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(1830-1888 / England)

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Custom

Are there no slaves but those who wear a chain?
None with the deep curse branded on their breast,
But those whose deadened sense finds sullen rest
On those dark hulks of state. Is not life vain
That has its heart crushed out, without one grain,
Which afterwards may ripen for the oppressed,
So that they know how sorrow may be blest?—
Ah, life may be yet wholly in dull pain,
Built up of common thoughts day after day,
Of common acts, conventions of a deed,
The virtue past with ages long gone by!—
O break the hateful chain, come Time's fresh May!
Ere custom's fetters bound man's happy speed,
Teach thou our lips to vanquish every lie.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010


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