Freedom

F
The Slave and the Iron Lace by Margaret Danner
Margaret Danner
The craving of Samuel Rouse for clearance to create
was surely as hot as the iron that buffeted him. His passion
for freedom so strong that it molded the smouldering fashions
he laced, for how also could a slave plot
or counterplot such incomparable shapes,

form or reform, for house after house,
the intricate Patio pattern, the delicate
Rose and Lyre, the Debutante Settee,
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Freedom by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Freedom will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
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Dream Boogie: Variation by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
Tinkling treble,
Rolling bass,
High noon teeth
In a midnight face,
Great long fingers
On great big hands,
Screaming pedals
Where his twelve-shoe lands,
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On Clothes by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
And the weaver said, Speak to us of
Clothes.
And he answered:
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty,
yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
And though you seek in garments the
freedom of privacy you may find in them
a harness and a chain.
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On Freedom by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
And an orator said, Speak to us of Free-
dom.
And he answered:
At the city gate and by your fireside I
have seen you prostrate yourself and worship
your own freedom,
Even as slaves humble themselves before
a tyrant and praise him though he slays
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On Pleasure by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
Then a hermit, who visited the city once
a year, came forth and said, Speak to us of
Pleasure.
And he answered, saying:
Pleasure is a freedom-song,
But it is not freedom.
It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.
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Sonnet by Louise Bogan
Louise Bogan
Since you would claim the sources of my thought
Recall the meshes whence it sprang unlimed,
The reedy traps which other hands have timed
To close upon it. Conjure up the hot
Blaze that it cleared so cleanly, or the snow
Devised to strike it down. It will be free.
Whatever nets draw in to prison me
At length your eyes must turn to watch it go.
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Holy Days by Larry Neal
Larry Neal
Holy the days of the prune face junkie men
Holy the scag pumped arms
Holy the Harlem faces
looking for space in the dead rock valleys of the City

Holy the flowers
sing holy for the raped holidays
and Bessie’s guts spilling on the Mississippi
road
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The Drum Major of the Freedom Parade by Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs
(For all children who wondered about the tragic event of April 4, 1968 at Memphis.) My children, my children, remember the day
When the Drum Major of Freedom's parade went away.
Stop crying now little children and listen
And you will know for the future what really did happen.

You will know why your father was solemn and grim
And why mother's eyes were wet at the rim.
You will know why the flags flew at half mast
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Let It Be Known by Margaret Burroughs
Margaret Burroughs
Let it be known to all, the story
Of the glorious struggle of my people.
Let it be known that black men and women
Helped to build this our country.
Let it be known that black men and women of the past
In an effort to make this country
What it ought to be, gave up their very last
To make America, a real democracy
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Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman by Sonia Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez
1

Picture a woman
riding thunder on
the legs of slavery    ...    


2

Picture her kissing
our spines saying no to
the eyes of slavery    ...    
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Summer 1967 by James K. Baxter
James K. Baxter
Summer brings out the girls in their green dresses
Whom the foolish might compare to daffodils,
Not seeing how a dead grandmother in each one governs her limbs,
Darkening the bright corolla, using her lips to speak through,
Or that a silver torque was woven out of
The roots of wet speargrass.
The young are mastered by the Dead,
Lacking cunning. But on the beaches, under the clean wind
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Didn't You Ever Search For Another Star? by Alfred Starr Hamilton
Alfred Starr Hamilton
I.
did you say
August ponds
ought to have
been surrounded
by September fences?

but did you say
September fences
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The birthday of the world by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
On the birthday of the world
I begin to contemplate
what I have done and left
undone, but this year
not so much rebuilding

of my perennially damaged
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Maggid by Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy
The courage to let go of the door, the handle.
The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very
stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles
of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast,
a child’s naughtiness, a loud blattering storm
that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

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"For All We Have And Are" by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1914 For all we have and are,
For all our children's fate,
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Absolution by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all these must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loth to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?
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Now I knew I lost her — (1274) by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson
Now I knew I lost her —
Not that she was gone —
But Remoteness travelled
On her Face and Tongue.

Alien, though adjoining
As a Foreign Race —
Traversed she though pausing
Latitudeless Place.
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Opportunity by Robert Winner
Robert Winner
Opportunity I love you
Windows and watermelons march down the street
The air is nobody

Sky is in position
I am ready to endure my freedom

A riderless horse on a saffron plain
A lake that spins
A tree that lets the wind decide
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Song (“The world is full of loss ... ”) by Muriel Rukeyser
Muriel Rukeyser
The world is full of loss; bring, wind, my love,
my home is where we make our meeting-place,
and love whatever I shall touch and read
within that face.

