Our Fathers Fought for Liberty

Written by Julie

On July 24, 2020

Our fathers fought for Liberty,
They struggled long and well,
History of their deeds can tell–
But did they leave us free?

Are we free from vanity,
Free from pride, and free from self,
Free from love of power and pelf,*
From everything that’s beggarly?

Are we free from stubborn will,
From low hate and malice small,
From opinion’s tyrant thrall?**
Are none of us our own slaves still?

Are we free to speak our thought,
To be happy, and be poor,
Free to enter Heaven’s door,
To live and labor as we ought?

Are we then made free at last
From the fear of what men say,
Free to reverence Today,
Free from the slavery of the Past?

Our fathers fought for Liberty,
They struggled long and well,
History of their deeds can tell–
But ourselves must set us free.

~James Russell Lowell

*pelf: “riches or wealth, especially those acquired dishonestly”
**thrall: “slavery, bondage”


We call America “the land of the free.” And, yes, in many ways that’s true–we are blessed with so, so many freedoms. But are we ourselves free? Are we free from pride, love of power and wealth, our stubborn wills, hate, judging, slavery to opinion, fear of what others might say?

The fourth stanza asks if we’re free to be happy and to be poor.
It seems more and more people are depressed, and relying on pills and alcohol and parties to make them happy. People usually don’t walk around with a smile on their face; and if they do, others probably wonder why and start judging/gossiping. Are we free to be happy? Will society let us? Will we let ourselves be happy? Will we choose to focus on the good, choose to delight in even the small things, choose to wear a smile?
There is so much emphasis on money today; people tend to look down on those that are poor. We’re bombarded with messages from all sorts of sources: “get rich,” “buy this,” “get more,” etc. Are we free to be poor, to be okay with not having money dripping from our fingers? Will we tell ourselves, “You know what? It really doesn’t matter that I’m not a millionaire, that I sometimes struggle to pay the bills and make money stretch–God will provide my needs”?

I kind of disagree with the last line. We can’t really set ourselves free. We can choose to let God make us free, choose to work on changing and growing and learning to live in freedom–but we can’t do it on our own.

“Our fathers fought for Liberty,” but only God (with our cooperation) can truly make us free.



Hi, I'm Julie, a 17-year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a senior in high school (Abeka Academy) and have been blogging for three years. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

You May Also Like…

Lazarus and I

Lazarus and I

I will obey the voice calling me out, the voice of the One who wept.

Dear Me

Dear Me

“But Jesus loves us, this I know / And there are no exceptions”

I Have Seen

I Have Seen

The heavens speak of God–do we listen, pay attention? The earth is full of God’s riches–do we seek and cherish them? The beauty of Jesus can be found in ordinary today–do we pause to see and admire?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments