John Pierpont

Unchain The Laborer

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Strike from that laborer's limbs his chain!
In the fierce sun the iron burns!
By night, it fills his dreams with pain;
By day, it galls him as he turns.

Yes; and your dreams it visits, too,
When Fear stands o'er your restless bed,
And shakes it in your ears, till you
Tremble, as at an earthquake's tread.

Then break his chain, and let him go,
And, with the spirit of a man,
Earn his own bread; and you shall know
Peace,--that you know not now, nor can

The chain, that binds to you your slave,
Binds you to him, with links so strong,
That you must wear them to your grave,
If all your days you do him wrong.

Then, from his body and your soul,
Throw off the load, while yet you may;
Thus strive, in faith, for heaven's high goal,
And wait, in hope, the judgement day.

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