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The strident high 
civic trumpeting 
of misrule. It is
what we stand for.

Wild insolence, 
aggregates without 
distinction. Courage 
of common men:

spent in the ruck 
their remnant witness
after centuries 
is granted them

like a pardon.
And other fealties 
other fortitudes
broken as named—

brokenly recalled, 
its archaic laws 
and hymnody;

and destroyed hope 
that so many times
is brought with triumph 
back from the dead.

© Geoffrey Hill