^N PRAISE OF
A Selection of Prose and Poetry
EVA E, E. D ESS IN
G. CURRIE MARTIN
NATIONAL ADULT SCHOOL UNION I, CENTRAL BUILDINGS, WESTMINSTER, S.W. I.
IN PRAISE OF FREEDOM
A Selection of Prose and Poetry
EVA E. E. D ESS IN
G. CURRIE MARTIN
NATIONAL ADULT SCHOOL UNION
I, CENTRAL BUILDINGS, WE$TMIN8TER, S.W. I.
what is freedom ?
training for freedom
the free man
the fear of freedom
the slavery of fatalism
the slavery of circumstances
the slavery of custom and tradition
freedom of thought and expression
freedom and service
progress through freedom
the cost of freedom
In making this selection we have had primarily in \iew the illustration from literature of a series of lessons on Freedom contained in the Adult School Lesson Handbook for 1919. This has guided and also limited our choice, and the sections into which we have divided the selections conform to the titles of the eleven lessons. Inasmuch as the latter are based on passages of the Bible, we have not, in this volume, included any from the Old or New Testament. Similar considerations have prevented our choosing certain verses by Lowell, Whittier, Edward Carpenter and others, which are contained in the Fellowship Hymn Book, used in Adult Schools. From Shakespeare many illustrations would have been given, but a special series is to be found, chosen by one of the editors, in the Handbook. We have endeavoured to maintain a judicious balance between what is old and what is modern, and while including several well-known passages, at the same time to present our readers with a good number of thoughts that would not be easily found in ordinary books of reference. We have also been subject to severe restrictions in order to publish the book at a sufficiently low figure to render it serviceable to all who may wish to use it.
At the same time we hope the book may be found of value by a wider circle of readers. The fascination of the subject, its extraordinary appropriateness to the times in which we live, and its value for the immediate future, have awakened in us the desire, when opportunity affords, to publish a very much larger selection from the material we have acquired, and have been reluctantly compelled to lay aside.
We desire to express our gratitude to many friends who have aided us in our task, but especially to William Charles Braithwaite, who suggested the collection, furnished us with several quotations, and afforded us permission to quote one passage from his latest book; to J. W. Marsden, to whom we are indebted for much encouragement and for several passages; and to George Peverett, without whose invaluable assistance the book could never have been produced in its present form.
We have to thank the following authors and publishers for permission to reprint material of which they hold the copyright, and if, in any case, material is published for which permission should have been asked, and we did not know, we hope that we shall be pardoned for the oversight, and that our most sincere gratitude will be accepted.
" Leisure," from Songs of Joy, by W. H> Da vies (Fifield, London), by permission of author and publisher.
"Freedom's Flesh," from The Tree Spirit, by Henry Bryan Binns (Fifield, London), by permission of author and publisher.
" Mazzini" and " Coronation," by Helen H. Jackson, from American Songs and Lyrics, by permisrion of Messrs. George Routledge and Sons, Ltd.
" A Watch in the Night," and " To Walt Whitman • in America," from Songs before Sunrise, by Algernon Charles Swinburne. (London: William Heinemann.) By permission of the publisher.
Extracts from Professor Ramsay Muir's National Self-Government, by pei mission of the publishers, Messrs. Constable and Co., Ltd.
" For April 23rd, 1616-1916," from Olton Pools, by John Drinkwater (Sidgwiclc and Jackson, Ltd.). By permission of author and publishers.
Extracts from Wm. Temple's Nature of Personality, and Sir Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali (Macmillan and Co., Ltd.), by permission of the ptfblishers.
" My Sort o* Man," by Paul Laurence Dunbar. (Copyright, 1899, ky Dodd, Mead and Company, New York). By permission of the publishers.
" John Napier of Merchiston" and " Creeds," by Waltei C. Smith. By permission of the publishers, Andrew Melrose, Ltd.
44 What is Freedom ? Rightly understood, A universal licence to be good."
IN PRAISE OF FREEDOM
I.—WHAT IS FREEDOM ?
44 We are free when our actions proceed from our whole personality, when they express it, when their relation to it bears that indefinable resemblance that you sometimes find between the work of art and the artist."
Man is a conscript of an endless quest, A long divine adventure without rest; Each hard-earned freedom withers to a Bond— Freedom for ever is beyond—beyond."
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; . Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever -widening
thought and action— Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
A ! fredome is a noble thing! Fredome maiss1 man to haif2 liking3: Fredome all solace to man giffs4: He levis 5 at ease that freely levis! A noble heart may haif nane ease, Na ellis 6 nocht 7 that may him please, Gif8 fredome failye9; for free liking Is yearnit10 owre all other thing. Na he, that ay has levit free, May nocht knaw weil the propertie, The anger, na the wrechit dome, That is couplit to foul thyrldome.11 Bot gif12 he had assayit it, Than all perquer13 he suld14 it wit; And suld think fredome mar16 to prize Than all the gold in warld that is. Thus contrar thingis ever-mar Discoveringis of the tother are.
John Barbour (1320-1395).
<: What is liberty ? You say of the locomotive that it runs free. What do you mean ? . You mean that its parts are so assembled and adjusted that friction is reduced to a minimum and that it has perfect adjustment. We say of a boat skimming the water with light foot 4 How free she runs,* when we mean how perfectly she is adjusted to the force of the wind, how perfectly she obeys the great breath out of the heavens that fills her sails. Throw her head up into the wind and see how she will halt and stagger, how every sheet will shiver, and her whole frame be shaken, how instantly she is i in irons,' in the expressive phrase of the sea. She is only free when you let her fall off again and have recovered once more her nice adjustment to the forces she must obey and cannot defy.
" Human freedom consists in perfect adjustment of human interests and human activities and human energies to one another.'*
T. Woodrow Wilson.
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind !
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty.! thou art, For there thy habitation is the heart— 'The heart which love of thee alone can bind;
And when thy sons to fetters are consigned—
To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom. Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
Chillon ! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar—for 'twas trod,
LTntil his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod;
By Bonnivard !—May none those marks efface ! For they appeal, from tyranny to God,
What art thou, Freedom ? Oh, could Slaves Answer from their living graves This demand, tyrants would flee Like a dream's dim imagery.
Thou art not, as imposters say, A shadow soon to pass away, A superstition, and a name Echoing from the caves of Fame.
