Whig Review 1849...
THE BIRTH OF FREEDOM.
Tell Us, 0 where was Freedom born?
In the flushed bosom of the morn?
Or did the sea, with tempest throes,
The glorious babe to light disclose?
Could the dull earth's full teeming round
With such productive power abound;
And wrenching all her monstrous frame.
Bring forth the child of glorious name?
No, not from earth, nor from the sea,
Arose divinest Liberty.
'Twas in the secret thoughts of man
Its life and mighty power began.
Then shone the eyes with Freedom's fire;
Then swelled the heart with proud desire;
And deeds that make the nations free
Proclaimed the birth of Liberty.
Arms, fields, and heroes made it known;
Kings fallen, and empires overthrown;
Ten thousand by a thousand slain,
On Marathon's vindictive plain.
When first Judea's new-born strength
From many a hard-fought field, at length,
Bore victory home, the shout to heaven
Was for the joy of Freedom given.
And when, at dread Thermopylae,
The Spartan hundreds, stern and free,
Bore up 'gainst Asia's pallid slaves,
Scourged on to seek inglorious graves.
And when, on Bunker's dreaded height,
The hurried rampart of a night,
Manned by a few brave hearts, withstood
Oppression's marshalled multitude.
Then rose an empire all thine own,
Oh, Freedom! whose majestic throne
On laws wide founded, rears its crest
So proud, it nods o'er all the West.
But not alone the hero's soul
Admits thy proud, thy sweet control:
Then was thy glorious race begun,
When God gave laws by Amxam's son.
And when all Israel listening stood,
Swayed by the wild, seraphic mood
Which rapt Isaiah's lips expressed,
'Twas Israel's freedom swelled his breast.
Inspired by thee, old Homer sang.
His words in liberal Hellas rang;
And still, through eras deathless, roll
The accents of his generous soul.
Nor less the heart of Angelo
Confessed thy vast, ambitious glow,
When, for his fame's eternal home,
He raised tow'rd heaven the awful dome.
Soft, in the eyes of Mary, mild,
And his, the sorrow-conquering child,
Shines Raphael's tempered freedom, fraught
With light from heaven's own splendor brought.
But ah! how sweet, my Shakspeare, friend!
All strengths in thee, all beauties blend.
Brave bard! whose passion-mastering mind
Could look on man, and yet be kind!
Such was the freedom of thy soul—
So grand, yet sweet, thy will's control—
With grief and death thou daredst to play,
And plucked their mortal stings away.
Edged with sure death are Freedom's swords;
Resistless its commanding words;
It builds, fights, thinks—to find, alway,
God's likeness in mere things of clay.
Then, thanks for Freedom! in the breast,
Of all great joys the greatest, best;
Of all great powers the strongest far,
For arts or arms, for peace or war.