WITH man I war not:—if he war on me,
Fleet as the wild-goat o’er the crags I’ll fly,
Tho’ he o’ertake, enslaved I will not be,
FREEDOM is mine, in it’s defence I’ll die.
To fight for HONOR, or contend for FAME,
To hunt the shadow of a passing cloud,
To add new epithets to FOLLY’s name,
By WISDOM’s voice have equal praise allow’d.
My LIFE or LIBERTY to guard alone
Shall henceforth prompt this hand to lift the sword:
But let deep penitence to Heaven atone,
Past deeds of carnage from my soul abhorr’d.
ENVY’s envenom’d tongue may now recal
And blast those honor’s CONSCIENCE would resign:
For me, the world’s conflicting waves may fall,
Or rise.—PEACE, FREEDOM, and CONTENT are mine.
What brave, what good man, will EXULTING say:
‘I’ve aided TYRANTS to extend their sway?’