For the labourer thou art bread, And a comely table spread, From his daily labour come, In a neat and happy home.
Thou art clothes, and fire, and food For the trampled multitude; No—in countries that are free Such starvation cannot be, As in England now we see.
To the rich thou art a check, When his foot is on the neck Of his victim; thou dost make That he treads upon a snake.
Thou art Justice—ne'er for gold May thy righteous laws be sold, As laws are in England :—thou Shieldst alike the high and low.
Thou art Wisdom—Freedom never Dreams that God will damn for ever AH who think those things untrue, Of which priests made such ado.
Thou art Peace—never by thee Would blood and treasure wasted be, As tyrants wasted them, when all Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul..
What if English toil ^nd blood Was poured forth even as a flood! It availed, O Liberty ! To dim—but not extinguish thee.
Thou art Love—the rich have kist Thy feet, and like him following Christ, Give their substance to be free, And through the rough world follow thee.
" Forsooth, brothers, fellowship is heaven, and lack of fellowship is hell; fellowship is life, and lack of fellowship is death; and the deeds that ye do upon the earth, it is for fellowship's sake that ye do them."
II.—TRAINING FOR FREEDOM.
" Clear, therefore, thy Head, and Rally, and Manage thy thoughts Rightly, and thou wilt save Time, and second Do thy Business Well; for thy Judgment will be distinct, thy Mind Free, and the Faculties Strong and Regular."
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea I
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
We that build Freedom's body, cell by cell To outlive these our own when they are gone Into the dust, choose that to labour on Which is most stubborn and intractable;— Our elemental passions that rebel Against all governance,—these one by one We build into that living Parthenon, Wherein the spirit of Liberty shall dwell.
Henry Bryan Binns.
Who would in strength excel, Must first his passions quell, His lusts control: Were India's mighty realm, . His hand upon the helm, Her wealth to roll Before his conquering feet, And Thule's island greet Him Lord. The goal Could not be reached nor seen, Until, with conquest keen, He won his soul.
" Liberty ? The true liberty of a man, you would say, consisted in his finding out, or being forced to find out, the right path, and to walk thereon. To learn, or to be taught, what work he actually was able for; and then by permission, persuasion, and even compulsion, to set about doing of the same ! That is his true blessedness, honour, 'liberty,* and maximum of well-being : if liberty be not that, I for one have small care about liberty. You do not allow a palpable madman to leap over precipices; you violate his liberty, you that are wise; and keep him, were it in strait-waistcoats, away from the precipices. Every stupid, every cowardly and foolish man is but a less palpable madman; his true liberty were that a wiser man, that any and every wiser man, could, by brass collars, or in whatever milder or sharper way, lay hold of him when he was going wrong, and order and compel him to go a little righter."
I, loving freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust;
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferred
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if 1 may.
Through no disturbance of my soul, Or strong compunction in me wrought, I supplicate for thy control ; But in the quietness of thought; Me this unchartered freedom tires ; I feel the weight of chance-desires; My hopes no more must change their name, I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Stern Lawgiver \ yet thou dost wear The Godhead's most benignant grace; Nor know we anything so fair As is the smile upon thy face; Flowers laugh before thee out their beds And fragrance in thy footing treads; Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong; And the most ancient heavens, through Thee, are fresh and strong.
''Prince Bulow, meaning to be contemptuous, has said of the French that this strange people are capable of sacrificing to an idea even their material prosperity. It is a tribute of which the French may well be proud. For throughout their history it has been the secret of the undying fascination and power of this great nation that they have been not only willing to spend themselves for an idea, but able to communicate to other peoples something of their own divine frenzy. They have never done so to greater purpose, or with nobler results, than in the great revolutionary movements which thej inspired and guided. It is true that all the blood and fury of these years did not immediately lead to the establishment of an orderly system of national self-government. But they created and spread abroad the seeds of that divine discontent which was to shake down everywhere the old regime, and to bring about the universal acceptance of the ideal of political liberty."
44 It is liberty alone which fits men for liberty. This proposition, like every other in politics, has its bounds; but it is far safer than the counter doctrine, wait till they are fit.
;< It is a great and noble secret, that of constitutional freedom, which has given to us the largest liberties, with the steadiest throne, and the most vigorous executive in Christendom. I confess to my strong faith in the virtue of this principle. ... I am deeply convinced that among us all systems, whether religious or political, which rest on a principle of absolutism, must of necessity be, not indeed tyrannical, but feeble and ineffective systems, and that methodically to eniist
the members of a community, with due regard to their several capacities, in the performance of its public duties, is the way to make that community powerful and healthful, to give a firm seat to its rulers, and to engender a warm and intelligent devotion in those beneath their sway."
W. E. Gladstone.
Wisdom is radiant and fadeth not away
And easily is she beheld of them that love her,
And found of them that seek her.
She forestalleth them that desire to seek her, making
herself first known. He that riseth up early to seek her shall have no toil, For-he shall find her sitting at his gates. For to think upon her is perfectness of understanding, And he that keepeth vigil for her sake shall quickly be
free from care. Because she goeth about, herself seeking them that are
worthy of her, And in their paths she appeareth unto them graciously, And in every purpose she meeteth them, For her true beginning is desire of discipline And the care for discipline is love of her; And- love of her is observance of her laws; And to give heed to her is assurance of immortality; And immortality bringeth near unto God; So. then the desire of Wisdom leadeth to a kingdom.
Wisdom of Solomon vi. 12-20.
(Lines of a Russian Jew.)
In childhood I learned to love thee;
Thy name was a legend to me; I dreamt of a distant great island,
Where men may be strong, ..yet be free.
And I, who the clatter of fetters
Have heard in my childhood and youth, Do bless thee for giving me refuge, And faith in the triumph of truth.
Thou art not my step-mother, England,
My sister of mercy thou art; For thee in the hour of thy trial, A brotherly love fills my heart.
P. M. Raskin.
III.—THE FREE MAN.
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain That hellish foes confederate for his harm Can wind around him, but he casts it off With as much ease as Samson his green withes. He looks abroad into the varied field Of nature, and though poor perhaps, compared With those whose mansions glitter in his sight, Calls the delightful scenery all his own. His are the mountains, and the valleys his, And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy With a propriety that none can feel, But who, with filial confidence inspired, Can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye, And smiling say—" My Father made them all."