Lift, wind, my exile from my eyes;
peace to look, life to listen and confess,
freedom to find to find to find
that nakedness.
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The Black Regiment by George Henry Boker
George Henry Boker
Dark as the clouds of even,
Ranked in the western heaven,
Waiting the breath that lifts
All the dread mass, and drifts
Tempest and falling brand
Over a ruined land;—
So still and orderly,
Arm to arm, knee to knee,
Waiting the great event,
Stands the Black Regiment.

Down the long dusky line
Teeth gleam and eyeballs shine;
And the bright bayonet,
Bristling and firmly set,
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The Nineteenth of April by Lucy Larcom
Lucy Larcom
This year, till late in April, the snow fell thick and light:
Thy truce-flag, friendly Nature, in clinging drifts of white,
Hung over field and city: now everywhere is seen,
In place of that white quietness, a sudden glow of green.

The verdure climbs the Common, beneath the leafless trees,
To where the glorious Stars and Stripes are floating on the breeze.
There, suddenly as Spring awoke from Winter’s snow-draped gloom,
The Passion-Flower of Seventy-six is bursting into bloom.

Dear is the time of roses, when earth to joy is wed,
And garden-plot and meadow wear one generous flush of red;
But now in dearer beauty, to her ancient colors true,
Blooms the old town of Boston in red and white and blue.

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A Thought by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
Falling leaves and falling men!
When the snows of winter fall,
And the winds of winter blows,
Will be woven Nature’s pall.

Let us, then, forsake our dead;
For the dead will surely wait
While we rush upon the foe,
Eager for the hero’s fate.

Leaves will come upon the trees;
Spring will show the happy race;
Mothers will give birth to sons—
Loyal souls to fill our place.

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Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers
Robinson Jeffers
I

The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
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The Mystery of the Hunt by Michael McClure
Michael McClure
It’s the mystery of the hunt that intrigues me,
That drives us like lemmings, but cautiously—
The search for a bright square cloud—the scent of lemon verbena—
Or to learn rules for the game the sea otters
Play in the surf.

It is these small things—and the secret behind them
That fill the heart.
The pattern, the spirit, the fiery demon
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At the Fair by Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell
I. Springing Jack

Green wooden leaves clap light away,
Severely practical, as they

Shelter the children candy-pale,
The chestnut-candles flicker, fail . . .

The showman’s face is cubed clear as
The shapes reflected in a glass

Of water—(glog, glut, a ghost’s speech
Fumbling for space from each to each).

The fusty showman fumbles, must
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Seder-Night by Israel Zangwill
Israel Zangwill
Prosaic miles of streets stretch all round,
Astir with restless, hurried life and spanned
By arches that with thund’rous trains resound,
And throbbing wires that galvanize the land;
Gin-palaces in tawdry splendor stand;
The newsboys shriek of mangled bodies found;
The last burlesque is playing in the Strand—
In modern prose all poetry seems drowned.
Yet in ten thousand homes this April night
An ancient People celebrates its birth
To Freedom, with a reverential mirth,
With customs quaint and many a hoary rite,
Waiting until, its tarnished glories bright,
Its God shall be the God of all the earth.
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The Sign-Post by Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
The dim sea glints chill. The white sun is shy,
And the skeleton weeds and the never-dry,
Rough, long grasses keep white with frost
At the hilltop by the finger-post;
The smoke of the traveller’s-joy is puffed
Over hawthorn berry and hazel tuft.
I read the sign. Which way shall I go?
A voice says: You would not have doubted so
At twenty. Another voice gentle with scorn
Says: At twenty you wished you had never been born.

One hazel lost a leaf of gold
From a tuft at the tip, when the first voice told
The other he wished to know what ’twould be
To be sixty by this same post. “You shall see,”
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America by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.
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as freedom is a breakfastfood by E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
—long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame

as hatracks into peachtrees grow
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To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth by Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley
Hail, happy day, when, smiling like the morn,
Fair Freedom rose New-England to adorn:
The northern clime beneath her genial ray,
Dartmouth, congratulates thy blissful sway:
Elate with hope her race no longer mourns,
Each soul expands, each grateful bosom burns,
While in thine hand with pleasure we behold
The silken reins, and Freedom's charms unfold.
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On a Piece of Tapestry by George Santayana
George Santayana
Hold high the woof, dear friends, that we may see
The cunning mixture of its colours rare.
Nothing in nature purposely is fair,—
Her beauties in their freedom disagree;
But here all vivid dyes that garish be,
To that tint mellowed which the sense will bear,
Glow, and not wound the eye that, resting there,
Lingers to feed its gentle ecstacy.
Crimson and purple and all hues of wine,
Saffron and russet, brown and sober green
Are rich the shadowy depths of blue between;
While silver threads with golden intertwine,
To catch the glimmer of a fickle sheen,—
All the long labour of some captive queen.

