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.
 
1090. He Made Us Free
 
By Maurice Francis Egan
 
 
AS flame streams upward, so my longing thought
        Flies up with Thee,
Thou God and Saviour, who hast truly wrought
Life out of death, and to us, loving, brought
A fresh, new world; and in Thy sweet chains caught,        5
        And made us free!
 
As hyacinths make way from out the dark,
        My soul awakes,
At thought of Thee, like sap beneath the bark;
As little violets in field and park        10
Rise to the trilling thrush and meadow-lark,
        New hope it takes.
 
As thou goest upward through the nameless space
        We call the sky,
Like jonquil perfume softly falls Thy grace;        15
It seems to touch and brighten every place;
Fresh flowers crown our wan and weary race,
        O Thou on high!
 
Hadst Thou not risen, there would be no joy
        Upon earth’s sod;        20
Life would be still with us a wound or toy,
A cloud without the sun,—O Babe, O Boy,
O Man of Mother pure, with no alloy,
        O risen God!
 
Thou, God and King, didst “mingle in the game,”        25
        (Cease, all fears; cease!)
For love of us,—not to give Virgil’s fame
Or Croesus’ wealth, not to make well the lame,
Or save the sinner from deservëd shame,
        But for sweet Peace!        30
 
For peace, for joy,—not that the slave might lie
        In luxury,
Not that all woe from us should always fly,
Or golden crops with Syrian roses vie
In every field; but in Thy peace to die        35
        And rise,—be free!
 

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