Liberty

A poem by Morris Rosenfeld

When night and silence deep
Hold all the world in sleep,
As tho' Death claimed the Hour,
By some strange witchery
Appears her form to me,
As tho' Magic were her dow'r.

Her beauty heaven's light!
Her bosom snowy white!
But pale her cheek appears.
Her shoulders firm and fair;
A mass of gold her hair.
Her eyes--the home of tears.

She looks at me nor speaks.
Her arms are raised; she seeks
Her fettered hands to show.
On both white wrists a chain!--
She cries and pleads in pain:
"Unbind me!--Let me go!"

I burn with bitter ire,
I leap in wild desire
The cruel bonds to break;
But God! around the chain
Is coiled and coiled again
A long and loathsome snake.

I shout, I cry, I chide;
My voice goes far and wide,
A ringing call to men:
"Oh come, let in the light!
Arise! Ye have the might!
Set Freedom free again!"

They sleep. But I strive on.
They sleep!... Can'st wake a stone?...
That one might stir! but one!
Call I, or hold my peace,
None comes to her release;
And hope for her is none.

But who may see her plight
And not go mad outright!...
"Now: up! For Freedom's sake!"
I spring to take her part:--
"Fool!" cries a voice. I start...
In anguish I awake.

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