In the Hour of Execution
Is this what we must bear, O Freedom, Mother,
To see thy face and but to touch thy hand?
Is there no easier way?
Must death another take, and yet another,
While tears and lamentations thru the land
Show the great price we pay?
Yet, if it must be, Freedom, none say nay.
See, Thou, these waiting for the hangman’s halter;—
These friends of man, must these be given to death?
Freedom, we ask again!
If in the sacrifice we do not falter,
Wilt thou repay us for their strangled breath?
Wilt thou come nearer men?
Thou wilt, we hope. With groans we give these, then.
The debt is paid!—Thy martyrs lie before us,
Their mute lips speak thy words into our ears,
And bid us seek thee far.
Freedom, we know thy sun shall yet shine o’er us;
And looking up, exalted, thru our tears,
We cry, beneath thy star,
“Take these! Take us, if need be; thine we are!”