Quick, fly to the covert, thou hunted of men!
For the bloodhounds are buying oâ€™er mountain and glen;
The riders are mounted, the loose rein is given,
And curses of wrath are ascending to heaven.
O, speed to thy footsteps! for ruin and death,
Like the hurricaneâ€™s rage gather thick round thy path ;
And the deep muttered curses grow loud and more loud,
As horse after horse swells the thundering crowd.
Speed, speed to thy footsteps ! thy track has been found;
Now, sport for the rider, and blood for the hound!
Through brake and through forest the man-prey is riven;
O, help for the hopeless, thou merciful Heaven!
On! on to the mountain! theyâ€™re baffled again,
And hope for the woo-stricken still may remain;
The fast flagging steeds arc all white with their foam,
The bloodhounds have turned from the chase to their home.
Joy! joy to the wronged one! the haven he gains,
Escaped from his thraldom, and freed from his chains!
The heaven-stamped image â€” the God-given soul â€”
No more shall the spoiler at pleasure control.
O, shame to Columbia, that on her bright plains,
Man pines in his fetters, and curses his chains!
Shame! shame! that her starâ€”spangled banner should wave
Where the lush is made red in the blood of the slave.
Sons of old Pilgrim Fathers! and are ye thus dumb?
Shall tyranny triumph, and freedom succumb?
While mothers are torn from their children apart,
And agony sunders the cords of the heart?
Shall the sons of those sires that once spurned the chain,
Turn bloodhounds to hunt and make captive again?
O, shame to your honor, and shame to your pride,
And shame on your memory ever abide!
Will not your old sires start up from the ground,
At the crack of the whip, and bay of the hound,
And shaking their skeleton hands in your face,
Curse the germs that produced such a miscreant race?
O, rouse ye for freedom, before on your path
Heaven without mixture the vials of wrath!
Loose every hard burden â€” break off every chain â€”
Restore to the bondman his freedom again.