People—Whose Fault?

If they have sought to smite you low,
Yourselves have crouched before the blow;
Befooled, to the commands of knaves
Yourselves have turned the ears of slaves.

Have they despoiled you at their will?
You bowed your heads, submissive still,
While they, for plenty, bitterest need—
For freedom, slavery decreed.

Their lordship, with your slavery bent,
Is but their right, if you consent;
Have but the will, then you shall see
You own the welfare of the free!
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