The Strength of Tyranny -- Slavery Song

The Strength of Tyranny -- Slavery Song

Deck of the Captured Slave-Ship Wildfire Brought into Key West




Deck of the Captured Slave-Ship Wildfire Brought into Key West


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The tyrant's chains are only strong
While slaves submit to wear them;
And, who could bind them on the strong,
Determined not to wear them?
Then clank your chains, e'en though the links
Were light as fashion's feather:
The heart which rightly feels and thinks
Would cast them altogether.

The lords of earth are only great
While others clothe and feed them!
But what were all their pride and state
Should labor cease to heed them?
The swain is higher than a king:
Before the laws of nature,
The monarch were a useless thing,
The swain a useless creature.

We toil, we spin, we delve the mine,
Sustaining each his neighbor;
And who can hold a right divine
To rob us of our labor?
We rush to battle--bear our lot
In every ill and danger--
And who shall make the peaceful cot
To homely joy a stranger?

Perish all tyrants far and near,
Beneath the chains that bind us;
And perish too that servile fear
Which makes the slaves they find us:
One grand, one universal claim--
One peal of moral thunder--
One glorious burst in Freedom's name,
And rend our bonds asunder!

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