|THE LIBERTY TREE
Shall I live on in every faithful mind,
Yet lift dry branches to the sky in vain?
Stand strong, in empty hearts grown deaf and blind
To wracking cries, to faces blank with pain?
Will springing leaves that traced the leaping sun
Through morning's rainbow, and the battle's heat,
Fall faded on the soil that valor won,
Lost to a drought of passionless defeat?
Bring on the crimson rain
That sears the clouds, that severs every chain!
Sad whispering ghost and martyr, veiled in brown,
I still remember sparkling summer nights
When all the brave who rallied Boston-town
Hung my rough branches with their lantern lights.
No shirking dastard dared to take his doubt
And fear within the glow of liberty;
Fear let him know a life could flicker out
As quickly as a candle on that tree —
And when they struck me down,
Each rising flame defined a martyr's crown!
Once more, the shining city on a hill
Wakes from its troubled slumber to behold
The windswept harbor where, serenely still,
A full moon like a sovereign rides in gold.
Let every valiant soul who hastened through
The cobbled streets, the soft green pastureland,
To mix his courage with the April dew,
Wake now, to guide the hero's heart and hand,
While voices magnify
That shout heard round the world: Live free — or die!