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´╗┐Title: Anti-Slavery Poems I.
 - Part 1 From Volume III of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier
Author: Whittier, John Greenleaf
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Anti-Slavery Poems I.
 - Part 1 From Volume III of The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier" ***

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                           ANTI-SLAVERY POEMS

                       SONGS OF LABOR AND REFORM


                                   BY

                        JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER



CONTENTS:


ANTI-SLAVERY POEMS:

TO WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON
TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE
THE SLAVE-SHIPS
EXPOSTULATION
HYMN: "THOU, WHOSE PRESENCE WENT BEFORE"
THE YANKEE GIRL
THE HUNTERS OF MEN
STANZAS FOR THE TIMES
CLERICAL OPPRESSORS
A SUMMONS
TO THE MEMORY OF THOMAS
THE MORAL WARFARE
RITNER
THE PASTORAL LETTER
HYMN: "O HOLY FATHER! JUST AND TRUE"
THE FAREWELL OF A VIRGINIA SLAVE MOTHER
PENNSYLVANIA HALL
THE NEW YEAR
THE RELIC
THE WORLD'S CONVENTION
MASSACHUSETTS TO VIRGINIA
THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE
THE SENTENCE OF JOHN L. BROWN

TEXAS
     VOICE OF NEW ENGLAND
     TO FANEUIL HALL
     TO MASSACHUSETTS
     NEW HAMPSHIRE
     THE PINE-TREE
TO A SOUTHERN STATESMAN
AT WASHINGTON
THE BRANDED HAND
THE FREED ISLANDS
A LETTER
LINES FROM A LETTER TO A YOUNG CLERICAL FRIEND
DANIEL NEALL
SONG OF SLAVES IN THE DESERT
To DELAWARE
YORKTOWN
RANDOLPH OF ROANOKE
THE LOST STATESMAN
THE SLAVES OF MARTINIQUE
THE CURSE OF THE CHARTER-BREAKERS
PAEAN
THE CRISIS
LINES ON THE PORTRAIT OF A CELEBRATED PUBLISHER


DERNE
A SABBATH SCENE
IN THE EVIL DAY
MOLOCH IN STATE STREET
OFFICIAL PIETY
THE RENDITION
ARISEN AT LAST
THE HASCHISH
FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE
THE KANSAS EMIGRANTS
LETTER FROM A MISSIONARY OF THE METHODIST
     EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH, IN KANSAS, TO A
     DISTINGUISHED POLITICIAN
BURIAL OF BARBER
TO PENNSYLVANIA
LE MARAIS DU CYGNE.
THE PASS OF THE SIERRA
A SONG FOR THE TIME
WHAT OF THE DAY?
A SONG, INSCRIBED TO THE FREMONT CLUBS
THE PANORAMA
ON A PRAYER-BOOK
THE SUMMONS
TO WILLIAM H. SEWARD

IN WAR TIME.
     TO SAMUEL E. SEWALL AND HARRIET W. SEWALL
     THY WILL BE DONE
     A WORD FOR THE HOUR
     "EIN FESTE BURG IST UNSER GOTT"
     TO JOHN C. FREMONT
     THE WATCHERS
     TO ENGLISHMEN
     MITHRIDATES AT CHIOS
     AT PORT ROYAL
     ASTRAEA AT THE CAPITOL
     THE BATTLE AUTUMN OF 1862
     OF ST. HELENA'S ISLAND, S. C.
     THE PROCLAMATION
     ANNIVERSARY POEM
     BARBARA FRIETCHIE
     HAT THE BIRDS SAID
     THE MANTLE OF ST. JOHN DE MATRA
     LADS DEO!
     HYMN FOR THE CELEBRATION OF EMANCIPATION
          AT NEWBURYPORT

AFTER THE WAR.
     THE PEACE AUTUMN
     TO THE THIRTY-NINTH CONGRESS
     THE HIVE AT GETTYSBURG
     HOWARD AT ATLANTA
     THE EMANCIPATION GROUP
     THE JUBILEE SINGERS
     GARRISON



SONGS OF LABOR AND REFORM:

THE QUAKER OF THE OLDEN TIME
DEMOCRACY
THE GALLOWS
SEED-TIME AND HARVEST
TO THE REFORMERS OF ENGLAND
THE HUMAN SACRIFICE
SONGS OF LABOR
     DEDICATION
     THE SHOEMAKERS
     THE FISHERMEN
     THE LUMBERMEN
     THE SHIP-BUILDERS
     THE DROVERS
     THE HUSKERS
THE REFORMER
THE PEACE CONVENTION AT BRUSSELS
THE PRISONER FOR DEBT
THE CHRISTIAN TOURISTS
THE MEN OF OLD
TO PIUS IX.
CALEF IN BOSTON
OUR STATE
THE PRISONERS OF NAPLES
THE PEACE OF EUROPE
ASTRAEA
THE DISENTHRALLED
THE POOR VOTER ON ELECTION DAY
THE DREAM OF PIO NONO
THE VOICES
THE NEW EXODUS
THE CONQUEST OF FINLAND
THE EVE OF ELECTION
FROM PERUGIA
ITALY
FREEDOM IN BRAZIL
AFTER ELECTION
DISARMAMENT
THE PROBLEM
OUR COUNTRY
ON THE BIG HORN

NOTES



ANTI-SLAVERY POEMS

    ..........

TO WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON

CHAMPION of those who groan beneath
Oppression's iron hand
In view of penury, hate, and death,
I see thee fearless stand.
Still bearing up thy lofty brow,
In the steadfast strength of truth,
In manhood sealing well the vow
And promise of thy youth.

Go on, for thou hast chosen well;
On in the strength of God!
Long as one human heart shall swell
Beneath the tyrant's rod.
Speak in a slumbering nation's ear,
As thou hast ever spoken,
Until the dead in sin shall hear,
The fetter's link be broken!

I love thee with a brother's love,
I feel my pulses thrill,
To mark thy spirit soar above
The cloud of human ill.
My heart hath leaped to answer thine,
And echo back thy words,
As leaps the warrior's at the shine
And flash of kindred swords!

They tell me thou art rash and vain,
A searcher after fame;
That thou art striving but to gain
A long-enduring name;
That thou hast nerved the Afric's hand
And steeled the Afric's heart,
To shake aloft his vengeful brand,
And rend his chain apart.

Have I not known thee well, and read
Thy mighty purpose long?
And watched the trials which have made
Thy human spirit strong?
And shall the slanderer's demon breath
Avail with one like me,
To dim the sunshine of my faith
And earnest trust in thee?

Go on, the dagger's point may glare
Amid thy pathway's gloom;
The fate which sternly threatens there
Is glorious martyrdom
Then onward with a martyr's zeal;
And wait thy sure reward
When man to man no more shall kneel,
And God alone be Lord!
1832.



TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.

Toussaint L'Ouverture, the black chieftain of Hayti, was a slave on the
plantation "de Libertas," belonging to M. Bayou. When the rising of the
negroes took place, in 1791, Toussaint refused to join them until he had
aided M. Bayou and his family to escape to Baltimore. The white man had
discovered in Toussaint many noble qualities, and had instructed him in
some of the first branches of education; and the preservation of his
life was owing to the negro's gratitude for this kindness.  In 1797,
Toussaint L'Ouverture was appointed, by the French government,
General-in-Chief of the armies of St. Domingo, and, as such, signed the
Convention with General Maitland for the evacuation of the island by the
British. From this period, until 1801, the island, under the government
of Toussaint, was happy, tranquil, and prosperous.  The miserable
attempt of Napoleon to re-establish slavery in St. Domingo, although it
failed of its intended object, proved fatal to the negro chieftain.
Treacherously seized by Leclerc, he was hurried on board a vessel by
night, and conveyed to France, where he was confined in a cold
subterranean dungeon, at Besancon, where, in April, 1803, he died. The
treatment of Toussaint finds a parallel only in the murder of the Duke
D'Enghien. It was the remark of Godwin, in his Lectures, that the West
India Islands, since their first discovery by Columbus, could not boast
of a single name which deserves comparison with that of Toussaint
L'Ouverture.

