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There is no lack of poets to rehearse
The wrongs we suffer, nor to urge our claim
To equal rights-to bandy Freedom's name, Nor show how withering is Slavery's curse: Yet needs a Milton for the universe
To bring its tyrants of the mind to shame ;
Land of these mighty spirits! is thy womb.
Still pregnant with a mightier, who shall write The epitaph upon Oppression's tomb,
And pierce the depths of ignorance with light? Oh! that the glorious advent might but come
Before I slumber in eternal night!
O! how my poet's spirit doth it vex,
That I must still be told, by cautious men,
To a day's toil, that would disjoint the necks
The thoughts that elevate; and this my lay,
The world's false notion, that she leads astray.
Except some trifling love song, or at most
Is all the voice as yet the world hath heard
Trample humanity-hard toil's reward
The veriest pittance-cant to truth preferred,And swaggering vice usurping virtue's post,
But yet have not denounced them, though I feel,
As well as see, the unmitigated wrong
That power and selfishness with iron heel,
Daily inflict upon the toiling throng
And blush to think I've uttered no appeal
Against these evils in indignant song.
ILLUSTRATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF POETICAL TALENT.
Of poetry, our simple ballad lore
Long formed my only library, till the page
But much of what was nature seemed uncouth,
Till, by degrees, its beauty and its truth
Won, and still wins, my deep idolatry.