Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Chartist Song for the Millions

Song for the Millions (iii)

Friends of Freedom, swell the strain
That peals across th' Atlantic main,
And echoes wide o'er hill and plain,
Arousing men to Liberty.
Your every moral power awake,
Bestir yourselves for Freedom's sake;
Base Slavery's chains shall snap and break
Before your Godlike energy.

Lift up your faces from the dust,
Your cause is holy, pure, and just;
In Freedom's God put all your trust,
Be he your hope and anchor.
Give to the world your firm decree,
That Britons will - they will be free -
Shout, shout for glorious Liberty!
It will succeed and conquer.

Vain tyrants, that would make us slaves,
Go look upon the patriots' graves,
And study there, ye dastard knaves,
The folly of your knavery.
What! think ye to subdue the mind,
Which God hath given to mankind?
Ye surely will for ever find
Men will not suffer slavery.

Though ye have prisons to immure
The poor, and friends unto the poor,
Yet think not basely to allure
The flock from they who lead them.
Vain are your dungeons, idly vain.
The rack, the torture and the chain;
Ye neither can nor shall restrain
Our strong desire for freedom.

We ask for rights by Nature given,
Sanctioned and ratified by Heaven,
For which our forefathers have striven
On the battlefield and wave;
We wish to make no man our foe,
For all are equal born we know,
And all must surely, surely go
To the republic of the grave.

Benjamin Stott.
The Northern Star, September 24, 1842.
Quoted in An Anthology of Chartist Literature.

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