Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1028. Bondage
 
By Lucy White Jennison (“Owen Innsley”)
 
 
“AND this is freedom!” cried the serf; “At last
I tread free soil, the free air blows on me;”
And, wild to learn the sweets of liberty,
With eager hope his bosom bounded fast.
But not for naught had the long years amassed        5
Habit of slavery; among the free
He still was servile, and, disheartened, he
Crept back to the old bondage of the past.
Long did I bear a hard and heavy chain
Wreathëd with amaranth and asphodel,        10
But through the flower-breaths stole the weary pain.
I cast it off and fled, but ’t was in vain;
For when once more I passed by where it fell,
I took it up and bound it on again.
 

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