They bore them to a gloomy cell, And barred them from the light, Because they boldly dared to tell The people what was right. They dared their feeble voice to raise, Against oppression's power, To show, by truth's unerring rays, The dangers of the hour.
They called them by a traitorous name, And with a fiendish hate Heaped on their heads a load of shame, Such as on felon's wait. They dragged them from their peaceful hearths Upon a despot's word, Although the vilest man on earth Should by the law be heard.
Thus they the men of lofty soul, Wielding a magic pen, Whose word the people would control, And sway the minds of men, Is by the tyrant Lincoln's nod, Of liberty bereft, Struck by a base usurper's rod - In dark confinement left.
They shut them up, but could not chain Their free and fearless soul; The sacred chamber of their brain Was free from their control. They could not bind the eagle thought That from their mind took flight, Efface the lessons they had taught, Nor bar the truth from light.
For tho' within a dungeon damp, They shut them from the day, They could not quench truth's airy lamp That burns with fadeless ray. But hark! upon the sea of life, What sound comes from afar? It is the harbinger of strife, Of red ensanguined war.
It is the People's voice that breaks Like wild waves on the ear; It is the People's tramp that shakes The earth both far and near. Lift up thy head, O martyrs brave, Thy chains will broken be; The People come their friends to save - Look up, thou wilt be free!
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