'T WAS night. The tranquil moonlight smile
With which Heaven dreams of Earth, shed down
Its beauty on the Indian isle,--
On broad green field and white-walled town;
And inland waste of rock and wood,
In searching sunshine, wild and rude,
Rose, mellowed through the silver gleam,
Soft as the landscape of a dream.
All motionless and dewy wet,
Tree, vine, and flower in shadow met
The myrtle with its snowy bloom,
Crossing the nightshade's solemn gloom,--
The white cecropia's silver rind
Relieved by deeper green behind,
The orange with its fruit of gold,
The lithe paullinia's verdant fold,
The passion-flower, with symbol holy,
Twining its tendrils long and lowly,
The rhexias dark, and cassia tall,
And proudly rising over all,
The kingly palm's imperial stem,
Crowned with its leafy diadem,
Star-like, beneath whose sombre shade,
The fiery-winged cucullo played!

How lovely was thine aspect, then,
Fair island of the Western Sea
Lavish of beauty, even when
Thy brutes were happier than thy men,
For they, at least, were free!
Regardless of thy glorious clime,
Unmindful of thy soil of flowers,
The toiling negro sighed, that Time
No faster sped his hours.
For, by the dewy moonlight still,
He fed the weary-turning mill,
Or bent him in the chill morass,
To pluck the long and tangled grass,
And hear above his scar-worn back
The heavy slave-whip's frequent crack
While in his heart one evil thought
In solitary madness wrought,
One baleful fire surviving still
The quenching of the immortal mind,
One sterner passion of his kind,
Which even fetters could not kill,
The savage hope, to deal, erelong,
A vengeance bitterer than his wrong!

Hark to that cry! long, loud, and shrill,
From field and forest, rock and hill,
Thrilling and horrible it rang,
Around, beneath, above;
The wild beast from his cavern sprang,
The wild bird from her grove!
Nor fear, nor joy, nor agony
Were mingled in that midnight cry;
But like the lion's growl of wrath,
When falls that hunter in his path
Whose barbed arrow, deeply set,
Is rankling in his bosom yet,
It told of hate, full, deep, and strong,
Of vengeance kindling out of wrong;
It was as if the crimes of years--
The unrequited toil, the tears,
The shame and hate, which liken well
Earth's garden to the nether hell--
Had found in nature's self a tongue,
On which the gathered horror hung;
As if from cliff, and stream, and glen
Burst on the' startled ears of men
That voice which rises unto God,
Solemn and stern,--the cry of blood!
It ceased, and all was still once more,
Save ocean chafing on his shore,
The sighing of the wind between
The broad banana's leaves of green,
Or bough by restless plumage shook,
Or murmuring voice of mountain brook.
Brief was the silence. Once again
Pealed to the skies that frantic yell,
Glowed on the heavens a fiery stain,
And flashes rose and fell;
And painted on the blood-red sky,
Dark, naked arms were tossed on high;
And, round the white man's lordly hall,
Trod, fierce and free, the brute he made;
And those who crept along the wall,
And answered to his lightest call
With more than spaniel dread,
The creatures of his lawless beck,
Were trampling on his very neck
And on the night-air, wild and clear,
Rose woman's shriek of more than fear;
For bloodied arms were round her thrown,
And dark cheeks pressed against her own!
Where then was he whose fiery zeal
Had taught the trampled heart to feel,
Until despair itself grew strong,
And vengeance fed its torch from wrong?
Now, when the thunderbolt is speeding;
Now, when oppression's heart is bleeding;
Now, when the latent curse of Time
Is raining down in fire and blood,
That curse which, through long years of crime,
Has gathered, drop by drop, its flood,--
Why strikes he not, the foremost one,
Where murder's sternest deeds are done?

He stood the aged palms beneath,
That shadowed o'er his humble door,
Listening, with half-suspended breath,
To the wild sounds of fear and death,
Toussaint L'Ouverture!
What marvel that his heart beat high!
The blow for freedom had been given,
And blood had answered to the cry
Which Earth sent up to Heaven!
What marvel that a fierce delight
Smiled grimly o'er his brow of night,
As groan and shout and bursting flame
Told where the midnight tempest came,
With blood and fire along its van,
And death behind! he was a Man!

Yes, dark-souled chieftain! if the light
Of mild Religion's heavenly ray
Unveiled not to thy mental sight
The lowlier and the purer way,
In which the Holy Sufferer trod,
Meekly amidst the sons of crime;
That calm reliance upon God
For justice in His own good time;
That gentleness to which belongs
Forgiveness for its many wrongs,
Even as the primal martyr, kneeling
For mercy on the evil-dealing;
Let not the favored white man name
Thy stern appeal, with words of blame.
Then, injured Afric! for the shame
Of thy own daughters, vengeance came
Full on the scornful hearts of those,
Who mocked thee in thy nameless woes,
And to thy hapless children gave
One choice,--pollution or the grave!

Has he not, with the light of heaven
Broadly around him, made the same?
Yea, on his thousand war-fields striven,
And gloried in his ghastly shame?
Kneeling amidst his brother's blood,
To offer mockery unto God,
As if the High and Holy One
Could smile on deeds of murder done!
As if a human sacrifice
Were purer in His holy eyes,
Though offered up by Christian hands,
Than the foul rites of Pagan lands!

      . . . . . . . . . . .

Sternly, amidst his household band,
His carbine grasped within his hand,
The white man stood, prepared and still,
Waiting the shock of maddened men,
Unchained, and fierce as tigers, when
The horn winds through their caverned hill.
And one was weeping in his sight,
The sweetest flower of all the isle,
The bride who seemed but yesternight
Love's fair embodied smile.
And, clinging to her trembling knee,
Looked up the form of infancy,
With tearful glance in either face
The secret of its fear to trace.

"Ha! stand or die!" The white man's eye
His steady musket gleamed along,
As a tall Negro hastened nigh,
With fearless step and strong.
"What, ho, Toussaint!" A moment more,
His shadow crossed the lighted floor.
"Away!" he shouted; "fly with me,
The white man's bark is on the sea;
Her sails must catch the seaward wind,
For sudden vengeance sweeps behind.
Our brethren from their graves have spoken,
The yoke is spurned, the chain is broken;
On all the bills our fires are glowing,
Through all the vales red blood is flowing
No more the mocking White shall rest
His foot upon the Negro's breast;
No more, at morn or eve, shall drip
The warm blood from the driver's whip
Yet, though Toussaint has vengeance sworn
For all the wrongs his race have borne,
Though for each drop of Negro blood
The white man's veins shall pour a flood;
Not all alone the sense of ill
Around his heart is lingering still,
Nor deeper can the white man feel
The generous warmth of grateful zeal.
Friends of the Negro! fly with me,
The path is open to the sea:
Away, for life!" He spoke, and pressed
The young child to his manly breast,
As, headlong, through the cracking cane,
Down swept the dark insurgent train,
Drunken and grim, with shout and yell
Howled through the dark, like sounds from hell.

Far out, in peace, the white man's sail
Swayed free before the sunrise gale.
Cloud-like that island hung afar,
Along the bright horizon's verge,
O'er which the curse of servile war
Rolled its red torrent, surge on surge;
And he, the Negro champion, where
In the fierce tumult struggled he?
Go trace him by the fiery glare
Of dwellings in the midnight air,
The yells of triumph and despair,
The streams that crimson to the sea!

Sleep calmly in thy dungeon-tomb,
Beneath Besancon's alien sky,
Dark Haytien! for the time shall come,
Yea, even now is nigh,
When, everywhere, thy name shall be
Redeemed from color's infamy;
And men shall learn to speak of thee
As one of earth's great spirits, born
In servitude, and nursed in scorn,
Casting aside the weary weight
And fetters of its low estate,
In that strong majesty of soul
Which knows no color, tongue, or clime,
Which still hath spurned the base control
Of tyrants through all time!
Far other hands than mine may wreathe
The laurel round thy brow of death,
And speak thy praise, as one whose word
A thousand fiery spirits stirred,
Who crushed his foeman as a worm,
Whose step on human hearts fell firm:

Be mine the better task to find
A tribute for thy lofty mind,
Amidst whose gloomy vengeance shone
Some milder virtues all thine own,
Some gleams of feeling pure and warm,
Like sunshine on a sky of storm,
Proofs that the Negro's heart retains
Some nobleness amid its chains,--
That kindness to the wronged is never
Without its excellent reward,
Holy to human-kind and ever
Acceptable to God.
1833.



