Equity and the Worm

Image from Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University.

[For the Chronicle.]

Equity.

Turn, turn thy hasty foot aside,
Nor crush that helpless worm;
The frame they scornful looks deride
Required a God to form.

The common Lord of all that move,
From whom thy being flow’d,
A portion of his boundless love
On that poor worm bestow’d.

The son, the moon, the stars He made
To all His creatures free;
And spreads o’er earth the grassy blade,
For worms as well as thee.

The crown to awe, the rod to smite,
Is man’s by law divine;
But sacred be each humbler right
That clashes not with thine!

Let savage prowlers of the wood,
With thirst of hunger bold;
Let poisonous foes, by land or flood —
Let plunderers of thy fold;

Let pilferers of thy loaded grain,
To justice — victims die;
But injure not the harmless train
That creep, or walk, or fly.

Let them enjoy their little day,
Their lowly bliss receive;
O, do not lightly take away
The life thou canst not give.

Fox Lake.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Feb 14, 1849

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