19th Century

Awake! The Torpor of this Dream | J.D.

Awake! the torpor of this dream,

   This icy weight on Feeling’s stream—

This dull yielding to your foes

   Invites and justifies their blows!

Not theirs such coward lethargy

   The prey that will nor fight nor flee,

Their swords will strike or cunning reach

   Wake! let the past some wisdom teach!

Inactive still the fool reposes—

   With the fierce foe the true heart closes;

Be yours the bold—the firm endeavour—

   Awaken or be slaves for ever!

Your silence is your foemen’s strength—

   Come; beard £in their dens at length;

They wield the might of demon-powers—

   Prove that a holier might is ours?

Fling hence the toys of other days–

   The anxious thirst for worthless praise,

Let these ne’er win the hearts again

   Whose throbs must burst dishonor’s chain:

Arise! and walk no more in night

   The dawn breaks on us free and bright;

But if ye’d have the brightness stay,

   Make profit of its earliest ray.

This poem was originally printed in the Chartist songbook collection titled H. Williams’s National Songs and Poetical Pieces (1839)