Sonnets - XXVI

A poem by James Russell Lowell


Giddings, far rougher names than thine have grown
Smoother than honey on the lips of men;
And thou shalt aye be honorably known,
As one who bravely used his tongue and pen.
As best befits a freeman,--even for those
To whom our Law's unblushing front denies
A right to plead against the lifelong woes
Which are the Negro's glimpse of Freedom's skies:
Fear nothing, and hope all things, as the Right
Alone may do securely; every hour
The thrones of Ignorance and ancient Night
Lose somewhat of their long-usurp├Ęd power,
And Freedom's lightest word can make them shiver
With a base dread that clings to them forever.

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