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UR fellow-countrymen in chains!
O Slaves in a land of light and law!
Slaves crouching on the very plains
Where rolled the storm of Freedom's war!
A groan from Eutaw's haunted wood
By storied hill and hallowed grot,
By mossy wood and marshy glen, Whence rang of old the rifle-shot,
And hurrying shout of Marion's men! The groan of breaking hearts is there
The falling lash the fetter's clank! Slaves - SLAVES are breathing in that air, Which old De Kalb and Sumter drank!
What, ho! -our countrymen in chains!
Caught from her scourging, warm and fresh ! What! mothers from their children riven!
What! God's own image bought and sold! AMERICANS to market driven,
And bartered as the brute for gold!
Speak! shall their agony of prayer
Come thrilling to our hearts in vain ? To us whose fathers scorned to bear
The paltry menace of a chain;
To us, whose boast is loud and long
Say, shall these writhing slaves of Wrong,
What! shall we send, with lavish breath,
Strikes for his freedom, or a grave ? Shall prayers go up, and hymns be sung
For Greece, the Moslem fetter spurning, And millions hail with pen and tongue
Our light on all her altars burning?
Shall Belgium feel, and gallant France,
The impulse of our cheering call?
Oh, say, shall Prussia's banner be
A refuge for the stricken slave? And shall the Russian serf go free
By Baikal's lake and Neva's wave? And shall the wintry-bosomed Dane
Relax the iron hand of pride,
Shall every flap of England's flag
Proclaim that all around are free, From "farthest Ind" to each blue crag
That beetles o'er the Western Sea? And shall we scoff at Europe's kings,
When Freedom's fire is dim with us, And round our country's altar clings
The damning shade of Slavery's curse? Go-let us ask of Constantine
To loose his grasp on Poland's throat; And beg the lord of Mahmoud's line
To spare the struggling SulioteWill not the scorching answer come
From turbaned Turk, and scornful Russ: "Go, loose your fettered slaves at home, Then turn, and ask the like of us!"
Just God! and shall we calmly rest,
Shall our own glorious land retain
That curse which Europe scorns to bear? Shall our own brethren drag the chain Which not even Russia's menials wear?
Up, then, in Freedom's manly part,
From gray-beard eld to fiery youth,
Scatter the living coals of Truth!
The shadow of our fame is growing!
In blood, around our altars flowing!
Oh! rouse ye, ere the storm comes forth
When hail and fire above it ran.
Feel ye no earthquake underneath?
Like that your sterner fathers saw -
The glory and the guilt of war:
And smite to earth Oppression's rod,
Down let the shrine of Moloch sink,
And leave no traces where it stood;
His daily cup of human blood:
To Truth and Love and Mercy given,
UST God! - and these are they
What! preach and kidnap men ?
Bolt hard the captive's door?
What! servants of thy own
Merciful Son, who came to seek and save
Pilate and Herod, friends!
Chief priests and rulers, as of old, combine!
Just God and holy! is that church, which lends
Paid hypocrites, who turn
Of those high words of truth which search and burn
Feed fat, ye locusts, feed!
And, in your tasselled pulpits, thank the Lord
How long, O Lord! how long Shall such a priesthood barter truth away, And, in thy name, for robbery and wrong At thy own altars pray?