On the massacre of the Christians in Bulgaria*
Christ, dost thou live indeed? or are thy bones
Still straightened in their rock-hewn sepulchre?
And was thy Rising only dreamed by Her
Whose love of thee for all her sin atones?
For here the air is horrid with men's groans,
The priests who call upon thy name are slain,
Dost thou not hear the bitter wail of pain
From those whose children lie upon the stones?
Come down, O Son of God! incestuous gloom
Curtains the land, and through the starless night
Over thy Cross the Crescent moon I see!
If thou in very truth didst burst the tomb
Come down, O Son of Man! and show thy might,
Lest Mahomet be crowned instead of Thee!
*Bulgaria had been part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire
since the 14th century. An uprising by Christian Bulgarians
against their Muslim oppressors in March 1876 brought
horrific reprisals which became know as ‘Bulgarian atrocities’
and destabilized the region, sparking the Russo-Turkish War