Spirit of Freedom

Spirit of Freedom! who thy home hast made
In wilds and wastes, where wealth has never trod,
Nor bowed her coward head before her god,
The sordid deity of fraudful trade;
Where power has never reared his iron brow,
And glared his glance of terror, nor has blown
The maddening trump of battle, nor has flown
His bloodthirst eagles; where no flatterers bow,
And kiss the foot that spurns them; where no throne,
Bright with the spoils from nations wrested, towers,
The idol of a slavish mob, who herd
Where largess feeds their sloth with golden showers,
And thousands hang upon one tyrant's word.

Spirit OF F REEDOM ! thou, who dwell'st alone,
Unblenched, unyielding, on the storm-beat shore,
And find'st a stirring music in its roar,
And look'st abroad on earth and sea, thy own, —
Far from the city's noxious hold, thy foot,
Fleet as the wild deer, bounds, as if its breath
Were but the rankest, foulest steam of death,
Its soil were but the dunghill, where the root
Of every poisonous weed and baleful tree
Grew vigorously and deeply, till their shade
Had choked and killed each wholesome plant, and laid
In rottenness the flower of L IBERTY .

Thou fliest to the desert, and its sands
Become thy welcome shelter, where the pure
Wind gives its freshness to thy roving bands,
And languid weakness finds its only cure;
Where few their wants, and bounded their desires
And life all spring and action, they display
Man's boldest flights, and highest, warmest fires,
And beauty wears her loveliest array.
Thou climb'st the mountain's crag, and with the snows
Dwell'st high above the slothful plains; the rock
Thy iron bed; the avalanche's shock
Thou sternly breastest: hunger, cold, and toil
Harden thy steeled nerves, till the frozen soil,
The gnarled oak, the torrent, as it flows
In thunder down its gulf, are not more rude,
More hardy, more resistless, than thy force,
When, waked to madness in thy headlong course,
Thou rushest from thy wintry solitude,
And sweepest frighted nations on thy path,
A whirlwind in the fury of thy wrath,
And, with one curl of thy indignant frown,
Castest the pride of plumed warriors down,
And bear'st them onward, like the storm-filled wave,
In mingled ruin to their bloody grave.

Spirit OF F REEDOM ! I would with thee dwell,
Whether on Afric's sand, or Norway's crags,
Or Kansa's prairies, for thou lov'st them well,
And there thy boldest daring never flags;
Or I would launch with thee upon the deep,
And like the petrel make the wave my home,
And careless as the sportive sea-bird roam;
Or with the chamois on the Alp would leap,
And feel myself, upon the snow-clad height,
A portion of that undimmed flow of light
No mist nor cloud can darken. O, with thee,
Spirit of Freedom! deserts, mountains, storms,
Would wear a glow of beauty, and their forms
Would soften into loveliness, and be
Dearest of earth, for there my soul is free.
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