Careful Words

freedom (n.)

Where bastard Freedom waves

The fustian flag in mockery over slaves.

Thomas Moore (1779-1852): To the Lord Viscount Forbes, written from the City of Washington.

And statesmen at her council met

Who knew the seasons, when to take

Occasion by the hand, and make

The bounds of freedom wider yet.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892): To the Queen.

For what avail the plough or sail,

Or land or life, if freedom fail?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): Boston.

  England may as well dam up the waters of the Nile with bulrushes as to fetter the step of Freedom, more proud and firm in this youthful land than where she treads the sequestered glens of Scotland, or couches herself among the magnificent mountains of Switzerland.

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880): Supposititious Speech of James Otis. The Rebels, Chap. iv.

When Freedom from her mountain-height

Unfurled her standard to the air,

She tore the azure robe of night,

And set the stars of glory there.

She mingled with its gorgeous dyes

The milky baldric of the skies,

And striped its pure, celestial white

With streakings of the morning light.

Flag of the free heart's hope and home!

By angel hands to valour given!

Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,

And all thy hues were born in heaven.

Forever float that standard sheet!

Where breathes the foe but falls before us,

With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,

And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?

Joseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820): The American Flag.

Freedom has a thousand charms to show,

That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.

William Cowper (1731-1800): Table Talk. Line 260.

  There is what I call the American idea. . . . This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy,—that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God. For shortness' sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.

Theodore Parker (1810-1860): Speech at the N. E. Antislavery Convention, Boston, May 29, 1850.

Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;

Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage;

If I have freedom in my love,

And in my soul am free,

Angels alone that soar above

Enjoy such liberty.

Richard Lovelace (1618-1658): To Althea from Prison, iv.

How does the meadow-flower its bloom unfold?

Because the lovely little flower is free

Down to its root, and in that freedom bold.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): A Poet! He hath put his Heart to School.

  Truth is its [justice's] handmaid, freedom is its child, peace is its companion, safety walks in its steps, victory follows in its train; it is the brightest emanation from the Gospel; it is the attribute of God.

Sydney Smith (1769-1845): Lady Holland's Memoir. Vol. i. p. 29.

But Memory blushes at the sneer,

And Honor turns with frown defiant,

And Freedom, leaning on her spear,

Laughs louder than the laughing giant.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894): A Good Time going.

  That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): Speech at Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863.

  Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,—entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigour, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; . . . . freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,—these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): First Inaugural Address. March 4, 1801.

This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe,

For Freedom only deals the deadly blow;

Then sheathes in calm repose the vengeful blade,

For gentle peace in Freedom's hallowed shade.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848): Written in an Album, 1842.

My country, 't is of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing:

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims' pride,

From every mountain-side

Let freedom ring.

Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895): National Hymn.

Each lonely scene shall thee restore;

For thee the tear be duly shed,

Belov'd till life can charm no more,

And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.

William Collins (1720-1756): Dirge in Cymbeline.

Hope for a season bade the world farewell,

And Freedom shriek'd as Kosciusko fell!

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844): Pleasures of Hope. Part i. Line 381.

  In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free,—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): Second Annual Message to Congress, Dec. 1, 1862.

  In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free,—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): Second Annual Message to Congress, Dec. 1, 1862.

Ay, call it holy ground,

The soil where first they trod:

They have left unstained what there they found,—

Freedom to worship God.

John Keble (1792-1866): Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers.

Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails,

And honour sinks where commerce long prevails.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): The Traveller. Line 91.

  Whose service is perfect freedom.

Book Of Common Prayer: Collect for Peace.

Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but flying,

Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind.

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Canto iv. Stanza 98.