Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

Freedom to the Slave

HOW felt he when he first was told 
   A slave he ceased to be; 
How proudly beat his heart, when first 
   He knew that he was free !—- 
The noblest feelings of the soul 
   To glow at once began; 
He knelt no more; his thoughts were raised; 
   He felt himself a man. 
He looked above—-the breath of heaven 
   Around him freshly blew; 
He smiled exultingly to see 
   The wild birds as they flew, 
He looked upon the running stream 
   That 'neath him rolled away; 
Then thought on winds, and birds, and floods, 
   And cried, 'I'm free as they!' 
Oh Freedom! there is something dear 
   E'en in thy very name, 
That lights the altar of the soul 
   With everlasting flame. 
Success attend the patriot sword, 
   That is unsheathed for thee! 
And glory to the breast that bleeds, 
   Bleeds nobly to be free! 
Blest be the generous hand that breaks 
   The chain a tyrant gave, 
And, feeling for degraded man, 
   Gives freedom to the slave. 

February, 1827.

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