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Armenian Legends and Poems [1916] at

p. 12




WHEN the God of Liberty
Formed of earth this mortal frame,
Breathed the breath of life in me,
And a spirit I became,

Wrapped within my swaddling bands,
Bound and fettered helplessly, 1
I stretched forth my infant hands
To embrace sweet Liberty.

All night long, until the dawn,
In my cradle bound I lay;
And my sobbing's ceaseless moan
Drove my mother's sleep away.

As I begged her, weeping loud,
To unbind and set me free;
From that very day I vowed
I would love thee, Liberty!

When upon my parents' ear
First my lisping accents fell,
And their hearts rejoiced to hear
Me my childish wishes tell,

p. 13

Then the words that first I spoke
Were not "father, mother dear":
"Liberty!" the accents broke
In my infant utterance clear.

"Liberty!" The voice of Doom
Echoed to me from above,
"Wilt thou swear until the tomb
Liberty to serve and love?

"Thorny is the path, and dim;
Many trials wait for thee:
Far too small this world for him
Who doth worship Liberty!"

"Liberty!" I made reply,
"O’er my head let thunders burst,
Lightnings flash, and missiles fly--
Foes conspire to do their worst;

"Till I die, or meet my doom,
On the shameful gallows-tree,-
Till the portals of the tomb,
I will shout forth Liberty!"



12:1 Armenian babies are tied tightly into their cradles when they are put to sleep.

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