Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Call to Freedom


  The Call to Freedom (1819)
     by Percy Bysshe Shelley,


From the workhouse and the prison

Where pale as corpses newly risen,

Women, children, young and old

Groan for pain, and weep for cold -

From the haunts of daily life

Where is waged the daily strife

With common wants and common cares

Which sows the human heart with tares -

Lastly from the palaces

Where the murmur of distress

Echoes, like the distant sound

Of a wind alive around

Those prison halls of wealth and fashion

Where some few feel such compassion

For those who groan, and toil, and wail

As must make their brethren pale -

Ye who suffer woes untold,

Or to feel, or to be behold

Your lost country bought and sold

With a price of blood and gold -

Let a vast assembly be,

And with great solemnity

Declare with measured words that ye

Are, as God has made ye, free -

And these words shall then become

Like Oppression's thunder doom

Ringing through each heart and brain,

Heard again - again - again

Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number -

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you -

Ye are many - they are few.
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