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[233] De yam will grow, de cotton blow,
     He'll gib de rice an' corn;
Oh nebber you fear, if nebber you hear
     De driver blow his horn!

So sing our dusky gondoliers;
     And with a secret pain,
And smiles that seem akin to tears,
     We hear the wild refrain.

We dare not share the negro's trust,
     Nor yet his hope deny;
We only know that God is just,
     And every wrong shall die.

Rude seems the song; each swarthy face,
     Flame-lighted, ruder still:
We start to think that hapless race
     Must shape our good or ill;

That laws of changeless justice bind
     Oppressor with oppressed;
And, close as sin and suffering joined,
     We march to Fate abreast.

Sing on, poor hearts! your chant shall be
     Our sign of blight or bloom,
The Vala-song of Liberty,
     Or death-rune of our doom!


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1862 AD (1)
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