The Spirit of the Nation/O'Connell (1)
Oh! thou bright sun, who banished by thy ray
The night of sorrow from my land away—
Before whose radiance, as some magic spell,
Like frost-work melted, all our shackles fell—
Whose honest beams made freedom's light be felt
In those dark mists where bigotry had dwelt—
High, high above us, still in grandeur glide,
You rose in lowness, but you'll set in pride.
In vain you sought some social orb to cheer
The desert loneness of our hemisphere,
Yet dauntless cried, "'Tis left alone for me
To teach mankind—To wish it's to be free!"
And now thou'rt mantled in unearthly light,
Like Vesta's lamp, imperishably bright,
For ever cloudless and for ever blest,
Sear the oppressor, smile on the opprest.
Unlike the orb that glorifies the day,
Thy sun may perish, but its beams will stay:
Thy name's an heirloom that will last for ever—
Thyself may leave us, by thy spirit—Never!
Thou said'st, "Be free!" and taught the bondsman how;
And, ah! dear freedom, who'll unlearn thee now?