Truly thou lovest pretty flowers,
For pretty flower, thyself, thou art.
May I, if tenderly I pluck thee,
Make fast thy tendrils to my heart—
And should Fate deem thee answer, pluck me!
Would one of meager courage dare
To place the hand he feels unworthy
Upon a spotless lily, fair,
You say 'That man was made to mourn.'
Would you have me believe it—
Believe earth holds no recompense
Until death bids me leave it—
Believe there is but misery
And toil on toil, in store for me?
No. I do not, cannot believe,
While heaven smiles above me,
That I was doom'd on earth to mourn
With naught to cheer or love me.
Wise Bard, although your dirge rings true,
I do not agree with you.
Prejudice with venom smote every word and act;
Snuffed was the light of knowledge from your view.
Unbefriended martyr, sole object of attack,
Has your fair brother fairly dealt with you,
Upon defenseless womanhood he preyed;
Then freely chatteled blood one half his own.
Just punishment has only been delayed;
'Tis written; 'Ye shall reap as ye have sown,'
In doctored balance Justice balanced you;
In your defense her vengeful sword ne'er stirred;
Courts of Law, barring facts, basing guilt on hue,
Condemned you, ere the evidence was heard—
Your constant prayer that you might prove your worth
For equal right to struggle, live, and die,
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