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I Have A Dream - Revisited - Martin Luther King - Poem by Daniel Partlow
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,
Every high hill and mountain shall be thrown down assaulted
The rough places will be made plain as with a grate,
And the confused and crooked will be made straight,
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together – all race and class and caste repealed.
Isaiah 40: 4
* ('>' Denotes Modern Echo)
I am happy to join with you today, for it will go down in the history book
As the greatest step for freedom our nation ever took
>I am happy to join with all peoples of the world on this night of the Seder.
>Let all have ears to hear His commands – acting now not later
Five score years ago, Abraham Lincoln, an American, great and fair
In whose symbolic shadow we stand today, made his soul dare.
>A hundred score years ago, the young Lord Jesus decided to make a plea.
>He stayed behind in Jerusalem, to teach the truth, to set others free.
He wrote and signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law.
This momentous decree came as a great beacon light and hope that millions saw…
>A momentous but misunderstood message, when He first proclaimed
>Himself to be the Son of God, emancipation for the sinful world untamed.
The Negro slaves - seared in the flames of withering injustice and exclusivity.
It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
>The people had been slaves to the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Medes
>But they were still, of their own will, unrepentant of their sinful deeds.
But one hundred years later, his bondage remains.
The life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by manacles and chains
>Two thousand years later, still so many are still living in spiritual slavery.
>Though they have been freed by Christ’s blood, they still seek the unsavory.
The cuffs of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of desolation.
>So many wear their weighty chains, though He’s provided the key.
>Isolated from mainland of freedom by slavish loyalty to the isle of iniquity.
Poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
The Negro is still languished in the corners of American society.
>Spiritual bankruptcy amidst the wealth that the market has created.
>Some anguishing, some blindly proud – their every lust is sated.
He finds himself in his own land an outcast - exiled.
So we have come today to dramatize this condition shameful and reviled.
>The promised land, the kingdom has been won for us already.
>Christians, manifest His love for all, and provide a hand strong and steady.
We've come to the Capital to cash a check, not of restitution
But when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent Constitution…
>He bought us a ticket with his own blood and pain.
>Making for us a new covenant of love: awesome, pure, and plain.
And also the Declaration of Independence to a monarchy unfair,
They signed a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
>He declared the independence from the law of sin and death.
>And promised the law of love and light and resurrecting breath.
This note was a promise that all men, black and white had a guarantee
Of the unalienable right to life, the pursuit of happiness, and liberty.
>Every last one of us has this gift, but also a dangerous choice.
>A freedom to throw it all away, and ignore wisdom’s voice.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this note
Insofar as her citizens of color have missed the boat.
>Society is in default on the new reference obligation.
>We have forgotten its terms of repentance and honor for His Oblation.
America, instead of honoring its sacred obligatory bunds,
Has given the Negro people a check that bounced for 'insufficient funds.'
>As a society and individually we have dishonored His treaty.
>Our alms revoked because of pride and blackened hearts too greedy.
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt – in default.
We refuse to believe there are insufficient funds in opportunity’s great vault
>God has never left our side, but He has allowed us to stumble.
>That we may learn meekness and have a heart more humble.
So we have come to cash this check that will give us upon demand
The security of justice and the riches of the freedom of the land.
>Come trade in your old bonds – redeemed at par by the blood of Christ
>And collect the kingdom’s coupons which will never be re-priced.
We have come to this hallowed spot that all might be the wiser.
Fierce urgency! There’s no time to take a ‘gradualism’ tranquilizer.
>Hear and heed these words my friends, neighbors, and countrymen.
>The kingdom is here now, the thief is at the sill, and the Lord comes again.
Now is not the time to engage in luxurious cooling off - prolonging hypocrisy.
Now is the time to make real all the promises of democracy.
>We cannot put off his commandments any longer.
>Now is the time to reap the harvests, His word will make us stronger.
Now is the time to rise from the dark valley of segregation
To the sunlit path of racial justice from current desolation.
>Now is the time to restore our union with the Holy Ghost.
>His lighthouse will guide our return from dark apostate shores of foreign coast.
Now is the time to lift our nation out of the quicksand
The fen of racial injustice to the solid rock where all brothers stand.
>The bogs of iniquity are thickening let us climb from the morass.
>And build our lives upon the rock of truth – letting the old ways pass.
Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children as emotions foment.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.
>Now is the time of restoration of His justice and mercy – this very night.
>It would be fatal for us to underestimate the urgency of our plight.
This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent,
Will not pass until the invigorating autumn of equality and freedom cause all to repent.
>We have sweltered in Adam’s fields laboring discontentedly too long.
>For we were called in from the summer heat forty jubilees ago, by the Angel’s song.
Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but the beginning of a dream.
Those who hope that the Negro just needed to blow off steam…
>These times are not the end but the dawning of a new era.
>But those who think they can ignore the truth, their fate draws nearer
They may now be content and complacent…
But will have a rude awakening if they ignore this movement nascent.
If things return to business as usual there will be neither rest nor tranquility
Until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights and is treated with civility.
>If you call back your comfortable demons, they will gladly return to rule you.
>Rather seek to be a servant of the Holy Spirit, who will always love and school you.
The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake society’s foundations
Our nation will founder until the bright day of justice emerges per the expectations.
>But there is something that I must say to my people as in the times of Ceasar Augustus
>We stand on the warm threshold of time which leads into His palace of justice.
In the process of gaining our rightful place
We must not be guilty of wrongful deeds or disgrace.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom and equality
By drinking from the cup of bitterness, hatred, and iniquity.
We must forever conduct our struggle in dignity and discipline’s high plane.
Let not our creative protest degenerate into a physical violence stain.
Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights
Meeting physical and political force with soul force to gain our rights.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community and others.