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On Scratchbury Camp by Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon
Along the grave green downs, this idle afternoon,
Shadows of loitering silver clouds, becalmed in blue,
Bring, like unfoldment of a flower, the best of June.

Shadows outspread in spacious movement, always you
Have dappled the downs and valleys at this time of year,
While larks, ascending shrill, praised freedom as they flew.
Now, through that song, a fighter-squadron’s drone I hear
From Scratchbury Camp, whose turfed and cowslip’d rampart seems
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Rule Britannia by James Thomson
James Thomson
When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung this strain—
"Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves."

The nations, not so blest as thee,
Must in their turns to tyrants fall;
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.
"Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves."

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
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Taking Time to Grow by Mary Mapes Dodge
Mary Mapes Dodge
‘Mamma! mamma!’ two eaglets cried,
‘To let us fly you’ve never tried.
We want to go outside and play;
We’ll promise not to go away.’
The mother wisely shook her head:
‘No, no, my dears. Not yet,’ she said.

‘But, mother dear,’ they called again,
‘We want to see those things called men,
And all the world so grand and gay,
Papa described the other day.
And – don’t you know? – he told you then
About a little tiny wren,
That flew about so brave and bold,
When it was scarcely four weeks old?’
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The Cherry Tree by David Wagoner
David Wagoner
Out of the nursery and into the garden
where it rooted and survived its first hard winter,
then a few years of freedom while it blossomed,
put out its first tentative branches, withstood
the insects and the poisons for insects,
developed strange ideas about its height
and suffered the pruning of its quirks and clutters,
its self-indulgent thrusts
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Allegory of Evil in Italy by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
The Visconti put you on their flag: a snake
devouring a child, or are you throwing up a man
feet first? Some snakes hunt frogs, some freedom of will.
There’s good in you: a man can count years on your skin.
Generously, you mother and father a stolen boy,
to the chosen you offer your cake of figs.
A goiter on my neck, you lick my ear with lies,
yet I must listen, smile and kiss your cheek
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Ballad of Birmingham by Dudley Randall
Dudley Randall
(On the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963) “Mother dear, may I go downtown
Instead of out to play,
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Caged Bird by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
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A Fable by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
Once upon a today and yesterday and nevermore there were 7 men and women all locked / up in prison cells. Now these 7 men and women were innocent of any crimes; they were in prison because their skins were black. Day after day, the prisoners paced their cells, pining for their freedom. And the non-black jailers would laugh at the prisoners and beat them with sticks and throw their food on the floor. Finally, prisoner #1 said, “I will educate myself and emulate the non-colored people. That is the way to freedom—c’mon, you guys, and follow me.” “Hell, no,” said prisoner #2. “The only way to get free is to pray to my god and he will deliver you like he delivered Daniel from the lion’s den, so unite and follow me.” “Bullshit,” said prisoner #3. “The only way / out is thru this tunnel i’ve been quietly digging, so c’mon, and follow me.” “Uh-uh,” said prisoner #4, “that’s too risky. The only right / way is to follow all the rules and don’t make the non-colored people angry, so c’mon brothers and sisters and unite behind me.”“Fuck you!” said prisoner #5, “The only way / out is to shoot our way out, if all of you get / together behind me.” “No,” said prisoner #6, “all of you are incorrect; you have not analyzed the political situation by my scientific method and historical meemeejeebee. All we have to do is wait long enough and the bars will bend from their own inner rot. That is the only way.” “Are all of you crazy,” cried prisoner #7. “I’ll get out by myself, by ratting on the rest of you to the non-colored people. That is the way, that is the only way!” “No-no,” they / all cried, “come and follow me. I have the / way, the only way to freedom.” And so they argued, and to this day they are still arguing; and to this day they are still in their prison cells, their stomachs / trembling with fear.
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Feeling Fucked Up by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
Lord she’s gone done left me done packed / up and split
and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs—

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
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Frederick Douglass by Robert Hayden
Robert Hayden
When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
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I Am the President of Regulation by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
I am the Giant Goliath,
I digest goat cheese.
I am a mammoth's calf. (H. Ball)
I know your pinnacles by name.
My fingers close around
your fingers. I grow pale.
I become your executioner.
I come forth fat & bloody.
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I Knew a Woman by Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).

