The Greek Emigrant's Song

Now launch the boat upon the wave, —
The wind is blowing off the shore, —
I will not live, a cowering slave,
In these polluted islands, more:
Beyond the wild, dark-heaving sea,
There is a better home for me!

The wind is blowing off the shore,
And out to sea the streamers fly, —
My music is the dashing roar,
My canopy the stainless sky, —
It bends above so fair a blue,
That Heaven seems opening on my view.

I will not live a cowering slave,
Though all the charms of life may shine
Around me, and the land, the wave,
And sky be drawn in tints divine; —
Give lowering skies and rocks to me,
If there my spirit can be free!

Sweeter than spicy gales, that blow
From orange-groves with wooing breath,
The winds may from these islands flow, —
But 't is an atmosphere of death;
The lotus, which transformed the brave
And haughty to a willing slave.

Softer than Minder's winding stream,
The wave may ripple on this coast;
And brighter than the morning beam,
In golden swell, be round it tost; —
Give me a rude and stormy shore,
So power can never threat me more!

Brighter than all the tales they tell
Of Eastern pomp and pageantry,
Our sunset skies in glory swell,
Hung round with glowing tapestry; —
The horrors of a wintry storm
Swell brighter o'er a freeman's form!

The spring may here with autumn twine,
And both combined may rule the year,
And fresh-blown flowers and racy wine
In frosted clusters still be near; —
Dearer the wild and snowy hills,
Where hale and ruddy Freedom smiles!

Beyond the wild, dark-heaving sea,
And ocean's stormy vastness o'er,
There is a better home for me,
A welcomer and dearer shore;
There hands, and hearts, and souls, are twined,
And free the man, and free the mind.
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