Is there, for honest poverty,
That hangs his head, and a1 that ?
The coward slave, we pass him by, We daur be puir, for a* that!
For a* that, and a* that, Our toils obscure and a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp— The man's the gowd for a* that.
What though on hamely fare we cine, Wear hoddin-grey and a' that ?
Gi'e fools their silks, and knaves their wine— A man's a man, for a' that;
For a' that, and a' that, Their tinsel show and a' that,
The honest man, though e'er sae puir. Is king o' man for a' that.
Ye see yon. birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a* that: Tho' hundreds worship at his word, He's but a cuif for a' that,
For a' that, and a' that, His ribband, star, and a' that; The man of independent mind, He looks and laughs at a' that.
A prince can make a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that: But an honest man's aboon his might, Gude faith, he mauna fa* that !
For a' that, and a' that, Their dignities and a' that, The pith o' sense and pride o' worth Are higher ranks than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a* that, That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth, May bear the gree and a' that !
For a' that, and a' that— It's comin' yet, for a' that, When man to man, the warld o'er, Shall brithers be for a' that.
POETICAL INSCRIPTION FOR AN ALTAR TO INDEPENDENCE.
Thou of an independent mind,
With soul resolved, with soul resigned ;
Prepared Power's proudest frown to brave,
Who wilt not be nor have, a slave ;
Virtue alone who dost revere,
Thy own reproach alone dost fear—
Approach this shrine and worship here.
Chains may subdue the feeble spirit, but thee, Tell, of the iron heart I they could not tame ! For thou wert of .the mountains; they proclaim The everlasting creed of liberty— That creed is written on the untrampled snow, Thundered by torrents which no power can hold, Save that of God, when He sends forth His cold, And breathed by winds that through the free heaven blow.
Thou, while thy prison-walls were dark aiound, Didst meditate the lesson Nature taught, And to thy brief captivity was brought A vision of thy Switzerland unbound.
The bitter cup they mingled, strengthened thee For the great work to set thy country free.
William Cullen Bryant.
That he is dead the sons of kings are glad; And in their beds the tyrants sounder sleep. Now he is dead his martyrdom will reap Late harvest of the palms it should have had In life. Too late the tardy lands are sad.
His unclaimed crown in secret they will keep For ages, while in chains they vainly weep, And vainly grope to find the roads he bade Them take. O glorious soul! there is no dearth Of worlds. There must be many better worth Thy presence and thy leadership than this. No doubt, on some great sun to-day, thy birth Is for a race the dawn of Freedom's bliss, Which but for thee it might for ages miss.
Helen H. Jackson.
44 Him I call Brahmin whom desire assails not from within nor from without, in whom is no fear; he is indeed free."
Dhammapada (Sayings of Gautama).
What makes the king ? His treasure ? No :' Nor yet the circlet on his brow, Nor yet the purple robe of State, Nor yet the golden palace gate.
The king is he who knows no fear, Whose breast no angry passions tear, Who scorns insane ambition's wreath, •
The maddening crowd's inconstant breath, The wealth of Europe's mines, the gold In the bright tide of Tagus rolled, And the unmeasured stores of grain Garnered from Lybia's sultry plain, Who quails not at the levin stroke, On raging storms can calmly look, Though the wild winds on Adria rave And round him swells the threatening wave, Who trembles not at thrust of spear, Feels of the flashing steel no fear, Who from his spirit's height serene Looks down upon the troubled scene, And uncomplaining when his date Has come goes forth to meet his fate.
The king, a king self-crowned is he, Who from desire and fear is free
"The reputation and worth of a man consisteth in his heart and will; therein consists true honour; Constancie is valour, not of armes and legs, but of mind and courage; it consisteth not in the spirit and courage of our horse, nor of our armes, but in ours. He that obstinately faileth in his courage, Si succiderit, de genu fugnat: ' If hee slip or fall, he fights upon his knee.1 He that in danger of imminent death is no whit danted in his assurednesse ; he that in yeelding up his ghost beholding his enemie with a scornfull and fierce looke, he is vanquished, not by us, but by fortune ; he is slaine, but not conquered."
IV.—THE FEAR OF FREEDOM.
ct While you harbour any of the fears, you have not come into the faith ; whether it be of Hell-fire or of the workhouse, or of the loss of your beloved, or of your mental faculties, or of your reputation for being different from the rest, of disease or doubt or failure—whichever grips you nighest; while you harbour any fear you have not found deliverance yet. . . .
44 Faith has a welcome for all comers; it makes good use of each encounter ; it knows the secret of acceptance, keeping the attitude of the Soul in the midst of life.
44 Faith is not anxious about rules and precedents : Give me life, says Faith, and I will make you churches and worlds to the end of time, it was I who made all there are now!
" Faith is not afraid of sins, devils and outlawed things, but walks its own way amid the wilds of temptation, untamed itself and fearless, making its own laws. . . .
44 For Faith, revelation is for ever beginning: the air is full of divine words, of new individual meanings for men and for every creature.
44 It beholds the advent of the beginners, age after age, comet-like, flashing through the orderly system, no less orderly than they, but of a vaster circle, struck through space from a more central centre,—carrying dismay as they come, unheralded, unwelcome, but with the jov of more heroic life full in their faces."
Henry Bryan Binns.
"And is this freedom ? ^ cried the serf. "At last
I tread free soil, the free air blows on me";
And, wild to learn the sweets of liberty,
With eager hope his bosom bounded fast.
But not for naught had the long years amassed
Habit of slavery ; among the free
He still was servile, and disheartened, he
Crept back to the old bondage of the past.
Long did I bear a hard and heavy chain
WreathM with amaranth and asphodel,
But through the flower-breaths stole the heavy pain.
I cast it off and fled, but 'twas in vain;
For when once more I passed by where it fell,
I took it up and bound it on again.
"If a person in a dream is disturbed with strange appearances, trouble is over as soon as he is awake and sees that it was the folly of a dream. Now, when a right knowledge of ourselves enters into our minds, it makes as great change in all our thoughts and apprehensions as when we awake from the wanderings of a dream. We acknowledge a man to be made of melancholy, who fancies himself to be a glass, and so is afraid of stirring; or, taking himself to be wax, dare not let the sun shine upon him. But, my children, there are things in the world which pass for wisdom, politeness, grandeur, happiness, and fine breeding, which show as great ignorance of ourselves, and might as justly pass for thorough madness, as when a man fancies himself to be glass or ice. A woman that dares not appear in the world without fine clothes, that thinks it happiness to have a face finely coloured, to have a skin delicately fair, that had rather die than be reduced to poverty, and be forced to work for a poor maintenance, is as ignorant of herself to the full as he that fancies himself to be glass."
Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither; One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather ; There's no discouragement Shall make him once relent His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim.
Whoso beset him round With dismal stories, Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is. No lion can him fright, He'll with a giant fight, But he will have a right To be a pilgrim.
Hobgoblin nor foul fiend Can daunt his spirit; He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit. Then fancies fly away; He'll not fear what men say; He'll labour night and day To be a pilgrim.
For thou when Athens reign'd and Rome, Thy glorious eyes were dimmed with pain
To mark in many a freeman's home The slave, the scourge, the chain;
O follower of the vision, still
In motion to the distant gleam,
Howe'er blind force and brainless will May jar thy golden dream.
Of knowledge fusing class with class, Of civic Hate no more to be,
Of Love to leaven all the mass, Till every Soul be free !
Who yet, like Nature, wouldst not mar By changes all too fierce and fast,
This order of Her Human Star, This heritage of the Past;
O scorner of the party cry
That wonders from the public good,
Thou—when the nations rear on high Their idol smear'd with blood.
And when they roll their idol down— Of saner worship sanely proud;
Thou loather of the lawless crown As of the lawless crowd.
THE MAN WITH THE HOE.
Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground. The emptiness of ages in his face, And on his back the burden of the world. Who made him dead to rapture and despair, A thing that grieves not and that never hopes, Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox ? Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw ? Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow ? Whose breath blew out the light within this brain ?
Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity ?
Is this the Dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep ?
Down all the stretch of Hell to its last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this—
More tongued with censure of the world's blind greed-
More filled with signs and portents for the soul—
More fraught with menace to the universe.
Oh masters, lords and rulers in all lands, How will the Future reckon with this Man, How answer his brute question in that hour When worldwinds of rebellion shake the world ? How will it be with kingdoms and with kings— With those who shaped him to the thing he is— When this dumb Terror shall reply to God, After the silence of the centuries ?
V.—THE SLAVERY OF FATALISM.
And thus a crown is gained—for this, We leave all thoughts of present bliss! We toil, we strive, we live in care, And in the end possess—despair! Our sun of youth, of hope, is pet, And all our guerdon is—regret.
QUATRAINS FROM OMAR KHAYYAM.
Wf are no other than a moving row Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held In Midnight by the Master of the Show :
But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays Upon this chequer-board of Nights and Days;
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays And one by one back in the Closet lays.
The Moving Finger writes; and having writ Moves on : nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky, Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
Lift not your hands to It for help—for It As impotently moves as you or I.
Stanzas lxviii., lxix., lxxi., lxxii. of Fitzgerald's Translation.
THE PRESENT CRISIS.
When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of time,
♦ « • • • • •
Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the Strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by for ever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
They have rights who dare maintain them. W'e are traitors to our sires,
Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit altar fires.
Shall we make their creed our jailor ? Shall we, in our haste to slay,
From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away
To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day ?
New occasions teach new duties! Time makes ancient
good uncouth ! They must upward still and onward, who would keep
abreast of Truth ! Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! We ourselves must Pilgrims be,
Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the
desperate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key.
J. Russell Lowell.
Men, at some time, are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Shakespeare, Julius Casar.
It's no in titles nor in rank; It's no in wealth like Lon'on Bank,
To purchase peace and rest. It's no in makin muckle mair; . It's no in books, it's no in lear, To make us truly blest 1 If happiness hae not her seat An' centre in the breast, We may be wise, or rich, or great, But never can be blest! Nae treasures, nor pleasures,
Could make us happy lang; The heart ay 's the part ay That makes us right or wrang.
Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge and drive thro* wet and dry,
Wi' never ceasing toil; Think ye, are we less blest than they, Wha scarcely tent us in their way, As hardly worth their while ? Alas ! how oft, in haughty mood, God's creatures they oppress! Or else, neglecting a' that's guid, Thev riot in excess I
Baith careless and fearless Of either Heaven or Hell;
Esteeming and deeming It a' an idle tale !
Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce, Nor make our scanty pleasures less
By pining at our state; And, even should misfortunes come, I, here wha sit, hae met wi* some,
An' 's thankfu' for them yet. They gie the wit of age to youth;
They let us ken oursel; They make us see the naked truth, The real guid and ill;
Tho' losses and crosses Be lessons right severe,
There's wit there, ye'll get there, Ye'll find nae other where.
Potentates and Princes, now-a-days, when they take in hand an enterprise, do not pray before they begin, but set to work calculating: 3 times 3 make nine, twice seven are fourteen—so-and-so will do so-and-so— in this manner will the business surely take effect-^ but our Lord God says unto them: For whom, then do ye hold me ? for a cypher ? Do I sit here above in vain, and to no purpose ? You shall know that I will twist your accounts about finely, and make them all' false reckonings.
Luther, Talk Talk.
MY SORT O' MAN.
The pride to feel that your own strength Has cleaved fur you the way
To heights to which you were not born, But struggled day by day.
What though the thousand sneer an' scoff, An4 scorn yore humble birth ?
Kings are but puppets; you are king By right o' royal worth.
The man who simply sits an' waits For good to come along,
Ain't worth the breath that one would take To tell him he is wrong.
Fur good ain't flowin' round this world Fur every fool to sup ;
You've got to put yore see-ers on, An' go an' hunt it up.
Good goes with honesty, I say,
To honour an' to bless; To rich an' poor alike it brings
A wealth o' happiness. The 'ristercrats ain't got it all, Fur much to their surprise, That's one of earth's most blessed things They can't monopolize.
Paul L. Dunbar.
THE OLD STOIC.
Riches I hold in light esteem, And Love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream, That vanished with the morn.
And if I pray, the only prayer That moves my lips for me
Is, " Leave the heart that now I bear, And give me Liberty."
Yes, as my swift days near their goal 'Tis all that I implore;
In life and death a chainless soul, With courage to endure.