THE SLAVE-SHIPS.

"That fatal, that perfidious bark,
Built I' the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark."
                          MILTON'S Lycidas.

"The French ship Le Rodeur, with a crew of twenty-two men, and with one
hundred and sixty negro slaves, sailed from Bonny, in Africa, April,
1819. On approaching the line, a terrible malady broke out,--an
obstinate disease of the eyes,--contagious, and altogether beyond the
resources of medicine. It was aggravated by the scarcity of water among
the slaves (only half a wine-glass per day being allowed to an
individual), and by the extreme impurity of the air in which they
breathed. By the advice of the physician, they were brought upon deck
occasionally; but some of the poor wretches, locking themselves in each
other's arms, leaped overboard, in the hope, which so universally
prevails among them, of being swiftly transported to their own homes in
Africa. To check this, the captain ordered several who were stopped in
the attempt to be shot, or hanged, before their companions. The disease
extended to the crew; and one after another were smitten with it, until
only one remained unaffected. Yet even this dreadful condition did not
preclude calculation: to save the expense of supporting slaves rendered
unsalable, and to obtain grounds for a claim against the underwriters,
thirty-six of the negroes, having become blind, were thrown into the sea
and drowned!" Speech of M. Benjamin Constant, in the French Chamber of
Deputies, June 17, 1820.

In the midst of their dreadful fears lest the solitary individual, whose
sight remained unaffected, should also be seized with the malady, a sail
was discovered. It was the Spanish slaver, Leon. The same disease had
been there; and, horrible to tell, all the crew had become blind! Unable
to assist each other, the vessels parted. The Spanish ship has never
since been heard of. The Rodeur reached Guadaloupe on the 21st of June;
the only man who had escaped the disease, and had thus been enabled to
steer the slaver into port, caught it in three days after its arrival.--
Bibliotheque Ophthalmologique for November, 1819.

"ALL ready?" cried the captain;
"Ay, ay!" the seamen said;
"Heave up the worthless lubbers,--
The dying and the dead."
Up from the slave-ship's prison
Fierce, bearded heads were thrust:
"Now let the sharks look to it,--
Toss up the dead ones first!"

Corpse after corpse came up,
Death had been busy there;
Where every blow is mercy,
Why should the spoiler spare?
Corpse after corpse they cast
Sullenly from the ship,
Yet bloody with the traces
Of fetter-link and whip.

Gloomily stood the captain,
With his arms upon his breast,
With his cold brow sternly knotted,
And his iron lip compressed.

"Are all the dead dogs over?"
Growled through that matted lip;
"The blind ones are no better,
Let's lighten the good ship."

Hark! from the ship's dark bosom,
The very sounds of hell!
The ringing clank of iron,
The maniac's short, sharp yell!
The hoarse, low curse, throat-stifled;
The starving infant's moan,
The horror of a breaking heart
Poured through a mother's groan.

Up from that loathsome prison
The stricken blind ones cane
Below, had all been darkness,
Above, was still the same.
Yet the holy breath of heaven
Was sweetly breathing there,
And the heated brow of fever
Cooled in the soft sea air.

"Overboard with them, shipmates!"
Cutlass and dirk were plied;
Fettered and blind, one after one,
Plunged down the vessel's side.
The sabre smote above,
Beneath, the lean shark lay,
Waiting with wide and bloody jaw
His quick and human prey.

God of the earth! what cries
Rang upward unto thee?
Voices of agony and blood,
From ship-deck and from sea.
The last dull plunge was heard,
The last wave caught its stain,
And the unsated shark looked up
For human hearts in vain.

   . . . . . . . . . . . .

Red glowed the western waters,
The setting sun was there,
Scattering alike on wave and cloud
His fiery mesh of hair.
Amidst a group in blindness,
A solitary eye
Gazed, from the burdened slaver's deck,
Into that burning sky.

"A storm," spoke out the gazer,
"Is gathering and at hand;
Curse on 't, I'd give my other eye
For one firm rood of land."
And then he laughed, but only
His echoed laugh replied,
For the blinded and the suffering
Alone were at his side.

Night settled on the waters,
And on a stormy heaven,
While fiercely on that lone ship's track
The thunder-gust was driven.
"A sail!--thank God, a sail!"
And as the helmsman spoke,
Up through the stormy murmur
A shout of gladness broke.


Down came the stranger vessel,
Unheeding on her way,
So near that on the slaver's deck
Fell off her driven spray.
"Ho! for the love of mercy,
We're perishing and blind!"
A wail of utter agony
Came back upon the wind.

"Help us! for we are stricken
With blindness every one;
Ten days we've floated fearfully,
Unnoting star or sun.
Our ship 's the slaver Leon,--
We've but a score on board;
Our slaves are all gone over,--
Help, for the love of God!"

On livid brows of agony
The broad red lightning shone;
But the roar of wind and thunder
Stifled the answering groan;
Wailed from the broken waters
A last despairing cry,
As, kindling in the stormy' light,
The stranger ship went by.

       . . . . . . . . .

In the sunny Guadaloupe
A dark-hulled vessel lay,
With a crew who noted never
The nightfall or the day.
The blossom of the orange
Was white by every stream,
And tropic leaf, and flower, and bird
Were in the warns sunbeam.

And the sky was bright as ever,
And the moonlight slept as well,
On the palm-trees by the hillside,
And the streamlet of the dell:
And the glances of the Creole
Were still as archly deep,
And her smiles as full as ever
Of passion and of sleep.

But vain were bird and blossom,
The green earth and the sky,
And the smile of human faces,
To the slaver's darkened eye;
At the breaking of the morning,
At the star-lit evening time,
O'er a world of light and beauty
Fell the blackness of his crime.
1834.



EXPOSTULATION.

Dr. Charles Follen, a German patriot, who had come to America for the
freedom which was denied him in his native land, allied himself with the
abolitionists, and at a convention of delegates from all the anti-
slavery organizations in New England, held at Boston in May, 1834, was
chairman of a committee to prepare an address to the people of New
England. Toward the close of the address occurred the passage which
suggested these lines. "The despotism which our fathers could not bear
in their native country is expiring, and the sword of justice in her
reformed hands has applied its exterminating edge to slavery. Shall the
United States--the free United States, which could not bear the bonds of
a king--cradle the bondage which a king is abolishing? Shall a Republic
be less free than a Monarchy? Shall we, in the vigor and buoyancy of our
manhood, be less energetic in righteousness than a kingdom in its age?"
--Dr. Follen's Address.

"Genius of America!--Spirit of our free institutions!--where art thou?
How art thou fallen, O Lucifer! son of the morning,--how art thou fallen
from Heaven! Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy
coming! The kings of the earth cry out to thee, Aha! Aha! Art thou
become like unto us?"--Speech of Samuel J. May.

OUR fellow-countrymen in chains!
Slaves, in a land of light and law!
Slaves, crouching on the very plains
Where rolled the storm of Freedom's war!
A groan from Eutaw's haunted wood,
A. wail where Camden's martyrs fell,
By every shrine of patriot blood,
From Moultrie's wall and Jasper's well!

By storied hill and hallowed grot,
By mossy wood and marshy glen,
Whence rang of old the rifle-shot,
And hurrying shout of Marion's men!
The groan of breaking hearts is there,
The falling lash, the fetter's clank!
Slaves, slaves are breathing in that air
Which old De Kalb and Sumter drank!

What, ho! our countrymen in chains!
The whip on woman's shrinking flesh!
Our soil yet reddening with the stains
Caught from her scourging, warm and fresh!
What! mothers from their children riven!
What! God's own image bought and sold!
Americans to market driven,
And bartered as the brute for gold!

Speak! shall their agony of prayer
Come thrilling to our hearts in vain?
To us whose fathers scorned to bear
The paltry menace of a chain;
To us, whose boast is loud and long
Of holy Liberty and Light;
Say, shall these writhing slaves of Wrong
Plead vainly for their plundered Right?

What! shall we send, with lavish breath,
Our sympathies across the wave,
Where Manhood, on the field of death,
Strikes for his freedom or a grave?
Shall prayers go up, and hymns be sung
For Greece, the Moslem fetter spurning,
And millions hail with pen and tongue
Our light on all her altars burning?

