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The Freed Slave.


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Yet once again, once more again,
My bark bounds o'er the wave;
They know not, who ne'er clanked the chain,
What 'tis to be a slave:
To sit alone, beside the wood,
And gaze upon the sky:
This may, indeed, be solitude,
But 'tis not slavery.

Fatigued with labor's noontide task,
To sigh in vain for sleep;
Or faintly smile, our griefs to mask,
When 't would be joy to weep;
To court the shade of leafy bower,
Thirst for the freeborn wave,
But to obtain denied the power —
This is to be a slave!

Son of the sword! on honor's field
'Tis thine to find a grave;
Yet, when from life's worst ill 'twould shield,
It comes not to the slave.
The lightsome to the heavy heart,
The laugh changed to the sigh;
To live from all we love apart —
Oh! this is slavery.