Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
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Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
 
Bondage
By Lucia (White) Jennison (“Owen Innsley”) (1850– )
 
“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
Wreathed 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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