Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CUBA LIBRA [APRIL, 1896], by CINCINNATUS HEINE MILLER



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CUBA LIBRA [APRIL, 1896], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Comes a cry from cuban water
Last Line: Love and liberty allied.
Alternate Author Name(s): Miller, Joaquin
Subject(s): Cuba - Rebellions Against Spanish Rule; Patriotism


COMES a cry from Cuban water --
From the warm, dusk Antilles --
From the lost Atlanta's daughter,
Drowned in blood as drowned in seas;
Comes a cry of purpled anguish --
See her struggles, hear her cries!
Shall she live, or shall she languish?
Shall she sink, or shall she rise?

She shall rise, by all that's holy!
She shall live and she shall last;
Rise as we, when crushed and lowly,
From the blackness of the past.
Bid her strike! Lo, it is written
Blood for blood and life for life.
Bid her smite, as she is smitten;
Stars and stripes were born of strife.

Once we flashed her lights of freedom,
Lights that dazzled her dark eyes
Till she could but yearning heed them,
Reach her hands and try to rise.
Then they stabbed her, choked her, drowned her
Till we scarce could hear a note.
Ah! these rusting chains that bound her!
Oh! these robbers at her throat!

And the kind who forged these fetters?
Ask five hundred years for news.
Stake and thumbscrew for their betters!
Inquisitions! Banished Jews!
Chains and slavery! What reminder
Of one red man in that land?
Why, these very chains that bind her
Bound Columbus, foot and hand!

Shall she rise as rose Columbus,
From his chains, from shame and wrong --
Rise as Morning, matchless, wondrous --
Rise as some rich morning song --
Rise a ringing song and story,
Valor, Love personified?
Stars and stripes espouse her glory,
Love and Liberty allied.





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