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As they sat by the seaside,
And filled their hearts with flame.
God said, I am tired of kings,
I suffer them no more;
Up to my ear the morning brings
The outrage of the poor.
Think ye I made this ball
A field for havoc and war,
Where tyrants great and tyrants small
Might harry the weak and poor?
My angel, his name is Freedom,-
Choose him to be your king;
He shall cut pathways east and west,
And fend you with his wing.
Lo! I uncover the land
Which I hid of old time in the West,
As the sculptor uncovers the statue
When he has wrought his best;
I show Columbia, of the rocks
Which dip their foot in the seas,
And soar to the air-borne flocks
Of clouds, and the boreal fleece.
I will divide my goods;
Call in the wretch and slave:
None shall rule but the humble,
And none but Toil shall have.
I will have never a noble,
No lineage counted great;
Fishers and choppers and ploughmen
Shall constitute a state.
Go, cut down trees in the forest,
And trim the straightest boughs:
Cut down the trees in the forest,
And build me a wooden house.
Call the people together,
The young men and the sires,
The digger in the harvest field,
Hireling, and him that hires;
And here in a pine state-house
They shall choose men to rule
In every needful faculty,
In church, and state, and school.
Lo, now! if these poor men
Can govern the land and sea,
And make just laws below the sun,
As planets faithful be.
And ye shall succor men;
'Tis nobleness to serve;
Help them who cannot help again:
Beware from right to swerve.
I break your bonds and masterships,
And I unchain the slave:
Free be his heart and hand henceforth
As wind and wandering wave.
I cause from every creature
His proper good to flow:
As much as he is and doeth,
So much he shall bestow.
But laying hands on another
To coin his labor and sweat,
He goes in pawn to his victim
For eternal years in debt.
To-day unbind the captive
So only are ye unbound;
Lift up a people from the dust,
Trump of their rescue, sound!
Pay ransom to the owner,
And fill the bag to the brim.
Who is the owner? The slave is owner,
And ever was. Pay him.
O North! give him beauty for rags,
And honor, O South! for his shame;
Nevada! coin thy golden crags
With Freedom's image and name.
Up! and the dusky race
That sat in darkness long,
Be swift their feet as antelopes,
And as behemoth strong.
Come, East and West and North,
By races, as snow-flakes,
And carry my purpose forth,
Which neither halts nor shakes.
My will fulfilled shall be,
For, in daylight or in dark,
My thunderbolt has eyes to see
His way home to the mark.
In an age of fops and toys,
Wanting wisdom, void of right,
Who shall nerve heroic boys
To hazard all in Freedom's fight,-
Break sharply off their jolly games,
Forsake their comrades gay,
And quit proud homes and youthful dames,
For famine, toil, and fray?
MUSKETAQUID BECAUSE I was content with these poor fields, Low, open meads, slender and sluggish streams, And found a home in haunts which others scorned, The partial wood-gods overpaid my love, And granted me the freedom of their state, And in their secret senate have prevailed With the dear, dangerous lords that rule our life, Made moon and planets parties to their bond, And through my rock-like, solitary wont Shot million rays of thought and tenderness. For me, in showers, in sweeping showers, the spring Visits the valley;-break away the clouds,I bathe in the morn's soft and silvered air, And loiter willing by yon loitering stream. Sparrows far off, and nearer, April's bird, Blue-coated, -flying before from tree to tree, Courageous, sing a delicate overture To lead the tardy concert of the year. Onward and nearer rides the sun of May; And wide around, the marriage of the plants Is sweetly solemnized. Then flows amain The surge of summer's beauty; dell and crag, Hollow and lake, hill-side, and pine arcade, Are touched with genius. Yonder ragged cliff Has thousand faces in a thousand hours. Beneath low hills, in the broad interval Through which at will our Indian rivulet Winds mindful still of sannup and of squaw,
Whose pipe and arrow oft the plough unburies,
Here in pine houses built of new fallen trees,
Supplanters of the tribe, the farmers dwell.
Traveller, to thee, perchance, a tedious road,
Or, it may be, a picture; to these men,
The landscape is an armory of powers,
Which, one by one, they know to draw and use.
They harness beast, bird, insect, to their work;
They prove the virtues of each bed of rock,
And, like the chemist 'mid his loaded jars,
Draw from each stratum its adapted use
To drug their crops or weapon their arts withal.
They turn the frost upon their chemic heap,
They set the wind to winnow pulse and grain,
They thank the spring-flood for its fertile slime,
And, on cheap summit-levels of the snow,
Slide with the sledge to inaccessible woods
O'er meadows bottomless. So, year by year,
They fight the elements with elements,
(That one would say, meadow and forest walked,
Transmuted in these men to rule their like,)
And by the order in the field disclose
The order regnant in the yeoman's brain.
What these strong masters wrote at large in miles,
I followed in small copy in my acre;
For there's no rood has not a star above it;
The cordial quality of pear or plum
Ascends as gladly in a single tree
As in broad orchards resonant with bees;
And every atom poises for itself,
And for the whole. The gentle deities
Showed me the lore of colors and of sounds,
The innumerable tenements of beauty,
The miracle of generative force,
) Far-reaching concords of astronomy
Felt in the plants, and in the punctual birds;
Better, the linked purpose of the whole,
And, chiefest prize, found I true liberty