Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

EMANCIPATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, APRIL 16, 1862, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Unfurl your banners to the breeze!
Last Line: Hath lighter grown by marching on.
Subject(s): Emancipation Movement & Proclamation; Washington, D.c.; Antislavery Movement - United States

Unfurl your banners to the breeze!
Let Freedom's tocsin sound amain,
Until the islands of the seas
Re-echo with the glad refrain!
Columbia's free! Columbia's free!
Her teeming streets, her vine-clad groves,
Are sacred now to Liberty,
And God, who every right approves.

Thank God, the Capital is free!
The slaver's pen, the auction block,
The gory lash of cruelty,
No more this nation's pride shall mock;
No more, within those ten miles square,
Shall men be bought and women sold;
Nor infants, sable-haired and fair,
Exchanged again for paltry gold.

To-day the Capital is free!
And free those halls where Adams stood
To plead for man's humanity,
And for a common brotherhood;
Where Summer stood, with massive frame,
Whose eloquent philosophy
Has clustered round his deathless name
Bright laurels for eternity.

Where Wilson, Lovejoy, Wade, and Hale,
And other lights of equal power,
Have stood, like warriors clad in mail,
Before the giant of the hour, --
Co-workers in a common cause,
Laboring for their country's weal,
By just enactments, righteous laws,
And burning, eloquent appeal.

To them we owe and gladly bring
The grateful tributes of our hearts;
And while we live to must and sing,
These in our songs shall claim their parts.
To-day Columbia's air doth seem
Much purer than in days agone;
And now her mighty heart, I deem.
Hath lighter grown by marching on.

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net