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No lineage counted great;
Fishers and choppers and ploughmen
Shall constitute a State.
To-day unbind the captive,
So only are ye unbound:
Lift up a people from the dust,
Trump of their freedom, sound!
Pay ransom to the owner,
And fill the bag to the brim:
Who is the owner? The slave is owner,
And ever was. Pay him.
That poem was not written for a few cultivated people only. I heard it read to an armed regiment of freed slaves, standing silent with dusky faces, with the solemn arches of the live oaks above them, each tree draped with long festoons of gray moss across its hundred feet of shade. And never reader had an audience more serious, more thoughtful. The words which to others are literature, to them were life. And all of that early transcendental school which did so much to emancipate and nationalize American literature, did it by recognizing this same fact. From the depth of their so-called idealism they recognized the infinite value of
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