How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,
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In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr. by June Jordan
June Jordan
I

honey people murder mercy U.S.A.
the milkland turn to monsters teach
to kill to violate pull down destroy
the weakly freedom growing fruit
from being born

America

tomorrow yesterday rip rape
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Kind Are Her Answers by Thomas Campion
Thomas Campion
Kind are her answers,
But her performance keeps no day;
Breaks time, as dancers
From their own music when they stray:
All her free favors
And smooth words wing my hopes in vain.
O did ever voice so sweet but only feign?
Can true love yield such delay,
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Lioness Asleep by Babette Deutsch
Babette Deutsch
Content that now the bleeding bone be swept
Out of her reach, she lay upon her side.
In a blonde void sunk deep, she slept, she slept
Bland as a child, slept, breathing like a bride.
Color of noons that shimmer as they sing
Above the dunes, her sandy flanks heaved slow.
Between her paws curled inward, billowing
Waves of desert silence seemed to flow.
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My Country ’Tis of Thee by W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois
Of course you have faced the dilemma: it is announced, they all smirk and rise. If they are ultra, they remove their hats and look ecstatic; then they look at you. What shall you do? Noblesse oblige; you cannot be boorish, or ungracious; and too, after all it is your country and you do love its ideals if not all of its realities. Now, then, I have thought of a way out: Arise, gracefully remove your hat, and tilt your head. Then sing as follows, powerfully and with deep unction. They’ll hardly note the little changes and their feelings and your conscience will thus be saved:

My country tis of thee,
Late land of slavery,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my father’s pride
Slept where my mother died,
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring!

My native country thee
Land of the slave set free,
Thy fame I love.
I love thy rocks and rills
And o’er thy hate which chills,
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No Moon Floods the Memory of That Night by Etheridge Knight
Etheridge Knight
No moon floods the memory of that night
only the rain I remember the cold rain
against our faces and mixing with your tears
only the rain I remember the cold rain
and your mouth soft and warm
no moon no stars no jagged pain
of lightning only my impotent tongue
and the red rage within my brain
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The Pool by Robert Creeley
Robert Creeley
My embarrassment at his nakedness,
at the pool’s edge,
and my wife, with his,
standing, watching—

this was a freedom
not given me who am
more naked,
less contained
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Safety by Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke
Dear! of all happy in the hour, most blest
He who has found our hid security,
Assured in the dark tides of the world that rest,
And heard our word, ‘Who is so safe as we?’
We have found safety with all things undying,
The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.
We have built a house that is not for Time’s throwing.
We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
War knows no power. Safe shall be my going,
Secretly armed against all death’s endeavour;
Safe though all safety’s lost; safe where men fall;
And if these poor limbs die, safest of all.
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To Althea, from Prison by Richard Lovelace
Richard Lovelace
When Love with unconfinèd wings
Hovers within my Gates,
And my divine Althea brings
To whisper at the Grates;
When I lie tangled in her hair,
And fettered to her eye,
The Gods that wanton in the Air,
Know no such Liberty.
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To the Ladies by Lady Mary Chudleigh
Lady Mary Chudleigh
Wife and servant are the same,
But only differ in the name:
For when that fatal knot is tied,
Which nothing, nothing can divide:
When she the word obey has said,
And man by law supreme has made,
Then all that’s kind is laid aside,
And nothing left but state and pride:
Fierce as an Eastern prince he grows,
And all his innate rigour shows:
Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
Will the nuptial contract break.
Like mutes she signs alone must make,
And never any freedom take:
But still be governed by a nod,
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Response to the Loyalty Oath by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
We, the Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants of the University of California, wish to register our protest against the new loyalty oath for the following reasons.

1) The testing of a University faculty by oath is a stupid and insulting procedure. If this oath is to have the effect of eliminating Communists from the faculty, we might as logically eliminate murderers from the faculty by forcing every faculty member to sign an oath saying that he has never committed murder.

2) That such an oath is more dangerous to the liberties of the community than any number of active Communists should be obvious to any student of history. Liberty and democracy are more often overthrown by fear than by stealth. Only countries such as Russia or Spain have institutions so weak and unhealthy that they must be protected by terror.

