Stanzas for the Times.
Words by J. G. Whittier. Music by G. W. C.
Is this the land our fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the soil whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?
Are we the
sons by whom are born,
The mantles which the dead have worn?
And shall we crouch above these graves,
With craven soul and fettered lip?
Yoke in with marked and branded slaves,
And tremble at the driver's whip?
Bend to the earth our pliant knees,
And speak — but as our masters please?
Shall outraged Nature cease to feel?
Shall Mercy's tears no longer flow?
Shall ruffian threats of cord and steel —
The dungeon's gloom — th' assassin's blow,
Turn back the spirit roused to save
The Truth — our Country — and the Slave?
Of human skulls that shrine was made,
Round which the priests of Mexico
Before their loathsome idol prayed —
Is Freedom's altar fashioned so?
And must we yield to Freedom's God
As offering meet, the negro's blood?
Shall tongues be mute, when deeds are wrought
Which well might shame extremest Hell?
Shall freemen lock th' indignant thought?
Shall Mercy's bosom cease to swell?
Shall Honor bleed? — Shall Truth succumb?
Shall pen, and press, and soul be dumb?
No — by each spot of haunted ground,
Where Freedom weeps her children's fall —
By Plymouth's rock — and Bunker's mound —
By Griswold's stained and shattered wall —
By Warren's ghost — by Lagdon's shade —
By all the memories of our dead!
By their enlarging souls, which burst
The bands and fetters round them set —
By the free Pilgrim spirit nursed
Within our inmost bosoms, yet, —
By all above — around — below —
Be ours the indignant answer — no!
No — guided by our country's laws,
For truth, and right, and suffering man,
Be ours to strive in Freedom's cause,
As Christians may — as freemen can!
Still pouring on unwilling ears
That truth oppression only fears.