There is a slavery that will fill
The fairest life with darkest ill;
And while the body moves at will,
Yet deep within her grave –
Freedom may molder, stark and cold,
A ponderous stone upon her roll’d,
To keep her in her narrow hold,
And hide her precious light.
For God has given to man a mind,
With all its complex powers, designed
To be unfettered, unconfined,
To choose the wrong or right.
For him who basely yields the same,
There is no brand that gives a name
Expressing the peculiar shame
Of such a slavish act.
He only can be truly free
Who holds that freedom is to be,
In mind and conscience equally,
From earth and hell intact.
And though the contest seem severe,
And though it cost the blinding tear,
Let resolution conquer fear —
Tho cause will not be lost.
O heed the signs that thicken fast!
O heed the warnings of the past!
That in the conflict at the last
Thine be the better part.
For he who would in freedom live
Must guard his soul’s prerogative,
And only to his Maker give
The service of the heart.
~ This Poem Was Originally Published In The Review & Herald January 29, 1895.