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It must be joy, in sooth, to see
Yon monument upreared to thee;
Piled granite and a prison cell,—
The land repays thy service well!
Go, ring the bells and fire the guns,
And fling the starry banner out;
Shout ‘ Freedom!’ till your lisping ones
Give back their cradle-shout;
Let boastful eloquence declaim
Of honor, liberty, and fame;
Still let the poet's strain be heard,
With glory for each second word,
And everything with breath agree
To praise ‘ our glorious liberty!’
But when the patron cannon jars
That prison's cold and gloomy wall,
And through its grates the stripes and stars
Rise on the wind, and fall,
Think ye that prisoner's aged ear
Rejoices in the general cheer?
Think ye his dim and failing eye
Is kindled at your pageantry?
Sorrowing of soul, and chained of limb,
What is your carnival to him?
Down with the law that binds him thus!
Unworthy freemen, let it find
No refuge from the withering curse
Of God and human-kind!
Open the prison's living tomb,
And usher from its brooding gloom
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