" True liberty is not a continuous state : it is not an indefeasible and invariable quality. We are free only so far as we are not dupes of ourselves, our pretexts, our instincts, our temperament. We are freed by energy and the critical spirit—that is to say, by detachment of soul, by self-government. So that we are enslaved, but susceptible of freedom; we are bound, but capable of shaking off our bonds."
" Liberty, without the consideration that truth is its end, becomes libertinism, which turns in a circle to despotism again.
" True freedom is the service of the highest.
" To serve no master is to serve self.
" The service of self is the union of despotism and anarchy."
u One morning, as I was sitting by the fire, a great cloud came over me, and a temptation beset me, but I sat still. And it was said, All things come by Nature; and the elements and the stars came over me, so that in a manner I was quite clouded by it. And as I sat still under it and let it alone, a living hope arose in me and a true voice, which said, There is a living God, Who made all things. And immediately the cloud and temptation vanished away, and life rose over it all. My heart was glad, and I praised the living God!"
VI.—THE SLAVERY OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
" (I) joyfully entered Prisons as Palaces, telling mine Enemies to hold me there as long as they could, and in the Prison House I sung praises to my God, and esteemed the Bolts and Locks put upon me as Jewels, and in the Name of the Eternal God I alway got the Victory, for they could keep mc no longer than the Determined time of my God."
William Dewsbury (1621-1688).
WRITTEN ON THE DAY MR. LEIGH HUNT
What though, for showing truth to flatter'd state. Kind Hunt was shut in prison, yet has he, In his immortal spirit been as free As the sky-searching lark, and as elate. Minion of grandeur ! think you he did wait ?
Think you be naught but prison walls did see, Till, so unwilling, thou unturndst the key ? Ah no, far happier, nobler was his fate I To Spenser's halls he strayed, and bowers fair, Culling enchanted flowers; and he flew With daring Milton thro' the fields of air : To regions of his own his genius true
Took happy flight. Who shall his fame impair When thou art dead, and all thy wretched crew ?
TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.
Toussaint, the most unhappy man of men !
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den;—
O miserable chieftain ! where and when
Wilt thou find patience ? Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow.
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee; air, earth and skies;
There's not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee ; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends arc exultations, agonies,
And love, and man's unconquerable mind.
" Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."
Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage, Minds innocent and quiet take
That for a hermitage ! If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free, Angels alone, that soar above, Enjoy such liberty.
Though cold as winter, gloomy as the grave,
Stone walls a prisoner make, but not a slave.
Shall man assume a property in man ?
Lay on the moral will a withering ban ?
Shame that our laws at distance still protect
Enormities, which they at home reject I
" Slaves cannot breathe in England "—yet that boast
Is but a mockery ! when from coast to coast,
Though fettered slave be none, her floors and soil
Groan underneath a weight of slavish toiL
For the poor Many, measured out by rules
Fetched with cupidity from heartless schools,
That to an Idol, falsely called " the Wealth
Of Nations," sacrifice a People's health,
Body and mind and soul; a thirst so keen
In ever urging on the vast machine
Of sleepless Labour, 'mid whose dizzy wheels
The Power least prized is that which thinks and feels.
" 4 If you knowed. dear boy,' he said to me, 4 what it is to sit here alonger my dear boy, and have my smoke, arter having been day by day betwixt four walls, you'd envy me. But you don't know what it is.*
"' I think I know the delights of freedom,'" I answered.
" 4 Ah,' said he, shaking his head gravely, 4 But you don't know it equal to me. You must have been under lock and key, dear boy, to know it equal to me.'"
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.
Behold then that which, through the letters of your nephew and mine, and of many other friends, has been conveyed to me as to the ordinance recently made at Florence touching the return of the exiles, that, should I be willing to pay a certain sum of money, and submit to a degrading ceremony, I may be pardoned and forthwith return.
" No, my father, this is not my way of returning to my country, but if any other can be discovered, by you or by others, which does not derogate from Dante's fame and honour, I will, with no lingering steps, accept it. But if by such a course there is no entrance to Florence found for me, Florence I will never enter. What ? Cannot I everywhere gaze upon the sun and the stars ? Can I not, everywhere under heaven, contemplate the truths that are most sweet and precious, unless I first submit myself to the people and state of Florence, stripped of my honour, and clothed in ignomony ? Bread, I imagine, will not fail me."
Dante, Epistle ix.
" Men in Great Place are thrice Servants 1 Servants of the Soveraigne or State; Servants of Fame; and Servants of Businesse. So they have no Freedome ; neither in their Persons; nor in their Actions; nor in their Times. It is a strange desire to seek Power, and to lose Libertie; or to seek Power over others, and to lose Power over a Man's Selfe. The Rising unto Place is Laborious, and by Paines Men come to greater Paines; and it is sometimes base ; And by Indignities, Men come to Dignities. The standing is slippery, and the Regresse, is either a downefall, or at least an Eclipse, which is a Melancholy Thing."
Lord Bacon, 0/ Great Place.
VII.—THE SLAVERY OF CUSTOM AND
It is not to be thought of that the Flood
Of British Freedom, which, to the open sea
Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, 4 with pomp of waters, unwithstood,'
Roused though it be full often to a mood
Which spurns the check of salutary bands,
That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible knights of old;
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held. In every thing we are sprung
Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.
At the king's gate the subtle noon Wove filmy yellow nets of sun; Into the drowsy snare too soon The guards fell one by one.
Through the king's gate, unquestioned then,
A beggar went, and laughed, " This brings Me chance, at last, to see if men Fare better, being kings."
The king sat bowed beneath his crown,
Propping his face with listless hand; Watching the hour glass sifting down Too slow its shining sand.
SLAVERY OF CUSTOM AND TRADITION 41
" Poor man, what wouldst thou have of me ?"
The beggar turned, and, pitying, Replied, like one in dream, " Of thee, Nothing. I want the king."
Up rose the king, and from his head
Shook off the crown, and threw it by; " O man, thou must have known," he said. "A greater king than I."
Through all the gates, unquestioned then, Went king and beggar hand in hand, Whispered the king, " Shall I know when Before his throne I stand?"
The beggar laughed, the winds in haste
Were wiping from the king's hot brow The crimson lines the crown had traced. " This is his presence now."
At the king's gate the crafty noon
Unwove its yellow nets of sun; Out of their sleep in terror soon The guards waked one by one.