Shall Belgium feel, and gallant France,
By Vendome's pile and Schoenbrun's wall,
And Poland, gasping on her lance,
The impulse of our cheering call?
And shall the slave, beneath our eye,
Clank o'er our fields his hateful chain?
And toss his fettered arms on high,
And groan for Freedom's gift, in vain?

Oh, say, shall Prussia's banner be
A refuge for the stricken slave?
And shall the Russian serf go free
By Baikal's lake and Neva's wave?
And shall the wintry-bosomed Dane
Relax the iron hand of pride,
And bid his bondmen cast the chain
From fettered soul and limb aside?

Shall every flap of England's flag
Proclaim that all around are free,
From farthest Ind to each blue crag
That beetles o'er the Western Sea?
And shall we scoff at Europe's kings,
When Freedom's fire is dim with us,
And round our country's altar clings
The damning shade of Slavery's curse?

Go, let us ask of Constantine
To loose his grasp on Poland's throat;
And beg the lord of Mahmoud's line
To spare the struggling Suliote;
Will not the scorching answer come
From turbaned Turk, and scornful Russ
"Go, loose your fettered slaves at home,
Then turn, and ask the like of us!"

Just God! and shall we calmly rest,
The Christian's scorn, the heathen's mirth,
Content to live the lingering jest
And by-word of a mocking Earth?
Shall our own glorious land retain
That curse which Europe scorns to bear?
Shall our own brethren drag the chain
Which not even Russia's menials wear?

Up, then, in Freedom's manly part,
From graybeard eld to fiery youth,
And on the nation's naked heart
Scatter the living coals of Truth!
Up! while ye slumber, deeper yet
The shadow of our fame is growing!
Up! while ye pause, our sun may set
In blood, around our altars flowing!

Oh! rouse ye, ere the storm comes forth,
The gathered wrath of God and man,
Like that which wasted Egypt's earth,
When hail and fire above it ran.
Hear ye no warnings in the air?
Feel ye no earthquake underneath?
Up, up! why will ye slumber where
The sleeper only wakes in death?

Rise now for Freedom! not in strife
Like that your sterner fathers saw,
The awful waste of human life,
The glory and the guilt of war:'
But break the chain, the yoke remove,
And smite to earth Oppression's rod,
With those mild arms of Truth and Love,
Made mighty through the living God!

Down let the shrine of Moloch sink,
And leave no traces where it stood;
Nor longer let its idol drink
His daily cup of human blood;
But rear another altar there,
To Truth and Love and Mercy given,
And Freedom's gift, and Freedom's prayer,
Shall call an answer down from Heaven!
1834



HYMN.

Written for the meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society, at Chatham Street
Chapel, New York, held on the 4th of the seventh month, 1834.


O THOU, whose presence went before
Our fathers in their weary way,
As with Thy chosen moved of yore
The fire by night, the cloud by day!

When from each temple of the free,
A nation's song ascends to Heaven,
Most Holy Father! unto Thee
May not our humble prayer be given?

Thy children all, though hue and form
Are varied in Thine own good will,
With Thy own holy breathings warm,
And fashioned in Thine image still.

We thank Thee, Father! hill and plain
Around us wave their fruits once more,
And clustered vine, and blossomed grain,
Are bending round each cottage door.

And peace is here; and hope and love
Are round us as a mantle thrown,
And unto Thee, supreme above,
The knee of prayer is bowed alone.

But oh, for those this day can bring,
As unto us, no joyful thrill;
For those who, under Freedom's wing,
Are bound in Slavery's fetters still:

For those to whom Thy written word
Of light and love is never given;
For those whose ears have never heard
The promise and the hope of heaven!

For broken heart, and clouded mind,
Whereon no human mercies fall;
Oh, be Thy gracious love inclined,
Who, as a Father, pitiest all!

And grant, O Father! that the time
Of Earth's deliverance may be near,
When every land and tongue and clime
The message of Thy love shall hear;

When, smitten as with fire from heaven,
The captive's chain shall sink in dust,
And to his fettered soul be given
The glorious freedom of the just,



THE YANKEE GIRL.

SHE sings by her wheel at that low cottage-door,
Which the long evening shadow is stretching before,
With a music as sweet as the music which seems
Breathed softly and faint in the ear of our dreams!

How brilliant and mirthful the light of her eye,
Like a star glancing out from the blue of the sky!
And lightly and freely her dark tresses play
O'er a brow and a bosom as lovely as they!

Who comes in his pride to that low cottage-door,
The haughty and rich to the humble and poor?
'T is the great Southern planter, the master who waves
His whip of dominion o'er hundreds of slaves.

"Nay, Ellen, for shame! Let those Yankee fools spin,
Who would pass for our slaves with a change of their skin;
Let them toil as they will at the loom or the wheel,
Too stupid for shame, and too vulgar to feel!

"But thou art too lovely and precious a gem
To be bound to their burdens and sullied by them;
For shame, Ellen, shame, cast thy bondage aside,
And away to the South, as my blessing and pride.

"Oh, come where no winter thy footsteps can wrong,
But where flowers are blossoming all the year long,
Where the shade of the palm-tree is over my home,
And the lemon and orange are white in their bloom!

"Oh, come to my home, where my servants shall all
Depart at thy bidding and come at thy call;
They shall heed thee as mistress with trembling and awe,
And each wish of thy heart shall be felt as a law."

"Oh, could ye have seen her--that pride of our girls--
Arise and cast back the dark wealth of her curls,
With a scorn in her eye which the gazer could feel,
And a glance like the sunshine that flashes on steel!

"Go back, haughty Southron! thy treasures of gold
Are dim with the blood of the hearts thou halt sold;
Thy home may be lovely, but round it I hear
The crack of the whip and the footsteps of fear!

"And the sky of thy South may be brighter than ours,
And greener thy landscapes, and fairer thy' flowers;
But dearer the blast round our mountains which raves,
Than the sweet summer zephyr which breathes over slaves!

"Full low at thy bidding thy negroes may kneel,
With the iron of bondage on spirit and heel;
Yet know that the Yankee girl sooner would be
In fetters with them, than in freedom with thee!"
1835.



THE HUNTERS OF MEN.

These lines were written when the orators of the American Colonization
Society were demanding that the free blacks should be sent to Africa,
and opposing Emancipation unless expatriation followed. See the report
of the proceedings of the society at its annual meeting in 1834.

HAVE ye heard of our hunting, o'er mountain and glen,
Through cane-brake and forest,--the hunting of men?
The lords of our land to this hunting have gone,
As the fox-hunter follows the sound of the horn;
Hark! the cheer and the hallo! the crack of the whip,
And the yell of the hound as he fastens his grip!
All blithe are our hunters, and noble their match,
Though hundreds are caught, there are millions to catch.
So speed to their hunting, o'er mountain and glen,
Through cane-brake and forest,--the hunting of men!

Gay luck to our hunters! how nobly they ride
In the glow of their zeal, and the strength of their pride!
The priest with his cassock flung back on the wind,
Just screening the politic statesman behind;
The saint and the sinner, with cursing and prayer,
The drunk and the sober, ride merrily there.
And woman, kind woman, wife, widow, and maid,
For the good of the hunted, is lending her aid
Her foot's in the stirrup, her hand on the rein,
How blithely she rides to the hunting of men!

Oh, goodly and grand is our hunting to see,
In this "land of the brave and this home of the free."
Priest, warrior, and statesman, from Georgia to Maine,
All mounting the saddle, all grasping the rein;
Right merrily hunting the black man, whose sin
Is the curl of his hair and the hue of his skin!
Woe, now, to the hunted who turns him at bay
Will our hunters be turned from their purpose and prey?
Will their hearts fail within them? their nerves tremble, when
All roughly they ride to the hunting of men?

Ho! alms for our hunters! all weary and faint,
Wax the curse of the sinner and prayer of the saint.
The horn is wound faintly, the echoes are still,
Over cane-brake and river, and forest and hill.
Haste, alms for our hunters! the hunted once more
Have turned from their flight with their backs to the shore
What right have they here in the home of the white,
Shadowed o'er by our banner of Freedom and Right?
Ho! alms for the hunters! or never again
Will they ride in their pomp to the hunting of men!

