Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A BALLAD OF FREEDOM, by THOMAS OSBORNE DAVIS



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A BALLAD OF FREEDOM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The frenchman sailed in freedom's name to smite the algerine
Last Line: Hurrah for human freedom!
Subject(s): Freedom; Liberty


I

THE Frenchman sailed in Freedom's name to smite the Algerine,
The strife was short, the crescent sunk, and then his guile was seen;
For, nestling in the pirate's hold -- a fiercer pirate far --
He bade the tribes yield up their flocks, the towns their gates unbar.
Right on he pressed with freemen's hands to subjugate the free,
The Berber in old Atlas glens, the Moor in Titteri;
And wider has his razzias spread, his cruel conquests broader,
But God sent down, to face his frown, the gallant Abdel-Kader --
The faithful Abdel-Kader! unconquered Abdel-Kader!
Like falling rock,
Or fierce siroc --
No savage or marauder --
Son of a slave!
First of the brave!
Hurrah for Abdel-Kader!

II.

The Englishman, for long, long years, had ravaged Ganges' side --
A dealer first, intriguer next, he conquered far and wide,
Till, hurried on by avarice, and thirst of endless rule,
His sepoys pierced to Candahar, his flag waved in Cabul;
But still within the conquered land was one unconquered man,
The fierce Pushtani lion, the fiery Akhbar Khan --
He slew the sepoys on the snow, till Scindh's full flood they swam it
Right rapidly, content to flee the son of Dost Mohammed,
The son of Dost Mohammed, and brave old Dest Mohammed --
Oh! long may they
Their mountains sway,
Akhbar and Dost Mohammed!
Long live the Dost!
Who Britain crost,
Hurrah for Dost Mohammed!

III.

The Russian, lord of million serfs, and nobles serflier still,
Indignant saw Circassia's sons bear up against his will;
With fiery ships he lines their coast, his armies cross their streams --
He builds a hundred fortresses -- his conquests done, he deems.
But steady rifles -- rushing steeds -- a crowd of nameless chiefs --
The plow is o'er his arsenals! -- his fleet is on the reefs
The maidens of Kabyntica are clad in Moscow dresses --
His slavish herd, how dared they beard the mountainbred Cherkesses!
The lightening Cherkesses! -- the thundering Cherkesses!
May Elburz top
In Azof drop,
Ere Cossacks beat Cherkesses!
The fountain head
Whence Europe spread --
Hurra! for the tall Cherkesses!

IV.

But Russia preys on Poland's fields, where Sobieskir reigned,
And Austria on Italy -- the Roman eagle chained --
Bohemia, Servia, Hungary, within her clutches, gasp;
And Ireland struggles gallantly in England's loosening grasp.
Oh! would all these their strength unite, or battle on alone,
Like Moor, Pushtani, and Cherkess, they soon would have their own.
Hurrah! hurrah! it can't be far, when from the Scindh to Shannon
Shall gleam a line of freemen's flags begirt by freemen's cannon!
The coming day of Freedom -- the flashing flags Freedom!
The victor glaive --
The mottoes brave,
May we be there to read them!
That glorious noon,
God send it soon --
Hurrah for human Freedom!





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