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The SoldEdit

I'll to the dance! what boots it thus,
To brood o'er ills I cannot quell?
Amid the revel shout of mirth,
My bitter laugh shall mingle well.

I've toil'd beside my mates to-day,
To-night we'll join in seeming glee;
But when we part, with morning's light,
For aye, that parting glance will be.

I will not go!—this fire within,
Would choke me with its smother'd flames!
How could I tell the dear ones there,
Of that detested tyrant's claims?

I could endure the fetter's weight,
That I have borne with them so long,—
But not to wear a stranger's chain,
And crouch beneath a stranger's thong.

Yet this must be my morrow's fate!
To part with all that gave my doom,
Dark as it was and desolate,
A ray of light amidst its gloom.

To bear the scourge, to wear the chain,
To toil with wearied heart and limb,
Till death should end my lengthen'd pain,
Or worn old age my senses dim:—

This have I borne, and look'd to bear,
All bitter as such lot must be;
But drearier still my life must wear,
Beneath a stranger's tyranny.

Alas! 't would be a happier lot,
If, ere to-morrow's doom shall come,
My woes and wrongs were all forgot,
Amid the darkness of the tomb.