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WILLIAM THOM, THE WEAVER POET. 171
His home, his fortress, foul or fair, No factory whipper swaggers there. Should ruffian wasp or taunting fly Touch his lov'd lair, 't is touch and die ! Supreme in rags, ye weave, in tears, The shining robe your murderer wears, Till worn at last to the very " waste," A hole to die in at the best ; And, dead, the session saints begrudge ye The two-three deals in death to lodge ye, And grudge the grave, wherein to drop ye. And grudge the very muck to hap ye.
All this bitterness had reason and fact to excuse it, and it is a wonder that such feelings, fermenting in strong minds, did not lead to more serious consequences than taproom talk and the formation of Chartist clubs.
In such surroundings, what was the character and career of Thorn himself ? An active mind led him to the perusal of such books as came in his way, and a poetical temperament made him deeply sensitive to the suffering and degradation of his condition, while it gave him a stimulus toward the fleeting pleasures of dissipation and the glow of sociability and popularity among his fellows. He was without the determined energy to rise above his condition, which might have succeeded had an exceptional strength been allied with his mental gifts, in spite of the forlorn circum-