Poem: “I Would Be Free” by Poet Alfred Gibbs Campbell

0 Posted by - May 5, 2021 - Black History, BLACK MEN, Poems
In 1857, Alfred Gibbs Campbell was vice president of the Anti-Slavery Society. He was also the publisher, editor, and almost sole writer for his newspaper The Alarm Bell.
Campbell served as superintendent of the Ivanhoe Paper Mill in Paterson. He also manufactured patent medicines. His poem collection also include “Old John Brown” and “A Battle-Cry.” Campbell also founded a temperance society in Paterson. Alfred Gibbs Campbell died on January 9, 1884, he was 56.

I Would Be Free

by Alfred Gibbs Campbell


I would be free! I will be free!
What though the world laugh at me?
To me alike are its smiles and its frowns,
I trample in scorn on its riches; and crowns
Are worthless to me as the heads which wear them.
O! how can humanity bear them?

I would be free! I will be free!
Free, though the world laugh at me!
I smile at its jeers and spurn its control,
And ne’er to its fetters shall bend my soul;
Let those who have need of a master wear them,
But never can my spirit bear them.

I would be free! I will be free!
And Truth shall my leader be!
Yea, whither she leads shall my willing feet
Joyfully tread in her footprints; and sweet
Shall her lessons be to my hungering soul!
To my thirsting and hungering soul.

I would be free! I will be free!
Though scorching my pathway be;
I can cheerfully bear the cross, and dare
The lot of my chosen leader to share;
And the cross shall be lighter than air to me,
For Truth shall my guide and helper be! 


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