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The ship fled fast till the stars 'gan
to fail:

And, round me gathered with mute

The seamen gazed, the pilot worn
and pale

With toil, the captain with gray locks,
whose glance

Met mine in restless awe-they stood as in a trance.


Within your soul? care for your own, or ruth

For others' sufferings? do ye thirst to bear

A heart which not the serpent
Custom's tooth

May violate? Be free! and even here Swear to be firm till death!' They cried 'We swear! We swear!'


"The very darkness shook, as with a blast

Of subterranean thunder, at the cry; The hollow shore its thousand echoes cast

Into the night, as if the sea and sky And earth rejoiced with new-born liberty,

For in that name they swore! Bolts were undrawn,

And on the deck, with unaccustomed eye,

The captives gazing stood, and every


Shrank as the inconstant torch upon her countenance shone.

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They were earth's purest children, young and fair,

With eyes the shrines of unawakened thought,

And brows as bright as Spring or morning, ere

Dark time had there its evil legend wrought

In characters of cloud which wither not.

"Recede not! pause not now! Thou art grown old,

The change was like a dream to
them; but soon

But Hope will make thee young,
for Hope and Youth

They knew the glory of their
altered lot,

Are children of one mother, even

In the bright wisdom of youth's
breathless noon,

The eternal stars gaze on us!-is Sweet talk and smiles and sighs all bosoms did attune.

the truth


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Which wrap the world; a wide enthusiasm,

To cleanse the fevered world as with an earthquake's spasm!


As one who from some mountain's pyramid

Points to the unrisen sun! the shades approve

His truth, and flee from every stream and grove.

Thus, gentle thoughts did many a
bosom fill,-

Wisdom the mail of tried affections

For many a heart, and tameless scorn
of ill

Thrice steeped in molten steel the unconquerable will.

"For with strong speech I tore the
veil that hid

Nature and Truth and Liberty and


"Some said I was a maniac wild and lost;

Some, that I scarce had risen from the grave,

Some said I was a fiend from my weird cave,


"I walked through the great City then, but free

Who had stolen human shape, and
o'er the wave,

From shame or fear; those toil-
worn mariners

The forest, and the mountain, came;
-some said

And happy maidens did encompass

I was the child of God, sent down to save


And, like a subterranean wind that

Women from bonds and death, and
on my head

Some forest among caves, the hopes The burden of their sins would frightfully

and fears

be laid.

From every human soul a murmur


Made as I passed: and many wept,
with tears

Of joy and awe, and wingèd thoughts
did range,

And half-extinguished words which prophesied of change.

The Prophet's virgin bride, a heavenly ghost:


"But soon my human words found sympathy

In human hearts: the purest and the best,

As friend with friend, made common cause with me,

And they were few, but resolute;— the rest,

Ere yet success the enterprise had blest,

Leagued with me in their hearts ;their meals, their slumber,

Their hourly occupations, were possest

By hopes which I had armed to overnumber

Those hosts of meaner cares which life's strong wings encumber.


"But chiefly women, whom my voice did waken

From their cold, careless, willing slavery,

Sought me one truth their dreary prison has shaken,

They looked around, and lo! they became free!

Their many tyrants, sitting desolately

In slave-deserted halls, could none restrain ;

For wrath's red fire had withered in the eye Whose lightning once was death,— nor fear nor gain

Could tempt one captive now to lock another's chain.


"Those who where sent to bind me wept, and felt

Their minds outsoar the bonds which clasped them round, Even as a waxen shape may waste and melt

In the white furnace; and a visioned swound,

A pause of hope and awe, the City bound,

Which, like the silence of a tempest's


When in its awful shadow it has wound

The sun, the wind, the ocean, and the earth,

Hung terrible, ere yet the lightnings have leapt forth.


"Like clouds inwoven in the silent sky

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They said that age was truth, and
that the young

Marred with wild hopes the peace of

With which old times and men had quelled the vain and free.



Had armed with strength and wrong
against mankind,

His slave and his avenger aye to be;
That we were weak and sinful, frail
and blind,

And that the will of one was peace, and we

Should seek for nought on earth but toil and misery.


"For thus we might avoid the hell hereafter.'

"And with the falsehood of their
poisonous lips

They breathed on the enduring

Who throng to kneel for food: nor
fear nor shame

Of sages and of bards a brief eclipse; Nor faith nor discord dimmed hope's There was one teacher, who neces

newly kindled flame.

So spake the hypocrites, who cursed
and lied;

Alas! their sway was past, and tears
and laughter

Clung to their hoary hair, withering
the pride

Which in their hollow hearts dared
still abide ;

And yet obscener slaves with smoother

And sneers on their strait lips, thin,
blue, and wide,

Said that the rule of men was over now, And hence the subject world to women's will must bow.


In vain! the steady towers in Heaven did shine

"And gold was scattered through the
streets, and wine

Flowed at a hundred feasts within
the wall.

As they were wont, nor at the priestly call

Left Plague her banquet in the
Ethiop's hall,

Nor Famine from the rich man's portal


Where at her ease she ever preys on all


"For gold was as a god whose faith began

To fade, so that its worshippers were few;

And Faith itself, which in the heart of


Gives shape, voice, name, to spectral
Terror, knew

Its downfall, as the altars lonelier

Till the priests stood alone within the fane;

The shafts of falsehood unpolluting flew,

And the cold sneers of calumny were vain

The union of the free with discord's brand to stain.

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