Let the dead past bury its dead;
Act, act in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead.
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.
The wide world o’er
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign,
To man his plundered fights again
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end.
And change into a faithful friend
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant’s presence cower;
But all to manhood’s stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his prison-house, the thrall
With head, and heart, and hand I’ll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive—
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate’er the peril or the cost,