Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
VII. Independence
By Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814–1902)
FREE born, it is my purpose to die free.
Away, degrading cares; and ye not less,
Delights of sense and gauds of worldliness;—
I have no part in you, nor you in me.
They that walk brave wear the world’s livery;        5
Their badge of service is their sumptuous dress.
Seek then your prey in gilded palaces;
Revere my hovel’s humble liberty.
Are there no flowers on earth, in heaven no stars,
That we must place in such low things our trust?        10
Let me have noble toils, if toil I must,—
The patriot’s task or friendship’s sacred cares.
Beside my board that man shall break no crust
Who sells his birthright for a feast of dust.

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