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Poetry: Independence Day

Poetry: Independence Day image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
Additional Text

First published by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison in his antislavery newspaper The Liberator on June 18, 1841.

OCR Text

I. The bells are ringing merriiy,Tne cannon loudly roar, And thunder-shouts for liberty Are heard from ehore to shore; And countless banners to the breeze Their 'stars and stripes' display: What cali for sights and sounds like these? 'Tis Independence day! II. Our fathers spurned tbe Brilish Yoke, Determined to be free; And full of might they rose and broke The chams of tyranny! O! long they toiled, with zeal unfeigned, And kept their fbes at bay, Til! by theír valorous dceds they gaíned Our Independence day! III. They fought not for themselves alone, Bat for the rights of all, Of every cast, complexion, zone, On this terrestrial ball ; To God they made their high appeal, Irt hope, not in diemay; For well they trueted He would seal Their Independence day! IV. Their creed how just; iheir creed hovr grand! ♦All men are equal born!' Let those who cannot understand Thia truth, be laughed to scorn! Cheers for the land in which we live, The free, the fair, the gay! And Iiearty thanks to Heaven we'll give, For Independonce dayi PART II. I. O God! what mockery is this! Our land, how lost to Bhame! Well may all Europe jeer and his3 At mention of her name! For, while t heboaats of liberty, 'Neajh Slavery's iron sway Three milüons of herpeople lie, Qn lodependence day ! II. She raay not, must not, thus rejoice, Nor of her triuinphs teil: Htfshed be the cannon's thundering voice, And muffied every bell! Dïssolved in tears, prone in the duet, For mercy let her pray, That judgtnents on her may not burat On! III. Lo! where her stárry banner waves, In many a graceful fold - There toil, and groan, and bleed her alavés, And men, like brutes, are sold! Her hands are red with crimsoú stains, And l)loody is ber way; She wields the lash, she forges chaina, On Independence day! IV. Friends of your country - of your raceOf freedom- and of Godl Combine oppression to efface, And break the tyrant's rod : All traces of injustice sweep By moral power a way; Then a glorious jubilee we'll keep On INDEPENDENCE day!