blinking, stupid, clumsy,
In their greasy ill-cut clothes:
I heard their gibbering cant,
And they sung those hymns that smell
Of poor souls besotted, degraded
With the fear of 'God' and 'Hell.'
And I thought if Jesus could see them,
He who loved the freedom, the light,
And loathed those who compassed heaven
And earth for one proselyte,
To make him, etcetera, etcetera, -
Then this sight, as on me or you,
Would act on him like an emetic,
And he'd have to go off and spue.
O Jesus, O man of the People,
Who died to abolish all this -
The Pharisee rank and respectable,
The Scribe and the scabrous Priest -
O Jesus, O sacred Socialist,
You would die again of shame,
If you were alive and could see
What things are done in your Name.