To Liberty

A poem by John Clare

O spirit of the wind and sky,
Where doth thy harp neglected lie?
Is there no heart thy bard to be,
To wake that soul of melody?
Is liberty herself a slave?
No! God forbid it! On, ye brave!

I've loved thee as the common air,
And paid thee worship everywhere:
In every soil beneath the sun
Thy simple song my heart has won.
And art thou silent? Still a slave?
And thy sons living? On, ye brave!

Gather on mountain and on plain!
Make gossamer the iron chain!
Make prison walls as paper screen,
That tyrant maskers may be seen!
Let earth as well as heaven be free!
So, on, ye brave, for liberty!

I've loved thy being from a boy:
The Highland hills were once my joy:
Then morning mists did round them lie,
Like sunshine in the happiest sky.
The hills and valley seemed my own,
When Scottish land was freedom's throne

And Scottish land is freedom's still:
Her beacon fires, on every hill,
Have told, in characters of flame,
Her ancient birthright to her fame.
A thousand hills will speak again,
In fire, that language ever plain

To sychophants and fawning knaves,
That Scotland ne'er was made for slaves!
Each fruitful vale, each mountain throne,
Is ruled by Nature's laws alone;
And nought but falsehood's poisoned breath
Will urge the claymore from its sheath.

O spirit of the wind and sky,
Where doth thy harp neglected lie?
Is there no harp thy bard to be,
To wake that soul of melody?
Is liberty herself a slave?
No! God forbid it! On, ye brave!

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'To Liberty' by John Clare

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy