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You ask me, why, though 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, A man may speak the thing he will;
A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where faction seldom gathers head,
But by degrees to fulness wrought,
Should banded unions persecute
And individual freedom mute;
Though Power should make from land to land
Yet waft me from the harbor-mouth,
The palins and temples of the South.
Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet: Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.
Within her place she did rejoice,
Self-gathered in her prophet-mind, But fragments of her mighty voice Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down through town and field To mingle with the human race,
And part by part to men revealed
The fulness of her face
Grave mother of majestic works,
Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years Is in them. May perpetual youth Keep dry their light from tears;
That her fair form may stand and shine,
Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes!
LOVE thou thy land, with love far brought From out the storied Past, and used Within the Present, but transfused Through future time by power of thought.
True love turned round on fixed poles, Love that endures not sordid ends, For English natures, freemen, friends, Thy brothers and immortal souls.
But pamper not a hasty time,
Nor feed with crude imaginings
The herd, wild hearts and feeble wings, That every sophister can lime.
Deliver not the tasks of might