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Ella Wheeler Wilcox (Элла Уилкокс)

The Breaking of Chains

Between the ringing of bells and the musical clang of chimes
I hear a sound like the breaking of chains, all through these Christmas times.
For the thought of the world is waking out of a slumber deep and long,
And the race is beginning to understand how Right can master Wrong.

And the eyes of the world are opening wide, and great are the truths they see;
And the heart of the world is singing a song, and its burden is 'Be free!'
Now the thought of the world and the wish of the world and the song of the world will make
A force so strong that the fetters forged for a million years must break.

Fetters of superstitious fear have bound the race to creeds
That hindered the upward march of man to the larger faith he needs.
Fetters of greed and pride have made the race bow down to kings;
But the pompous creed and the costly throne must yield to simpler things.

The thought of the world has climbed above old paths for centuries trod;
And cloth and crown no longer mean the 'vested power of God.'
The race no longer bends beneath the weight of Adam's sin,
But stands erect and knows itself the Maker's first of kin.

And the need of the world and the wish of the world and the song of the world I hear,
All through the clanging and clashing of bells, this Christmas time o' the year;
And I hear a sound like the breaking of chains, and it seems to say to me,
In the voice of One who spoke of old, 'The Truth shall make men free.' 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. I Am Running Forth to Meet You
  2. Intermediary
  3. Queries
  4. The Fault of the Age
  5. Granite Bay

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