Archive for November 20th, 2019

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Slavery by John Askham

The greatest slaves are they who forge their chains
Themselves, and make the rivets fast and strong,
Then drag the galling manacles along
Through life, and suffer self inflicted pains;
In whose ungovemed bosoms passion reigns.
And rules his passive captives old and young,
Victims to misery and self-sought wrong;
Feeding themselves the fire that dries their veins.
Idly we talk of freedom, while we bind
Closer our bonds and hug them to our breast.
Who to unbridled licence is resigned,
Is but a soulless sorry slave at best.
There are no fetters that can bind so fast
As those which round ourselves we madly cast.

From: Askham, John, Judith, and Other Poems; and A Centenary of Sonnets, 1868, F. Warne & Co: London and Taylor & Son: Northampton, p. 156.

Date: 1868

By: John Askham (1825-1894)