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"I would not live always."


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Written for the Anti-Slavery Melodies by John Pierpont.

I would not live always; I ask not to stay
Where I must bear the burden and heat of the day;
Where my body is cut with the lash of the cord,
And a hovel and hunger are all my reward.

I would not live always, where life is a load
To the flesh and the spirit, since there's an abode
For the soul disenthralled, let me breathe my last breath,
And repose in thine arms, my deliver death.

I would not live always, to toil as a slave;
O no; let me rest, though I rest in my grave;
For there, from their troubling the wicked shall cease,
And, free from his master, the slave be at peace.