Transcribed for the vision-impaired:
I saw it from a hilltop one midnight
A wizard's cauldron, wherein men transmute
Base metals into gold, man into brute.
The rose of fire that blossomed in my sight
Is but a furnace baring heart of white,
Ere yielding to its masters what tribute!
A thousand hasting engines wail and hoot
Challenge and greeting to the tortured night.
The human tides that ceaseless rise and fall,
Responsive to the changing pulse of steel;
The kindly darkness hid them from my gaze.
Saxon, and Slav, and Latin, Afric–all
Fast bounden as of old to labor's wheel,
The while their masters walk in primrose ways.
Not very nice, that about transmuting man into brute-or maybe the poet was referring to the owners, not the workers. (Nah...)
Interestingly, the poet seems to be an anonymous long-term prisoner. (See the title page)