Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Freedom

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I care not who were vicious back of me,
No shadow of their sins on me is shed.
My will is greater than heredity.
I am no worm to feed upon the dead.


My face, my form, my gestures and my voice,
May be reflections from a race that was.
But this I know, and knowing it, rejoice,
I am Myself, a part of the Great Cause.


I am a spirit! Spirit would suffice,
If rightly used, to set a chained world free.
Am I not stronger than a mortal vice
That crawls the length of some ancestral tree?

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox