Posted by: Democratic Thinker | February 2, 2014

The Declaration

 

 

The Declaration.

Certain sophists have taken to sneering at the democratic document upon which American liberties are predicated, because they have never taken the trouble to find out what it means.

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JEFFERSON! how he stanchly wrote it!
Tyranny cringed and cowered to note it!
Liberty’s lips leaped up to quote it!
Then, and now, for you, for me:
“All men are created free!”

Hancock! how his bold hand signed it!
How his sturdy stroke defined it!
How the calm lines seemed to bind it.
Bind it fast for you and me;
“Men are equal, men are free!”

Paine! His “Common Sense” inspired it;
“Crisis“ re-enforced, re-fired it.
In re-heartening words attired it.
“Courage!” how the sentence rolls;
“These are times that try men’s souls!”

Lafayette! he heard it, sought it,
To his unselfish sword he taught it;
Over seas he bravely brought it.
Marquis born, but what cared he;
“Men are equal, men are free!“

Washington! his greatness gained it.
Where a lesser had profaned it.
His compelling power attained it.
“King!” they tempted him. Not he!
“Men are equal, men are free!”

Whittier! Lowell! they re-woke it.
When an erring nation broke it.
Adams, Garrison, Phillips spoke it.
Spoke it like a god’s decree;
“Men are equal, men are free!”

Lincoln! how he re-enthroned it!
When its sinning sons disowned it,
When they bitterly atoned it,
Hear his winging words a-cry,
“Of the people—for and by!”

Let us then again re-read it;
Let us hear it, let us heed it!
These are times to-day which need it;
Men are equal-born—and free.
All the equal-born must be.

Citizens, who disobey it,
Congresses, who rack and flay it.
Courts, who cunningly betray it,
Hear! and answer! who are ye?
Men are equal! men are free!

—Edmund Vance Cooke, The Uncommon Commoner (1913).

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Responses

  1. http://www.themoralliberal.com/2014/02/06/the-declaration/

    Dear Democratic Thinker:

    Thanks!!!

    My editorial assistance is back from a two year hiatus and as a result, things will be running full speed ahead. I will try to catch up on your posts of the next little while. Much appreciated!

    Steve


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