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To the Fourth of July

Behold, the dark clouds melt away,

That gathered thick at night, and hung

So like a gloomy pall above the earth!

Before thy magic touch, the world

Awakes. The birds in chorus sing.

The flowers raise their star-like crowns —

Dew-set, and wave thee welcome fair.

The lakes are opening wide in love

Their hundred thousand lotus-eyes

To welcome thee, with all their depth.

All hail to thee, thou Lord of Light!

A welcome new to thee, today,

O Sun! Today thou sheddest Liberty!

Bethink thee how the world did wait,

And search for thee, through time and clime.

Some gave up home and love of friends,

And went in quest of thee, self-banished,

Through dreary oceans, through primeval forests,

Each step a struggle for their life or death;

Then came the day when work bore fruit,

And worship, love, and sacrifice,

Fulfilled, accepted, and complete.

Then thou, propitious, rose to shed

The light of Freedom on mankind.

Move on, O Lord, in thy resistless path!

Till thy high noon o’erspreads the world.

Till every land reflects thy light,

Till men and women, with uplifted head,

Behold their shackles broken, and

Know, in springing joy, their life renewed!

Thou Blessed Dream

If things go ill or well —

If joy rebounding spreads the face,

Or sea of sorrow swells —

A play — we each have part,

Each one to weep or laugh as may;

Each one his dress to don —

Its scenes, alternative shine and rain.

Thou dream, O blessed dream!

Spread far and near thy veil of haze,

Tone down the lines so sharp,

Make smooth what roughness seems.

No magic but in thee!

Thy touch make desert bloom to life.

Harsh thunder, sweetest song,

Fell death, the sweet release.

To an Early Violet

What though thy bed be frozen earth,

Thy cloak the chilling blast;

What though no mate to clear thy path,

Thy sky with gloom o'ercast -

What though of love itself doth fail,

Thy fragrance strewed in vain;

What though if bad o'er good prevail,

And vice o'er virtue reign -

Change not thy nature, gentle bloom,

Thou violet, sweet and pure,

But ever pour thy sweet perfume

Unasked, unstinted, sure !

The Song Of The Free

The wounded snake its hood unfurls,

The flame stirred up doth blaze,

The desert air resounds the calls

Of heart-struck lion's rage.

The cloud puts forth it deluge strength

When lightning cleaves its breast,

When the soul is stirred to its in most depth

Great ones unfold their best.

Let eyes grow dim and heart grow faint,

And friendship fail and love betray,

Let Fate its hundred horrors send,

And clotted darkness block the way.

All nature wear one angry frown,

To crush you out - still know, my soul,

You are Divine. March on and on,

Nor right nor left but to the goal.

Nor angel I, nor man, nor brute,

Nor body, mind, nor he nor she,

The books do stop in wonder mute

To tell my nature; I am He.

Before the sun, the moon, the earth,

Before the stars or comets free,

Before e'en time has had its birth,

I was, I am, and I will be.

The beauteous earth, the glorious sun,

The calm sweet moon, the spangled sky,

Causation's law do make them run;

They live in bonds, in bonds they die.

And mind its mantle dreamy net

Cast o'er them all and holds them fast.

In warp and woof of thought are set,

Earth, hells, and heavens, or worst or best.

Know these are but the outer crust -

All space and time, all effect, cause.

I am beyond all sense, all thoughts,

The witness of the universe.

Not two nor many, 'tis but one,

And thus in me all me's I have;

I cannot hate, I cannot shun

Myself from me, I can but love.

From dreams awake, from bonds be free,

Be not afraid. This mystery,

My shadow, cannot frighten me,

Know once for all that I am He.