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Ship of War Esperanza, August 16, 1851.
Yours, Strong in Heart,
"A KENTUCKIAN KNEELS TO NONE BUT GOD"
Ah! tyrant, forge thy chains at will
Nay! gall this flesh of mine;
My thought is free, unfetter'd still,
And will not yield to thine.
Take, take the life that heaven gave,
And let my heart's blood stain thy sod;
But know ye not Kentucky's brave
Will kneel to none but God?
You've quenched fair Freedom's sunny light,
Her music tones have stilled;
And with a dark and withering blight
The trusting heart have filled!
Then do you think that I will kneel
Where such as ye have trod?
Nay! point your cold and threat'ning steel,—
I'll kneel to none but God!
As summer breezes lightly rest
Upon a quiet river,
And gently on its sleeping breast
The moonbeams softly quiver—
Sweet thoughts of home lit up my brow
When goaded with the rod;
Yet, these can not unman me now—
Unpitying hearts, as hard as stone,
Are coldly standing by;
And dreams of bliss forever flown
Have dimm'd with tears mine eye—
Yet mine's a heart unyielding still—
Heap on my breast the clod;
My soaring spirit scorns thy will—