Ah! were I free to soar that lofty flight
To which my spirit's impulse leads me on!
Alas! so soon I try to rise, I feel
The sinews of my pinions cut in twain
Through fatal powers which hold me to the ground.
Thou seest my father, an American,
Deaf to his better nature's inward voice,
Blind to the sad results of his career,
Employed in deep-disgraceful vassalage
To tyranny, whose orders he obeys
Implicitly with servile doggedness,
As if to gain his master's sneering praise
Made up his glory's highest aspiration.
To drown his bosom's stern reproof, to kill
His honor's glimmering spark, he has enwrapt
His reason with the ice of self-made doctrines
Which, ah! my tears have tried in vain to melt,
And woven round him a net of sophistry
Through which my prayers not yet could penetrate.
Oh, it is hard, when filial lips which ought
To overflow with tender reverence,
Must breathe reproach alone and accusation
'Gainst one whom fain we would respect and worship.
Interpret not my hesitating counsel
I give thee now, as cruel egotism!