He is the friend of man who breaks the seal
The despot custom sets in deed and thought,
He labours generously for human weal
Who holds the omnipotence of fear as naught;
The winged mind will not to earth be brought,
'Twill sink to clay if it imprisoned be;
For 'tis with high immortal longings fraught.
And these are dimmed or quenched eternally,
Until it feels the hand that sets its pinions free.
And woman hath endured, and still endures
Wrong, which her weakness and her woes should shield,
The slave and victim of the treacherous lures
Which wily arts, to man, the tyrant yield:
And here the sight of star, or flower, or field;
Or bird that journeys through the sunny air,
Or social bliss from woman has been sealed,
To her, the sky is dark, the earth is bare.
And Heaven's most hallowed breath pronounced forbidden fare.
But with prophetic ken, dispelling fears
Which haunt the mind that dwells on nature's plan.
The Bard beholds through mists of coming years
A rising spirit speaking peace to man,
The storm is passing, and the Rainbow's span
Stretcheth from North to South: the ebon car
Of darkness rolls away: the breezes fan
The infant dawn, and morning's herald star
Comes trembling into day: O! can the Sun be far?
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