Alms, alms for our hunters! why will ye delay,
When their pride and their glory are melting away?
The parson has turned; for, on charge of his own,
Who goeth a warfare, or hunting, alone?
The politic statesman looks back with a sigh,
There is doubt in his heart, there is fear in his eye.
Oh, haste, lest that doubting and fear shall prevail,
And the head of his steed take the place of the tail.
Oh, haste, ere he leave us! for who will ride then,
For pleasure or gain, to the hunting of men?
1835.



STANZAS FOR THE TIMES.

The "Times" referred to were those evil times of the pro-slavery meeting
in Faneuil Hall, August 21, 1835, in which a demand was made for the
suppression of free speech, lest it should endanger the foundation of
commercial society.

Is this the land our fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the soil whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?
Are we the sons by whom are borne
The mantles which the dead have worn?

And shall we crouch above these graves,
With craven soul and fettered lip?
Yoke in with marked and branded slaves,
And tremble at the driver's whip?
Bend to the earth our pliant knees,
And speak but as our masters please.

Shall outraged Nature cease to feel?
Shall Mercy's tears no longer flow?
Shall ruffian threats of cord and steel,
The dungeon's gloom, the assassin's blow,
Turn back the spirit roused to save
The Truth, our Country, and the Slave?

Of human skulls that shrine was made,
Round which the priests of Mexico
Before their loathsome idol prayed;
Is Freedom's altar fashioned so?
And must we yield to Freedom's God,
As offering meet, the negro's blood?

Shall tongues be mute, when deeds are wrought
Which well might shame extremest hell?
Shall freemen lock the indignant thought?
Shall Pity's bosom cease to swell?
Shall Honor bleed?--shall Truth succumb?
Shall pen, and press, and soul be dumb?

No; by each spot of haunted ground,
Where Freedom weeps her children's fall;
By Plymouth's rock, and Bunker's mound;
By Griswold's stained and shattered wall;
By Warren's ghost, by Langdon's shade;
By all the memories of our dead.

By their enlarging souls, which burst
The bands and fetters round them set;
By the free Pilgrim spirit nursed
Within our inmost bosoms, yet,
By all above, around, below,
Be ours the indignant answer,--No!

No; guided by our country's laws,
For truth, and right, and suffering man,
Be ours to strive in Freedom's cause,
As Christians may, as freemen can!
Still pouring on unwilling ears
That truth oppression only fears.

What! shall we guard our neighbor still,
While woman shrieks beneath his rod,
And while he tramples down at will
The image of a common God?
Shall watch and ward be round him set,
Of Northern nerve and bayonet?

And shall we know and share with him
The danger and the growing shame?
And see our Freedom's light grow dim,
Which should have filled the world with flame?
And, writhing, feel, where'er we turn,
A world's reproach around us burn?

Is 't not enough that this is borne?
And asks our haughty neighbor more?
Must fetters which his slaves have worn
Clank round the Yankee farmer's door?
Must he be told, beside his plough,
What he must speak, and when, and how?

Must he be told his freedom stands
On Slavery's dark foundations strong;
On breaking hearts and fettered hands,
On robbery, and crime, and wrong?
That all his fathers taught is vain,--
That Freedom's emblem is the chain?

Its life, its soul, from slavery drawn!
False, foul, profane! Go, teach as well
Of holy Truth from Falsehood born!
Of Heaven refreshed by airs from Hell!
Of Virtue in the arms of Vice!
Of Demons planting Paradise!

Rail on, then, brethren of the South,
Ye shall not hear the truth the less;
No seal is on the Yankee's mouth,
No fetter on the Yankee's press!
From our Green Mountains to the sea,
One voice shall thunder, We are free!



CLERICAL OPPRESSORS.

In the report of the celebrated pro-slavery meeting in Charleston, S.C.,
on the 4th of the ninth month, 1835, published in the Courier of that
city, it is stated: "The clergy of all denominations attended in a body,
lending their sanction to the proceedings, and adding by their presence
to the impressive character of the scene!"

JUST God! and these are they
Who minister at thine altar, God of Right!
Men who their hands with prayer and blessing lay
On Israel's Ark of light!

What! preach, and kidnap men?
Give thanks, and rob thy own afflicted poor?
Talk of thy glorious liberty, and then
Bolt hard the captive's door?

What! servants of thy own
Merciful Son, who came to seek and save
The homeless and the outcast, fettering down
The tasked and plundered slave!

Pilate and Herod, friends!
Chief priests and rulers, as of old, combine!
Just God and holy! is that church, which lends
Strength to the spoiler, thine?

Paid hypocrites, who turn
Judgment aside, and rob the Holy Book
Of those high words of truth which search and burn
In warning and rebuke;

Feed fat, ye locusts, feed!
And, in your tasselled pulpits, thank the Lord
That, from the toiling bondman's utter need,
Ye pile your own full board.

How long, O Lord! how long
Shall such a priesthood barter truth away,
And in Thy name, for robbery and wrong
At Thy own altars pray?

Is not Thy hand stretched forth
Visibly in the heavens, to awe and smite?
Shall not the living God of all the earth,
And heaven above, do right?

Woe, then, to all who grind
Their brethren of a common Father down!
To all who plunder from the immortal mind
Its bright and glorious crown!

Woe to the priesthood! woe
To those whose hire is with the price of blood;
Perverting, darkening, changing, as they go,
The searching truths of God!

Their glory and their might
Shall perish; and their very names shall be
Vile before all the people, in the light
Of a world's liberty.

Oh, speed the moment on
When Wrong shall cease, and Liberty and Love
And Truth and Right throughout the earth be known
As in their home above.
1836.



A SUMMONS

Written on the adoption of Pinckney's Resolutions in the House of
Representatives, and the passage of Calhoun's "Bill for excluding Papers
written or printed, touching the subject of Slavery, from the U. S.
Post-office," in the Senate of the United States. Mr. Pinckney's
resolutions were in brief that Congress had no authority to interfere in
any way with slavery in the States; that it ought not to interfere with
it in the District of Columbia, and that all resolutions to that end
should be laid on the table without printing. Mr. Calhoun's bill made it
a penal offence for post-masters in any State, District, or Territory
"knowingly to deliver, to any person whatever, any pamphlet, newspaper,
handbill, or other printed paper or pictorial representation, touching
the subject of slavery, where, by the laws of the said State, District,
or Territory, their circulation was prohibited."

MEN of the North-land! where's the manly spirit
Of the true-hearted and the unshackled gone?
Sons of old freemen, do we but inherit
Their names alone?

Is the old Pilgrim spirit quenched within us,
Stoops the strong manhood of our souls so low,
That Mammon's lure or Party's wile can win us
To silence now?

Now, when our land to ruin's brink is verging,
In God's name, let us speak while there is time!
Now, when the padlocks for our lips are forging,
Silence is crime!

What! shall we henceforth humbly ask as favors
Rights all our own? In madness shall we barter,
For treacherous peace, the freedom Nature gave us,
God and our charter?

Here shall the statesman forge his human fetters,
Here the false jurist human rights deny,
And in the church, their proud and skilled abettors
Make truth a lie?

Torture the pages of the hallowed Bible,
To sanction crime, and robbery, and blood?
And, in Oppression's hateful service, libel
Both man and God?

Shall our New England stand erect no longer,
But stoop in chains upon her downward way,
Thicker to gather on her limbs and stronger
Day after day?

Oh no; methinks from all her wild, green mountains;
From valleys where her slumbering fathers lie;
From her blue rivers and her welling fountains,
And clear, cold sky;

From her rough coast, and isles, which hungry Ocean
Gnaws with his surges; from the fisher's skiff,
With white sail swaying to the billows' motion
Round rock and cliff;

From the free fireside of her untought farmer;
From her free laborer at his loom and wheel;
From the brown smith-shop, where, beneath the hammer,
Rings the red steel;

From each and all, if God hath not forsaken
Our land, and left us to an evil choice,
Loud as the summer thunderbolt shall waken
A People's voice.

Startling and stern! the Northern winds shall bear it
Over Potomac's to St. Mary's wave;
And buried Freedom shall awake to hear it
Within her grave.

Oh, let that voice go forth! The bondman sighing
By Santee's wave, in Mississippi's cane,
Shall feel the hope, within his bosom dying,
Revive again.

