Ut Sementem Feceris, Ita Metes

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Voltairine de Cleyre

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By Voltairine de Cleyre

(To the Czar, on a woman, a political prisoner, being flogged to death in Siberia.)

How many drops must gather to the skies
Before the cloud-burst comes, we may not know;
How hot the fires in under hells must glow
Ere the volcano's scalding lavas rise,
Can none say; but all wot the hour is sure!
Who dreams of vengeance has but to endure!
He may not say how many blows must fall,
How many lives be broken on the wheel,
How many corpses stiffen 'neath the pall,
How many martyrs fix the blood-red seal;
But certain is the harvest time of Hate!
And when weak moans, by an indignant world
Re-echoed, to a throne are backward hurled,
Who listens hears the mutterings of Fate!


Voltairine de Cleyre, “Ut Sementem Feceris, Ita Metes,” The Open Court 4, no. 23 (July 30, 1890): 2427.

Voltairine de Cleyre, “Ut Sementem Feceris, Ita Metes,” Mother Earth 1, no. 3 (May 1906): 25.