" Ho here ! Ho there ! Has no man seen The king ? " The cry ran to and fro; Beggar and king, they laughed I ween, The laugh that free men know.
On the king's gate the moss grew gray;
The king came not. They called him dead; And made his eldest son one day, Slave in his father's stead.
H. H. Jackson
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
William H. Davies, Songs of Joy.
Ah ! these old creeds, Who can believe them to-day ?
Yet were brave deeds Inspired by them once, too; and they Made men of heroic mould In the great fighting ages of old.
Is it the wounds Which silence has given ? or the sap On critical grounds, WThich has brought about their mishap ? Nay, these touched not a vital spot, Though they brag of the wreck they have wrought.
But the spirit has risen From the hard, narrow letter which kept
Men's thoughts in a prison, Where they struggled or languished or slept; And now we can soar high above All the creeds, but the Credo of Love.
Walter C. Smith.
Nought nobler is, than to be free:
The stars of heaven are free because In amplitude of liberty
Their joy is to obey the laws. From servitude to freedom's name
Free thou thy mind in bondage pent; Depose the fetich, and proclaim
The things that are more excellent.
VIII.—FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND
How happy the Age, where you may think what you will, and may say what you think.
You ask me, why, tho* 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 foe* A man may speak the thing he will;
A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown, WThere Freedom broadens slowly down From precedent to precedent;
Where faction seldom gathers head, But by degrees to fullness wrought, The strength of some diffusive thought Hath time and space to work and spread.
Should banded unions persecute Opinion, and induce a time When single thought is civil crime, And individual freedom mute;
Tho' Power should make from land to land The name of Britain trebly great— Tho' every channel of the State Should almost choke with golden sand—
Yet waft me from the harbour-mouth, Wild wind ! I seek a warmer sky, And I will see before I die The palms and temples of the South.
THOUGHT OF A BRITON ON THE SUBJUGATION OF SWITZERLAND.
Two Voices are there ; one is of the sea,
One of the mountains; each a mighty Voice. In both from age to age didst thou rejoice, They were thy chosen music, Liberty ! There came a Tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou foughtst against him ; but hast vainly striven ; Thou from thy Alpine holds at length art driven. Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
Of one deep bliss thy ear has been bereft, Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left. For, high-sou led Maid, what sorrow would it be That mountain floods should thunder as before, And ocean bellow from his rocky shore, And neither awful Voice be heard by thee i •
Hark ! men are fighting where peace should have been, Clashing their sword-blades, and shouting their cries; If thou but knew all the triumph serene When a great Law of Nature is certainly seen, And God's secret given to the patient and wise!
What are the schemes which their poor lives devour ? What are the ends they're so eager to gain ? They do but strive to get honour and power, And wield them in pride for a brief little hour— This while the world lasts still shall remain.
Truth is the one power to loose or to bind,
Not to oppress, but to set the world free,
PoWer over Nature by masterful mind,
Power to enlarge the great thoughts of mankind,
And by obeying Law its Lords to be.
Walter C. Smith.
" It is unnatural and unreasonable to persecute disagreeing opinions. Unnatural, for understanding beij'lg a thing wholly spiritual, cannot be restrained, and, therefore, neither punished by corporal afflictions. It is in aliena refullica, a matter of another world. You thay as well cure the colic by brushing a man's clothes, or fill a man's belly with a syllogism. These things do not communicate in matter, and, therefore, neither in action nor passion. And since all punishments in a prudent government punish the offender to prevent a future crime, and so it proves more medicinal than vindictive, the primitive act being in order to the cure and prevention; and since no punishment of the body can cure t disease in the soul; it is disproportionate in nature, and in all civil government, to punish where the punishment can do no good. It may be an.act of tyranny, but never of justice. For is an opinion ever the more true or false for being persecuted ? Some men have believed it the more, as being provoked into a confidence, and vexed into a resolution ; but the thing itself is not the truer; and though the hangman may confute a man with an inexplicable dilemma, yet not convince his understanding; for such premises can infer no conclusion but that of a man's life; and a wolf may as well give laws to the understanding, as he whose dictates are only propounded in violence and writ in blood; and a dog is as capable of a law as a man, if there be no choice in his obedience, nor discourse in his choice, nor reason to satisfy his discourse.
" And as it is unnatural, so it is unreasonable that Sempronius should force Caius to be of his opinion because Sempronius is consul this year, and commands the lictors; as if he that can kill a man, cannot but be infallible; and if he be not, why should I do violence to my conscience because he can do violence to my person :"
This is true liberty, when free-born men, Having to advise the public, may speak free, Which he who can and w ill deserves high praise, Who neither can, nor will; may hold his peace; What can be juster in a state than this ?
" What should you do then, should ye suppress all this flowery crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this city ? ... If it be desired to know the immediate cause of all this free writing and free speaking, there cannot be assigned a truer than your own mild, and free, and humane government; it is the liberty, lords and commons, which your own valorous and happy counsels have purchased us; liberty which is the nurse of all great wits; this is that which hath rarified and enlightened our spirits like the influence of heaven; this is that which hath enfranchised, enlarged, and lifted up our apprehensions degrees above themselves. . . . Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above r.ll liberties."
M i lton , Areopagitica.
" This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of expressing and publishing opinions may seem to fall under a different principle, since it belongs to that part of the conduct of an individual which concerns other people; but, being almost of as much importance as the liberty of thought itself, and resting in great part on the same reasons, is practically inseparable from it. Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow; without impediment from our fellow creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong. Thirdly, from this liberty of each individual, follows the liberty, within the same limits of civilization among individuals: freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others, the persons combining being
supposed to be of full age, and not forced or deceived. • • • • • •
" The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind" are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest."
I. S. Mill, On Liberty.
IX.—FREEDOM AND SERVICE.
" As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."
Abraham Lincoln (in a letter a year or two before his election to the Presidency).
The poet in a golden clime was born.
With golden stars above; Dower'd with the hate of hate, the scorn of scorn,
The love of love. • ♦ ♦ « • « • •
And Freedom rear'd in that august sunrise
Her beautiful bold brow, When rites and forms before his burning eyes Melted like snow.
There was no blood upon her maiden robes
Sunn'd by those orient skies; But round about the circles of the globes Of her keen eyes
And in her raiment's hem was traced in flame
Wisdom, a name to shake All evil dreams of power—a sacred name. And when she spake,
Her words did gather thunder as they ran,
And as the lightning to the thunder Which follows it, riving the spirit of man, Making earth wonder,
So was the meaning to her words. No sword
Of wrath her right arm whirl'd, But one poor poet's scroll, and with his word She shook the world.