Let it go forth! The millions who are gazing
Sadly upon us from afar shall smile,
And unto God devout thanksgiving raising
Bless us the while.

Oh for your ancient freedom, pure and holy,
For the deliverance of a groaning earth,
For the wronged captive, bleeding, crushed, and lowly,
Let it go forth!

Sons of the best of fathers! will ye falter
With all they left ye perilled and at stake?
Ho! once again on Freedom's holy altar
The fire awake.

Prayer-strenthened for the trial, come together,
Put on the harness for the moral fight,
And, with the blessing of your Heavenly Father,
Maintain the right
1836.



TO THE MEMORY OF THOMAS SHIPLEY.

Thomas Shipley of Philadelphia was a lifelong Christian philanthropist,
and advocate of emancipation. At his funeral thousands of colored people
came to take their last look at their friend and protector. He died
September 17, 1836.

GONE to thy Heavenly Father's rest!
The flowers of Eden round thee blowing,
And on thine ear the murmurs blest
Of Siloa's waters softly flowing!

Beneath that Tree of Life which gives
To all the earth its healing leaves
In the white robe of angels clad,
And wandering by that sacred river,
Whose streams of holiness make glad
The city of our God forever!

Gentlest of spirits! not for thee
Our tears are shed, our sighs are given;
Why mourn to know thou art a free
Partaker of the joys of heaven?
Finished thy work, and kept thy faith
In Christian firmness unto death;
And beautiful as sky and earth,
When autumn's sun is downward going,
The blessed memory of thy worth
Around thy place of slumber glowing!

But woe for us! who linger still
With feebler strength and hearts less lowly,
And minds less steadfast to the will
Of Him whose every work is holy.
For not like thine, is crucified
The spirit of our human pride
And at the bondman's tale of woe,
And for the outcast and forsaken,
Not warm like thine, but cold and slow,
Our weaker sympathies awaken.

Darkly upon our struggling way
The storm of human hate is sweeping;
Hunted and branded, and a prey,
Our watch amidst the darkness keeping,
Oh, for that hidden strength which can
Nerve unto death the inner man
Oh, for thy spirit, tried and true,
And constant in the hour of trial,
Prepared to suffer, or to do,
In meekness and in self-denial.

Oh, for that spirit, meek and mild,
Derided, spurned, yet uncomplaining;
By man deserted and reviled,
Yet faithful to its trust remaining.
Still prompt and resolute to save
From scourge and chain the hunted slave;
Unwavering in the Truth's defence,
Even where the fires of Hate were burning,
The unquailing eye of innocence
Alone upon the oppressor turning!

O loved of thousands! to thy grave,
Sorrowing of heart, thy brethren bore thee.
The poor man and the rescued slave
Wept as the broken earth closed o'er thee;
And grateful tears, like summer rain,
Quickened its dying grass again!
And there, as to some pilgrim-shrine,
Shall cone the outcast and the lowly,
Of gentle deeds and words of thine
Recalling memories sweet and holy!

Oh, for the death the righteous die!
An end, like autumn's day declining,
On human hearts, as on the sky,
With holier, tenderer beauty shining;
As to the parting soul were given
The radiance of an opening heaven!
As if that pure and blessed light,
From off the Eternal altar flowing,
Were bathing, in its upward flight,
The spirit to its worship going!
1836.



THE MORAL WARFARE.

WHEN Freedom, on her natal day,
Within her war-rocked cradle lay,
An iron race around her stood,
Baptized her infant brow in blood;
And, through the storm which round her swept,
Their constant ward and watching kept.

Then, where our quiet herds repose,
The roar of baleful battle rose,
And brethren of a common tongue
To mortal strife as tigers sprung,
And every gift on Freedom's shrine
Was man for beast, and blood for wine!

Our fathers to their graves have gone;
Their strife is past, their triumph won;
But sterner trials wait the race
Which rises in their honored place;
A moral warfare with the crime
And folly of an evil time.

So let it be. In God's own might
We gird us for the coming fight,
And, strong in Him whose cause is ours
In conflict with unholy powers,
We grasp the weapons He has given,--
The Light, and Truth, and Love of Heaven.
1836.



RITNER.

Written on reading the Message of Governor Ritner, of Pennsylvania,
1836. The fact redounds to the credit and serves to perpetuate the
memory of the independent farmer and high-souled statesman, that he
alone of all the Governors of the Union in 1836 met the insulting
demands and menaces of the South in a manner becoming a freeman and
hater of Slavery, in his message to the Legislature of Pennsylvania.

THANK God for the token! one lip is still free,
One spirit untrammelled, unbending one knee!
Like the oak of the mountain, deep-rooted and firm,
Erect, when the multitude bends to the storm;
When traitors to Freedom, and Honor, and God,
Are bowed at an Idol polluted with blood;
When the recreant North has forgotten her trust,
And the lip of her honor is low in the dust,--
Thank God, that one arm from the shackle has broken!
Thank God, that one man as a freeman has spoken!

O'er thy crags, Alleghany, a blast has been blown!
Down thy tide, Susquehanna, the murmur has gone!
To the land of the South, of the charter and chain,
Of Liberty sweetened with Slavery's pain;
Where the cant of Democracy dwells on the lips
Of the forgers of fetters, and wielders of whips!
Where "chivalric" honor means really no more
Than scourging of women, and robbing the poor!
Where the Moloch of Slavery sitteth on high,
And the words which he utters, are--Worship, or die!

Right onward, oh, speed it! Wherever the blood
Of the wronged and the guiltless is crying to God;
Wherever a slave in his fetters is pining;
Wherever the lash of the driver is twining;
Wherever from kindred, torn rudely apart,
Comes the sorrowful wail of the broken of heart;
Wherever the shackles of tyranny bind,
In silence and darkness, the God-given mind;
There, God speed it onward! its truth will be felt,
The bonds shall be loosened, the iron shall melt.

And oh, will the land where the free soul of Penn
Still lingers and breathes over mountain and glen;
Will the land where a Benezet's spirit went forth
To the peeled and the meted, and outcast of Earth;
Where the words of the Charter of Liberty first
From the soul of the sage and the patriot burst;
Where first for the wronged and the weak of their kind,
The Christian and statesman their efforts combined;
Will that land of the free and the good wear a chain?
Will the call to the rescue of Freedom be vain?

No, Ritner! her "Friends" at thy warning shall stand
Erect for the truth, like their ancestral band;
Forgetting the feuds and the strife of past time,
Counting coldness injustice, and silence a crime;
Turning back front the cavil of creeds, to unite
Once again for the poor in defence of the Right;
Breasting calmly, but firmly, the full tide of Wrong,
Overwhelmed, but not borne on its surges along;
Unappalled by the danger, the shame, and the pain,
And counting each trial for Truth as their gain!

And that bold-hearted yeomanry, honest and true,
Who, haters of fraud, give to labor its due;
Whose fathers, of old, sang in concert with thine,
On the banks of Swetara, the songs of the Rhine,--
The German-born pilgrims, who first dared to brave
The scorn of the proud in the cause of the slave;
Will the sons of such men yield the lords of the South
One brow for the brand, for the padlock one mouth?
They cater to tyrants? They rivet the chain,
Which their fathers smote off, on the negro again?

No, never! one voice, like the sound in the cloud,
When the roar of the storm waxes loud and more loud,
Wherever the foot of the freeman hath pressed
From the Delaware's marge to the Lake of the West,
On the South-going breezes shall deepen and grow
Till the land it sweeps over shall tremble below!
The voice of a people, uprisen, awake,
Pennsylvania's watchword, with Freedom at stake,
Thrilling up from each valley, flung down from each height,
"Our Country and Liberty! God for the Right!"



THE PASTORAL LETTER

The General Association of Congregational ministers in Massachusetts met
at Brookfield, June 27, 1837, and issued a Pastoral Letter to the
churches under its care. The immediate occasion of it was the profound
sensation produced by the recent public lecture in Massachusetts by
Angelina and Sarah Grimke, two noble women from South Carolina, who bore
their testimony against slavery. The Letter demanded that "the perplexed
and agitating subjects which are now common amongst us... should not be
forced upon any church as matters for debate, at the hazard of
alienation and division," and called attention to the dangers now
seeming "to threaten the female character with widespread and permanent
injury."