Must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many are our brothers
>There are admirable traits of devotion observable in many people around.
>But we should make sure this commitment follows Christ’s Gospel sound.
It is evidenced by their presence here for several hours
Come to realize that their destiny is tied up with ours
>Most people serve the God or ethos they were taught.
>But consider whether you were in Satan’s net caught.
Come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone and we must make the pledge to march ahead and lead ‘em.
>How can we neglect each other – ‘well I’m sure – he had his chance.’
>Why not make a friend for eternity by giving him a second glance.
We cannot turn back for there are those who are asking 'When will you be satisfied? '
We can never be as long as the Negro’s civil rights are denied.
>For though people believe they are content in their evil ways.
>You can never be, if you still turn to shade your eyes from Heaven’s wisdom rays.
Not as long as we are the victims of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.
We will not be until we are respected in totality.
We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel,
Cannot gain lodging in the motels and hotels without a judges gavel.
We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility from father to son,
Is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
>Have we learned what the Eternal Father has taught us.
>Or are we satisfied, living only for what Mammon brought us.
We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their honor
Robbed of their dignity by signs 'for whites only” like the apartheid of the Afrikaner.
>Those who seek to strip our children of God’s truth.
>Are as guilty as the slave ship captain, and shares his lack of couth.
We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote
And a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
>We cannot be satisfied as long as our schools brainwash our progeny.
>No, No! we are not satisfied with the filth on the newstand and t.v.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will keep this dream
Until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
>But we are not powerless – we can achieve the righteous dream.
>For He calls us to move Mountains with even a mote of faith in the Lord Supreme.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here with great expectations
Coming straight out of great trials and tribulations.
>The world today is as poisoned and evil as it has ever been.
>We do all we can to protect our own, but let us not forget the enemy unseen.
Some of you have come fresh from your narrow jail cell.
Some of you have come questing just to hear the pealing of freedoms bell.
You were left battered by the storms of persecution, a hard reality.
You have been staggered by the winds of society and police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering – Now act pre-emptive,
Continuing to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, back to Louisiana,
Go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities remembering Hosanna
>Repent of your apathetic, uncaring, or irresponsible evil ways.
>And do not return to them tomorrow, or in a few days.
Know that somehow He will deliver us from situation
It will be changed: Let us not wallow in the valley of despair and deprivation.
I say to you today, even though we face the difficulties and human queme
Today and tomorrow, my friends, I still have a dream.
It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
One day this nation will rise up and live out its creed, the true meaning of its theme.
>I have a dream of truth that springs from Jesse’s Root.
>That the fig will soon blossom, and the world will bear it’s fruit.
'We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.'
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia I will see a better sequel.
>The Holy Truth is self-evident, so how can so many still be blind?
>Because we love the ropes which bind our hands and cloak our mind.
The sons of formerly enslaved and the sons of the former slaver who tied their tether
Will sit down, at the table of brotherhood and break bread together.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi,
A state sweltering with the heat of injustice to Negro and the hippy,
Sweltering with the heat of oppression and the ferocity of Antietam
Will be transformed into an oasis of justice and freedom.
>The fires of the furnace are being stoked as we speak.
>So be the luscious fruit, and not the barren tree of the dried up creek.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation without detractor.
They will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
>I have a dream that our children will grow up in a world without war and lies.
>And they will not receive the wrath of judgement but the blessings of opened eyes.
I have a dream today that one day in Alabama with its vicious racist at every station.
The governors lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification,
That one day right down in Alabama little black boys and girls, fathers and mothers
Will be able to join hands with little white boys and girls and families as sisters and brothers.
>That one day in every place around the earth.
>We will all be siblings in Christ – A spiritual second birth.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,
Every high hill and mountain shall be assaulted
The rough places will be made plain as with a grate,
And the confused and crooked and bent will all be made straight,
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together – race and class and caste repealed.
This is the faith which I take back to the South. This is our hope.
With this faith we will hew out of the mountain of despair into stone of hope.
This is the faith we proclaim to the world. It is our joy complete.
We shall reap the souls of men, gathering all the good wheat.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling lies and discords
Of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, blessings and rewards.
With this faith we will be able to work and pray together,
To struggle and go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together,
Knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children
Will be able to sing with new meaning,
My country 'tis of Thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
land of the Pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside
Let freedom ring.
And if America is to be a great nation, this hope must never stop.
So let freedom ring from New Hampshire’s prodigious hilltop
>If the world is to claim the promise of peace and prosperity for all
>Let His Good news be proclaimed in every home and hall.
Let freedom ring from New York’s the mighty mountains
Let freedom ring from Pennsylvania’s heightening Allegheny fountains.
>Let the light be seen in every darkened corner of the earth.
>Let the despair of disbelief be replaced by Christ’s joyful mirth.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from California’s curvaceous slopes with bravado.
>From Chennai to China, From Uganda to Uraguay
>Let the truth of the Gospel be heard from every mouth and followed in every way.
But not only that; from the Stone Mountain of Georgia let freedom ring.
And from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee, Lady Liberty’s praises sing.
>From the hedonistic havens of every ‘false liberty’crazed city.
>From the authoritarian enclaves sandy, oily, and gritty.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
>From the gutters to suburbia, From jungles, deserts, and isles.
>Let the good bells be rung by our joyful hearts and hands and smiles.
>And when this happens, when we accept His truth, and let His freedom ring,
>When we in every village and country, every state and city, make Jesus Christ our King,
We will see that day when all God's children, blacks and whites across the lands,
Every Jew and gentile, Protestant and Catholic will all join hands,
And sing the words of the old Negro spiritual of day’s bygone and past,
'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are all… free at last! '
'>' Denotes Modern Echo
Comments about I Have A Dream - Revisited - Martin Luther King by Daniel Partlow
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