Tennyson. THE SECRET OF THE BEES.
How have you managed it ? bright, busy bee ! You are all of you useful, yet each of you free.
What man only talks of, the busy bee does; Shares food, and keeps order, with no waste of buzz.
No cell that's too narrow—no squandering of wax No damage to pay, and no rent, and no tax.
No drones kept in honey to look on and prate, No property tyrant, no bigwigs of State.
Free access to flowers, -free use of all wings; And when bee-life is threatened, then free use of stings. • ••lit! Comes overmuch plenty one summer, you'll see A lull and a leisure for each busy bee.
No overwork, underwork, glut of the spoil; No hunger for any, no purposeless toil.
Economy, Liberty, Order and Wealth— Say, busy bee, how you reached Social Health ?
Say rather, why not ?. It is easier so,
We have all the world open to come and to go.
We haven't got masters, we haven't got money, We've nothing to hinder the gath'ring of honey.
The sun and the air and the sweet summer flowers Attract to spontaneous use of our powers.
Our work is all natural—nothing but play, For wings and proboscis can go their own way.
We find it convenient to live in one nest, None hindering other from doing her best.
We haven't a Press—so we haven't got lies,
And it's worth no one's while to throw dust in our eyes.
We haven't among us a single pretence,
And we got our good habits thro' sheer Common Sense.
L. S. Bevington.
" The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class. It h not the realisation of a political ideal, it is the discharge of a moral obligation."
Yes, Time is young, and man is in the making, Our dreams the rosy fingers of the mom, Flushing the earth with gladness newly-born: Yes, Time is young; the day is only breaking.
Our patient folk, their slumberous senses shaking, Garnering together Freedom's ripened corn, The visage marred that England long hath worn, Shall see in nobler loveliness awaking.
Work shall be service for the common weal, And service fellowship in common life, And fellowship shall larger life reveal
Of Truth that solves and Ix>ve that heals all strife; Thus, in the day of God, our land shall be Close-knit in one beloved community.
Wm. Charles Braithwaite.
M It is both commonly said, and truly, that the best men otherwise are not always the best in regard of society. The reason whereof is, for that the law of men's actions is one, if they be respected only as men; and another, when they are considered as parts of a politic body. Many men there are, than whom nothing is more commendable when they are singled; and yet in society with others none less fit to answer the duties which are looked for at their hands. Yea, I am persuaded, that of them with whom in this cause we strive, there are whose betters amongst men would be hardly found, if they did not live amongst men, but in some wilderness by themselves. The cause of which their disposition so unframable unto societies wherein they live, is, for that they discern not aright what place and force these several kinds of law ought to have in all their actions."
- - Richard Hooker.
X.—PROGRESS THROUGH FREEDOM.
FOR APRIL 23RD, 1616—1916.
One thing to-day
For England let us pray—
That, when this bitterness of blood is spent,
Out of the darkness of the discontent
Perplexing man with man, poor pride with pride,
Shall come to her, and loverly abide,
Sure knowledge that these lamentable days
Were given to death and the bewildered praise
Of dear young limbs and eager eyes forestilled,
That in her home, where Shakespeare's passion grew—
From song to song, should thrive the happy-willed
Free life that Shakespeare drew.
" Man himself, as Biology and History show, belongs to the past, the present and the future; and his progress depends upon the living elements of past, present and future co-operating in his growth. Some survive from the rich inheritance left to him by former generations, others are the dominant forces of the hour, others again are new births, nascent with all the promise of the days yet to be. They flourish best in an atmosphere of self-controlled freedom, since this allows a great variety of temperaments and capacities to serve the Commonwealth."
Wilmam Charles Braithwaite.
Italy, what of the night ?
Ah, child, child, it is long I Moonbeam and starbeam and song, Leave it dumb now and dark. Yet I perceive on the height
Eastward, not now very far, A song too loud for the lark, A light too strong for a star.
Europe, what of the night ? Ask of heaven, and the sea, And my babes in the bosom of me, Nations of mine, but ungrown. There is one who shall surely requite
All that endure or that err; She can answer alone; ■
Ask not of me, but of her.
Liberty, what of the night ?
I feel not the red rains fall, Hear not the tempest at all, Nor thunder in heaven any more. All the distance is white
With the soundless feet of the sun, Night, with the woes that it wore, Night is over and done.
Algernon Charles Swinburne.
" But we cannot follow Plato's enticing lead into the borderland of ethics and politics. ' What we have to notice now is that Freedom (when it means more than the formal ground of Responsibility) is the control of all our actions by our whole being; to be free is to have a Purpose, in following which we satisfy every function of our nature, and which we pursue undeviatingly. In some cases, perhaps in all, it is necessary for us to crush this or that desire ruthlessly, because, if indulged at all, it waxes tyrannous. But the ideal stands, and the man who is free in this sense is the embodiment of Will—he is the strong-willed man. There is a popular notion, miscalled the doctrine of Free Will—philosophically foolish and theologically heretical—which suggests that the Will is essentially a Jack-in the-Box that crops up here or there when least expected. But the man of strong will, as was said before, is not the man who may do anything, but precisely the man who can be depended on; in fact strength of will reveals itself in certain splendid incapacities, as when it is said of a man accused of taking bribes—" He could not do it." People with no will at all like to attribute the variegations of their conduct to their freedom; one day a man chooses to be quite respectable; another day he chooses to be dissolute. But such choice is at best a mere rhythmic recurrence of various impulses, or the mechanical response to various environments, or both. The man of strong will is the man who is the same from day to day, and in all circumstances, not turned from his purpose by outward allurements or inward passions. True freedom manifests itself in constancy and stability of character."
XI.—THE COST OF FREEDOM.
" The Condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance."
J. P. Curran, Speech on Right of Election,
■ THE SPEECH AT GETTYSBURG.
Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate n portion of it as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
" But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or to detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us— that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln, 1863.
PSALM OF THE WEST.