So, this is all,--the utmost reach
Of priestly power the mind to fetter!
When laymen think, when women preach,
A war of words, a "Pastoral Letter!"
Now, shame upon ye, parish Popes!
Was it thus with those, your predecessors,
Who sealed with racks, and fire, and ropes
Their loving-kindness to transgressors?

A "Pastoral Letter," grave and dull;
Alas! in hoof and horns and features,
How different is your Brookfield bull
From him who bellows from St. Peter's
Your pastoral rights and powers from harm,
Think ye, can words alone preserve them?
Your wiser fathers taught the arm
And sword of temporal power to serve them.

Oh, glorious days, when Church and State
Were wedded by your spiritual fathers!
And on submissive shoulders sat
Your Wilsons and your Cotton Mathers.
No vile "itinerant" then could mar
The beauty of your tranquil Zion,
But at his peril of the scar
Of hangman's whip and branding-iron.

Then, wholesome laws relieved the Church
Of heretic and mischief-maker,
And priest and bailiff joined in search,
By turns, of Papist, witch, and Quaker
The stocks were at each church's door,
The gallows stood on Boston Common,
A Papist's ears the pillory bore,--
The gallows-rope, a Quaker woman!

Your fathers dealt not as ye deal
With "non-professing" frantic teachers;
They bored the tongue with red-hot steel,
And flayed the backs of "female preachers."
Old Hampton, had her fields a tongue,
And Salem's streets could tell their story,
Of fainting woman dragged along,
Gashed by the whip accursed and gory!

And will ye ask me, why this taunt
Of memories sacred from the scorner?
And why with reckless hand I plant
A nettle on the graves ye honor?
Not to reproach New England's dead
This record from the past I summon,
Of manhood to the scaffold led,
And suffering and heroic woman.

No, for yourselves alone, I turn
The pages of intolerance over,
That, in their spirit, dark and stern,
Ye haply may your own discover!
For, if ye claim the "pastoral right"
To silence Freedom's voice of warning,
And from your precincts shut the light
Of Freedom's day around ye dawning;

If when an earthquake voice of power
And signs in earth and heaven are showing
That forth, in its appointed hour,
The Spirit of the Lord is going
And, with that Spirit, Freedom's light
On kindred, tongue, and people breaking,
Whose slumbering millions, at the sight,
In glory and in strength are waking!

When for the sighing of the poor,
And for the needy, God bath risen,
And chains are breaking, and a door
Is opening for the souls in prison!
If then ye would, with puny hands,
Arrest the very work of Heaven,
And bind anew the evil bands
Which God's right arm of power hath riven;

What marvel that, in many a mind,
Those darker deeds of bigot madness
Are closely with your own combined,
Yet "less in anger than in sadness"?
What marvel, if the people learn
To claim the right of free opinion?
What marvel, if at times they spurn
The ancient yoke of your dominion?

A glorious remnant linger yet,
Whose lips are wet at Freedom's fountains,
The coming of whose welcome feet
Is beautiful upon our mountains!
Men, who the gospel tidings bring
Of Liberty and Love forever,
Whose joy is an abiding spring,
Whose peace is as a gentle river!

But ye, who scorn the thrilling tale
Of Carolina's high-souled daughters,
Which echoes here the mournful wail
Of sorrow from Edisto's waters,
Close while ye may the public ear,
With malice vex, with slander wound them,
The pure and good shall throng to hear,
And tried and manly hearts surround them.

Oh, ever may the power which led
Their way to such a fiery trial,
And strengthened womanhood to tread
The wine-press of such self-denial,
Be round them in an evil land,
With wisdom and with strength from Heaven,
With Miriam's voice, and Judith's hand,
And Deborah's song, for triumph given!

And what are ye who strive with God
Against the ark of His salvation,
Moved by the breath of prayer abroad,
With blessings for a dying nation?
What, but the stubble and the hay
To perish, even as flax consuming,
With all that bars His glorious way,
Before the brightness of His coming?

And thou, sad Angel, who so long
Hast waited for the glorious token,
That Earth from all her bonds of wrong
To liberty and light has broken,--

Angel of Freedom! soon to thee
The sounding trumpet shall be given,
And over Earth's full jubilee
Shall deeper joy be felt in Heaven!
1837.



HYMN
As children of Thy gracious care,
We veil the eye, we bend the knee,
With broken words of praise and prayer,
Father and God, we come to Thee.

For Thou hast heard, O God of Right,
The sighing of the island slave;
And stretched for him the arm of might,
Not shortened that it could not save.
The laborer sits beneath his vine,
The shackled soul and hand are free;
Thanksgiving! for the work is Thine!
Praise! for the blessing is of Thee!

And oh, we feel Thy presence here,
Thy awful arm in judgment bare!
Thine eye bath seen the bondman's tear;
Thine ear hath heard the bondman's prayer.
Praise! for the pride of man is low,
The counsels of the wise are naught,
The fountains of repentance flow;
What hath our God in mercy wrought?


HYMN

Written for the celebration of the third anniversary of British
emancipation at the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, first of August,
1837.

O HOLY FATHER! just and true
Are all Thy works and words and ways,
And unto Thee alone are due
Thanksgiving and eternal praise!

As children of Thy gracious care,
We veil the eye, we bend the knee,
With broken words of praise and prayer,
Father and God, we come to Thee.

For Thou hast heard, O God of Right,
The sighing of the island slave;
And stretched for him the arm of might,
Not shortened that it could not save.
The laborer sits beneath his vine,
The shackled soul and hand are free;
Thanksgiving! for the work is Thine!
Praise! for the blessing is of Thee!

And oh, we feel Thy presence here,
Thy awful arm in judgment bare!
Thine eye hath seen the bondman's tear;
Thine ear hath heard the bondman's prayer.
Praise! for the pride of man is low,
The counsels of the wise are naught,
The fountains of repentance flow;
What hath our God in mercy wrought?

Speed on Thy work, Lord God of Hosts
And when the bondman's chain is riven,
And swells from all our guilty coasts
The anthem of the free to Heaven,
Oh, not to those whom Thou hast led,
As with Thy cloud and fire before,
But unto Thee, in fear and dread,
Be praise and glory evermore.



THE FAREWELL OF A VIRGINIA SLAVE MOTHER TO
HER DAUGHTERS SOLD INTO SOUTHERN BONDAGE.

GONE, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings,
Where the noisome insect stings,
Where the fever demon strews
Poison with the falling dews,
Where the sickly sunbeams glare
Through the hot and misty air;
Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters;
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
There no mother's eye is near them,
There no mother's ear can hear them;
Never, when the torturing lash
Seams their back with many a gash,
Shall a mother's kindness bless them,
Or a mother's arms caress them.
Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters;
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
Oh, when weary, sad, and slow,
From the fields at night they go,
Faint with toil, and racked with pain,
To their cheerless homes again,
There no brother's voice shall greet them;
There no father's welcome meet them.
Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters;
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
From the tree whose shadow lay
On their childhood's place of play;
From the cool spring where they drank;
Rock, and hill, and rivulet bank;
From the solemn house of prayer,
And the holy counsels there;
Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters;
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone;
Toiling through the weary day,
And at night the spoiler's prey.
Oh, that they had earlier died,
Sleeping calmly, side by side,
Where the tyrant's power is o'er,
And the fetter galls no more
Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters;
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!

Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone.
By the holy love He beareth;
By the bruised reed He spareth;
Oh, may He, to whom alone
All their cruel wrongs are known,
Still their hope and refuge prove,
With a more than mother's love.
Gone, gone,--sold and gone,
To the rice-swamp dank and lone,
From Virginia's hills and waters;
Woe is me, my stolen daughters!
1838.



PENNSYLVANIA HALL.

Read at the dedication of Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, May 15, 1838.
The building was erected by an association of gentlemen, irrespective of
sect or party, "that the citizens of Philadelphia should possess a room
wherein the principles of Liberty, and Equality of Civil Rights, could
be freely discussed, and the evils of slavery fearlessly portrayed." On
the evening of the 17th it was burned by a mob, destroying the office of
the Pennsylvania Freeman, of which I was editor, and with it my books
and papers.