3) Oaths and other forms of blackmail are destructive to the free working of man's intellect. Since the early Middle Ages universities have zealously guarded their intellectual freedom and have made use of its power to help create the world we know today. The oath that Galileo was forced by the Inquisition to swear is but a distant cousin to the oath we are asked to swear today, but both represent the struggle of the blind and powerful against the minds of free men.

We, who will inherit the branches of learning that one thousand years of free universities have helped to generate, are not Communists and dislike the oath for the same reason we dislike Communism. Both breed stupidity and indignity; both threaten our personal and intellectual freedom.
[c. 1949]
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At Darien Bridge by James L. Dickey
James L. Dickey
The sea here used to look
As if many convicts had built it,

Standing deep in their ankle chains,
Ankle-deep in the water, to smite

The land and break it down to salt.
I was in this bog as a child

When they were all working all day
To drive the pilings down.
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Eugenia Todd by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Have any of you, passers-by,
Had an old tooth that was an unceasing discomfort?
Or a pain in the side that never quite left you?
Or a malignant growth that grew with time?
So that even in profoundest slumber
There was shadowy consciousness or the phantom of thought
Of the tooth, the side, the growth?
Even so thwarted love, or defeated ambition,
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A Fixed Idea by Amy Lowell
Amy Lowell
What torture lurks within a single thought
When grown too constant; and however kind,
However welcome still, the weary mind
Aches with its presence. Dull remembrance taught
Remembers on unceasingly; unsought
The old delight is with us but to find
That all recurring joy is pain refined,
Become a habit, and we struggle, caught.
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France: An Ode by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I
Ye Clouds! that far above me float and pause,
Whose pathless march no mortal may control!
Ye Ocean-Waves! that, wheresoe'er ye roll,
Yield homage only to eternal laws!
Ye Woods! that listen to the night-birds singing,
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined.
Save when your own imperious branches swinging,
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Gitanjali 35 by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
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It is not to be Thought of by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

It is not to be thought of that the Flood
Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, "with pomp of waters, unwithstood,"
Roused though it be full often to a mood
Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.—In every thing we are sprung
Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.
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London, 1802 by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
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Ode, Inscribed to William H. Channing by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Though loath to grieve
The evil time's sole patriot,
I cannot leave
My honied thought
For the priest's cant,
Or statesman's rant.

If I refuse
My study for their politique,
Which at the best is trick,
The angry Muse
Puts confusion in my brain.

But who is he that prates
Of the culture of mankind,
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Ode to Duty by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
Jam non consilio bonus, sed more eo perductus, ut non tantum recte facere possim, sed nisi recte facere non possim"

"I am no longer good through deliberate intent, but by long habit have reached a point where I am not only able to do right, but am unable to do anything but what is right."
(Seneca, Letters 120.10) Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring, and reprove;
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Of Old Sat Freedom on the Heights by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet:
Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.

There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind,
But fragments of her mighty voice
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A Poet! He Hath Put his Heart to School by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

A poet!—He hath put his heart to school,
Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff
Which art hath lodged within his hand—must laugh
By precept only, and shed tears by rule.
Thy Art be Nature; the live current quaff,
And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,
In fear that else, when Critics grave and cool
Have killed him, Scorn should write his epitaph.
How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold;
And so the grandeur of the Forest-tree
Comes not by casting in a formal mould,
But from its own divine vitality.
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The Power of Armies is a Visible Thing by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth

The power of Armies is a visible thing,
Formal and circumscribed in time and space;
But who the limits of that power shall trace
Which a brave People into light can bring
Or hide, at will,—for freedom combating
By just revenge inflamed? No foot may chase,
No eye can follow, to a fatal place
That power, that spirit, whether on the wing
Like the strong wind, or sleeping like the wind
Within its awful caves.—From year to year
Springs this indigenous produce far and near;
No craft this subtle element can bind,
Rising like water from the soil, to find
In every nook a lip that it may cheer.
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Sonnet 12: I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs by John Milton
John Milton
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transform'd to frogs
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free.
Licence they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good.
But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood.
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Underwear by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
I didn’t get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider
underwear in the abstract
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised
Underwear is something
we all have to deal with
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Worldly Place by Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Even in a palace, life may be led well!
So spake the imperial sage, purest of men,
Marcus Aurelius. But the stifling den
Of common life, where, crowded up pell-mell,

Our freedom for a little bread we sell,
And drudge under some foolish master's ken
Who rates us if we peer outside our pen—
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You Ask Me, Why, Tho' Ill at Ease by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
And languish for the purple seas.

It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes
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