Land of the wilful gospel, thou worst and thou best;
Tall Adam of lands, new-made of the dust of the West;
Thou wroughtest alone in the Garden of God, unblest
Till He fashioned lithe Freedom to lie for thine Eve on thy breast—
Till out of thy heart's dear neighbourhood, out of thy side,
He fashioned an intimate Sweet one and brought thee a Bride,
Cry hail! nor bewail that the wound of her coming was
Lo, Freedom reached forth where the world as an apple hung red;
Let us taste the whole radiant round of it, gayly she said :
If we dief at the worst we shall lie as the first of the dead. Knowledge of Good and of 111, O Land! she hath given thee;
Perilous godhoods of choosing have rent thee and riven thee;
Will's high adoring to Ill's low exploring hath
driven thee— Freedom, thy Wife, hath uplifted thy life and clean shriven thee I
Her shalt thou clasp for a balm to the scars of thy breast,
Her shall thou kiss for a calm to thy wars of unrest,
Her shall extol in the psalm of the soul of the West.
For Weakness, in freedom, grows stronger than Strength with a chain ;
And Error, in freedom, will come to lamenting his stain,
Till freely repenting he whiten his spirit again;
And friendship, in freedom, will blot out the bounding of race;
And straight Law, in freedom, will curve to the rounding of grace;
And Fashion, in freedom, will die of the lie in her face; And Desire flame white on the sense as a fire on a height, And Sex flame white in the soul as a star in the night, And Marriage plight sense unto soul as the two-
coloured light Of the fire and the star shines one with a duplicate might;
And Science be known as the sense making love to the All,
And Art be known as the soul making love to the All,
And Love be known as the marriage of man with the All— Till Science to knowing the Highest shall lovingly turn, Till Art to loving the Highest shall consciously burn, Till Science to Art as a man to a woman fhall yearn, —Then morn !
When Faith from the wedding of Knowing and Loving shall purely be born,
And the Child shall smile in the West, and the West to the East give morn,
And the Time in that ultimate Prime shall forget old . regretting and scorn,
Yea, the stream of the light shall give off in a shimmer the dream of the night forlorn.
TO WALT WHITMAN IN AMERICA.
The earth-god Freedom, the lonely.
Face lightening, the footprint unshod, Not as one man crucified only
Nor scourged with but one life's rod; The soul that is substance of nations, Reincarnate with fresh generations ;
The great god Man, which is God.
Freedom we call it, for holier
Name of the soul's there is none; Surelier it labours, if slowlier
Than the metres of star or of sun; Slowlier than life into breath Surelier than time into death,
It moves till its labour be done.
It is one with the world's generations
With the spirit, the star, and the sod; With the kingless and king-stricken nations
With the cross, and the chain, and the rod, The most high, the most secret, most lonely, The earth-soul freedom, that only Lives, and that only is God.
Algernon Charles Swinburne.
SPEECH OF PERICLES.
" The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men ; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone, but on hearts of flesh. Make them your examples, and esteeming courage to be freedom, and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war. ... To a man of spirit, cowardice and disaster coming together are far more bitter than death striking him unperceived at a time when he is full of courage and animated by the general hope."
" For although the doctrine of power becomes meaningless and futile in the hour of defeat, and no man can believe that Might is Right except when Might is on the side of the causes which he holds dear, the doctrine of liberty becomes only more sacred in disaster and more capable of appealing to the heroic in men."
Sung at the Completion of Concord Monument.
April 19th, 1836.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept,
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps, And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone, That memory may their deed redeem.
When like our sires our sons are gone.
Spirit! who made those freemen dare
To die, or leave their children free, Bid time and nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and Thee.
R. W. Emerson.
i came to a halt at the bend of the road; I reached for my ration, and loosened my load; I came to a halt at the bend of the road.
O weary the way, Lord, forsaken of Thee : My spirit is faint—lone, comfortless me;
0 weary the way, Lord, forsaken of Thee.
And the Lord answered, " Son, be thy heart lifted up;
1 drank, as thou drinkest, of agony's cup."
And the Lord answered, " Son, be thy heart lifted up."
" For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave: Pay thou the like forfeit thy country to save; For thee that I loved I went down to the grave."
Then I cried : "lam Thine, Lord : yea, unto this last " ;
And I strapped on my knapsack, and onward I passed.
Then I cried : -'I am Thine, Lord, yea, unto this last."
Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well ?
Be it said : For the dear sake of country he fell,
Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well ?
Belgian Poem: Anon. THE CROSS.
" Upon a cold October day a man was sitting by the wayside with his forehead leaning against the hands that clasped his stick. He was thinking over his hard life and lamenting his lot. 4 Oh, dear Lord,' he said, ' no one has so hard a lot as I ! No one has lost so many sweet friends! No one has had such bad luck with the lambing, and now my little house has burned down, and I have no money to build a new one. Oh, dear Lord, my cross is too heavy—my cross is too heavy !'
4< As he said this a great wind came up the road and whirled all the scarlet and yellow leaves up from the ground, and from the branches, and as they sailed down again in a golden rain, the man heard a deep voice behind him say: 'I have heard your complaint; come with me, and I will let you choose a different lot.' And immediately he felt himself borne up on mighty wings through vast spaces until he stood at the great gates of a temple.
" As the doors opened to let him in, he found himself in an immense hall beyond which there was another and another and another, all perfectly empty, but upon their
walls hung hundreds and hundreds of crosses of different sizes and different colours. c Choose,' said the voice. He wandered through all the rooms trying now this cross, now that one. At first he took down a beautiful golden one that shone in the light, but when it was upon his back, he sank down on his knees, and could scarcely rise. He put it back trembling. After many attempts he found a wooden one which seemed a light burden, so he asked permission to leave the temple. But hardly had he gone a few steps down the hill, when he noticed that this cross had sharp edges, which cut into his flesh at every step, and very soon he was back, knocking at the door and begging to have this cross removed.
" So the poor man went round the halls a second time and just as he reached the entrance again, full of despair and bewilderment, he saw a small black cross that he had not noticed before. He tried it, and it fitted him perfectly. 4 This is the one I choose,' he said joyfully. * Take it,' said the voice as the gates flew open and the wind carried him back to his roadside seat, ' it is your own that you have chosen.'"
•From a German I/egend.
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1 makes- 2. have. 3. liberty. 4. gives. 5. lives. 6 icy. nothing
2 else. 8. if. 9. fails. 10. desired. 11. thraldom. 12. if. 13. by heart
3 14. should. 15. more.