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Till the bow-string comes, in an hour of wrath, And he vanishes from the tyrant's path.
But, O, thou slanderer false and vile!
Dare but to cross that garden-stile;
Dare but to touch that lowly thatch ;-
Dare but to force that peasant's latch ;-
And thy craven soul shall wildly quake
At the thunder-peal the deed shall wake;
For myriad tongues of fire shall sound,
As if every stone cried from the ground.
The indignant thrill like flame shall spread,
Till the isle itself rock 'neath thy tread :
And a voice from people, peer, and throne,
Ring in thine ears—"Atone! atone!"
For Freedom here is common guest,
In princely hall, and peasant's nest;
The palace is fill'd with her living light,
And she watches the hamlet day and night.
Then the land for me! the land for me
Where every living soul ee!
Where winter may come, where storms may rave,
But the tyrant dare not bring his slave !
There is a spirit working in the world,
Like to a silent subterranean fire;
Yet, ever and anon, some monarch hurl'd
Aghast and pale, attests its fearful ire.
The dungeon'd nations now once more respire The keen and stirring air of Liberty. The struggling giant wakes, and feels he's free.
By Delphi's fountain-cave, that ancient choir Resume their song; the Greek astonish'd hears, And the old altar of his worship rears.
Sound on, fair sisters! sound your boldest lyre, Peal your old harmonies as from the spheres.
Unto strange gods too long we've bent the knee, The trembling mind, too long and patiently.
From life without freedom, say, who would not fly? For one day of freedom, oh! who would not die ? Hark!-hark! 'tis the trumpet! the call of the
brave, The death-song of tyrants, the dirge of the slave.
Our country lies bleeding-haste, haste to her aid ;
One arm that defends is worth hosts that invade.
In death's kindly bosom our last hope remains-
The dead fear no tyrants, the grave has no chains.
On, on to the combat ! the heroes that bleed
For virtue and mankind are heroes indeed.
And oh, even if Freedom from this world be driven.
Despair not-at least we shall find her in heaven.
LIBERTY PREFERRED BEFORE
THEE I account still happy, and the chief
Among the nations, seeing thou art free;
My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude,
Replete with vapours, and disposes much
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine :
Thy unadulterate manners are less soft
And plausible than social life requires,
And thou hast need of discipline and art,
To give thee what politer France receives
From nature's bounty—that humane address
And sweetness, without which no pleasure is
In converse, either starved by cold reserve,
Or flush'd with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl
Yet being free, I love thee: for the sake
Of that one feature, can be well content,
Disgraced as thou hast been, poor as thou art,
To seek no sublunary rest beside.
But, once enslaved, farewell! I could endure
Chains no where patiently; and chains at home,
Where I am free by birthright, not at all.
Then what were left of roughness in the grain
Of British natures, wanting its excuse
That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
And shock me. I should then with doubled pain
Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime;
And, if I must bewail the blessing lost,
For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,
I would at least bewail it under skies
Milder, among a people less austere :
In scenes, which, having never known me free,
Would not reproach me with the loss I felt.
The wild streams leap with headlong sweep
In their curbless course o'er the mountain steep;
All fresh and strong they foam along,
Waking the rocks with their cataract song,
My eye bears a glance like the beam on a lance,
While I watch the waters dash and dance;
I burn with glee, for I love to see
The path of any thing that's free.
The sky-lark springs with dew on his wings,
And up in the arch of heaven he sings
Trill-la, trill-la--oh, sweeter far
Than the notes that come through a golden bar.
The joyous bay of a hound at play,
The caw of a rook on its homeward way,
Oh! these shall be the music for me,
For I love the voices of the free.
The deer starts by with his antlers high,
Proudly tossing his head to the sky;
The barb runs the plain unbroke by the rein,
With steaming nostrils and flying mane ;
The clouds are stirr'd by the eaglet bird,
As the flap of its swooping pinion is heard,
Oh! these shall be the creatures for me,
For my soul was formed to love the free.
The mariner brave, in his bark on the wave,
May laugh at the walls round a kingly slave;
And the one whose lot is the dusert spot
Has no dread of an envious foe in his cot.
The thrall and state at the palace gate
Are what my spirit has learn’d to hate :
Oh! the hills shall be a home for me,
For I'd leave a throne for the hut of the free.