by Albert Pike

Albert Pike

When shall the nations all be free,
And Force no longer reign;
None bend to brutal Power the knee,
None hug the gilded chain?
No longer rule the ancient Wrong,
The Weak be trampled by the Strong?—
How long, dear God in heaven! how long,
The people wail in vain?

Do not th' Archangels on their thrones,
Turn piteous looks to Thee,
When round them thickly swarm the groans
Of those that would be free?
Of those that know they have the right
To Freedom, though crushed down by
Might, As all the world hath to the light
And air which Thou mad'st free?

The ancient Empires staggering drift
Along Time's mighty tide,
Whose waters, running broad and swift,
Eternity divide:
How many years shall pass, before
Over their bones the sea shall roar,
The salt sand drift, the fresh rains pour,
The stars mock fallen Pride?

What then the Great Republic's fate?
To founder far from land,
And sink with all her glorious freight,
Smitten by God's right hand?
Or shall she still her helm obey
In calm or storm, by night or day,
No sail rent, no spar cut away,
Exultant, proud and grand?

The issues are with God. To do,
Of right belongs to us:
May we be ever just and true,
For nations flourish thus!—
JUSTICE is mightier than ships;
RIGHT, than the cannon's brazen lips;
And TRUTH, averting dark eclipse,
Makes fortunes prosperous.

Last updated May 13, 2023