NOT with the splendors of the days of old,
The spoil of nations, and barbaric gold;
No weapons wrested from the fields of blood,
Where dark and stern the unyielding Roman stood,
And the proud eagles of his cohorts saw
A world, war-wasted, crouching to his law;

Nor blazoned car, nor banners floating gay,
Like those which swept along the Appian Way,
When, to the welcome of imperial Rome,
The victor warrior came in triumph home,
And trumpet peal, and shoutings wild and high,
Stirred the blue quiet of the Italian sky;
But calm and grateful, prayerful and sincere,
As Christian freemen only, gathering here,
We dedicate our fair and lofty Hall,
Pillar and arch, entablature and wall,
As Virtue's shrine, as Liberty's abode,
Sacred to Freedom, and to Freedom's God
Far statelier Halls, 'neath brighter skies than these,
Stood darkly mirrored in the AEgean seas,
Pillar and shrine, and life-like statues seen,
Graceful and pure, the marble shafts between;
Where glorious Athens from her rocky hill
Saw Art and Beauty subject to her will;
And the chaste temple, and the classic grove,
The hall of sages, and the bowers of love,
Arch, fane, and column, graced the shores, and gave
Their shadows to the blue Saronic wave;
And statelier rose, on Tiber's winding side,
The Pantheon's dome, the Coliseum's pride,
The Capitol, whose arches backward flung
The deep, clear cadence of the Roman tongue,
Whence stern decrees, like words of fate, went forth
To the awed nations of a conquered earth,
Where the proud Caesars in their glory came,
And Brutus lightened from his lips of flame!
Yet in the porches of Athena's halls,
And in the shadow of her stately walls,
Lurked the sad bondman, and his tears of woe
Wet the cold marble with unheeded flow;
And fetters clanked beneath the silver dome
Of the proud Pantheon of imperious Rome.
Oh, not for hint, the chained and stricken slave,
By Tiber's shore, or blue AEgina's wave,
In the thronged forum, or the sages' seat,
The bold lip pleaded, and the warm heart beat;
No soul of sorrow melted at his pain,
No tear of pity rusted on his chain!

But this fair Hall to Truth and Freedom given,
Pledged to the Right before all Earth and Heaven,
A free arena for the strife of mind,
To caste, or sect, or color unconfined,
Shall thrill with echoes such as ne'er of old
From Roman hall or Grecian temple rolled;
Thoughts shall find utterance such as never yet
The Propylea or the Forum met.
Beneath its roof no gladiator's strife
Shall win applauses with the waste of life;
No lordly lictor urge the barbarous game,
No wanton Lais glory in her shame.
But here the tear of sympathy shall flow,
As the ear listens to the tale of woe;
Here in stern judgment of the oppressor's wrong
Shall strong rebukings thrill on Freedom's tongue,
No partial justice hold th' unequal scale,
No pride of caste a brother's rights assail,
No tyrant's mandates echo from this wall,
Holy to Freedom and the Rights of All!
But a fair field, where mind may close with mind,
Free as the sunshine and the chainless wind;
Where the high trust is fixed on Truth alone,
And bonds and fetters from the soul are thrown;
Where wealth, and rank, and worldly pomp, and might,
Yield to the presence of the True and Right.

And fitting is it that this Hall should stand
Where Pennsylvania's Founder led his band,
From thy blue waters, Delaware!--to press
The virgin verdure of the wilderness.
Here, where all Europe with amazement saw
The soul's high freedom trammelled by no law;
Here, where the fierce and warlike forest-men
Gathered, in peace, around the home of Penn,
Awed by the weapons Love alone had given
Drawn from the holy armory of Heaven;
Where Nature's voice against the bondman's wrong
First found an earnest and indignant tongue;
Where Lay's bold message to the proud was borne;
And Keith's rebuke, and Franklin's manly scorn!
Fitting it is that here, where Freedom first
From her fair feet shook off the Old World's dust,
Spread her white pinions to our Western blast,
And her free tresses to our sunshine cast,
One Hall should rise redeemed from Slavery's ban,
One Temple sacred to the Rights of Man!

Oh! if the spirits of the parted come,
Visiting angels, to their olden home
If the dead fathers of the land look forth
From their fair dwellings, to the things of earth,
Is it a dream, that with their eyes of love,
They gaze now on us from the bowers above?
Lay's ardent soul, and Benezet the mild,
Steadfast in faith, yet gentle as a child,
Meek-hearted Woolman, and that brother-band,
The sorrowing exiles from their "Father land,"
Leaving their homes in Krieshiem's bowers of vine,
And the blue beauty of their glorious Rhine,
To seek amidst our solemn depths of wood
Freedom from man, and holy peace with God;
Who first of all their testimonial gave
Against the oppressor, for the outcast slave,
Is it a dream that such as these look down,
And with their blessing our rejoicings crown?
Let us rejoice, that while the pulpit's door
Is barred against the pleaders for the poor;
While the Church, wrangling upon points of faith,
Forgets her bondmen suffering unto death;
While crafty Traffic and the lust of Gain
Unite to forge Oppression's triple chain,
One door is open, and one Temple free,
As a resting-place for hunted Liberty!
Where men may speak, unshackled and unawed,
High words of Truth, for Freedom and for God.
And when that truth its perfect work hath done,
And rich with blessings o'er our land hath gone;
When not a slave beneath his yoke shall pine,
From broad Potomac to the far Sabine
When unto angel lips at last is given
The silver trump of Jubilee in Heaven;
And from Virginia's plains, Kentucky's shades,
And through the dim Floridian everglades,
Rises, to meet that angel-trumpet's sound,
The voice of millions from their chains unbound;
Then, though this Hall be crumbling in decay,
Its strong walls blending with the common clay,
Yet, round the ruins of its strength shall stand
The best and noblest of a ransomed land--
Pilgrims, like these who throng around the shrine
Of Mecca, or of holy Palestine!
A prouder glory shall that ruin own
Than that which lingers round the Parthenon.
Here shall the child of after years be taught
The works of Freedom which his fathers wrought;
Told of the trials of the present hour,
Our weary strife with prejudice and power;
How the high errand quickened woman's soul,
And touched her lip as with a living coal;
How Freedom's martyrs kept their lofty faith
True and unwavering, unto bonds and death;
The pencil's art shall sketch the ruined Hall,
The Muses' garland crown its aged wall,
And History's pen for after times record
Its consecration unto Freedom's God!



THE NEW YEAR.

Addressed to the Patrons of the Pennsylvania Freeman.

THE wave is breaking on the shore,
The echo fading from the chime
Again the shadow moveth o'er
The dial-plate of time!

O seer-seen Angel! waiting now
With weary feet on sea and shore,
Impatient for the last dread vow
That time shall be no more!

Once more across thy sleepless eye
The semblance of a smile has passed:
The year departing leaves more nigh
Time's fearfullest and last.

Oh, in that dying year hath been
The sum of all since time began;
The birth and death, the joy and pain,
Of Nature and of Man.

Spring, with her change of sun and shower,
And streams released from Winter's chain,
And bursting bud, and opening flower,
And greenly growing grain;

And Summer's shade, and sunshine warm,
And rainbows o'er her hill-tops bowed,
And voices in her rising storm;
God speaking from His cloud!

And Autumn's fruits and clustering sheaves,
And soft, warm days of golden light,
The glory of her forest leaves,
And harvest-moon at night;

And Winter with her leafless grove,
And prisoned stream, and drifting snow,
The brilliance of her heaven above
And of her earth below;

And man, in whom an angel's mind
With earth's low instincts finds abode,
The highest of the links which bind
Brute nature to her God;

His infant eye bath seen the light,
His childhood's merriest laughter rung,
And active sports to manlier might
The nerves of boyhood strung!

And quiet love, and passion's fires,
Have soothed or burned in manhood's breast,
And lofty aims and low desires
By turns disturbed his rest.

The wailing of the newly-born
Has mingled with the funeral knell;
And o'er the dying's ear has gone
The merry marriage-bell.

And Wealth has filled his halls with mirth,
While Want, in many a humble shed,
Toiled, shivering by her cheerless hearth,
The live-long night for bread.

And worse than all, the human slave,
The sport of lust, and pride, and scorn!
Plucked off the crown his Maker gave,
His regal manhood gone!

Oh, still, my country! o'er thy plains,
Blackened with slavery's blight and ban,
That human chattel drags his chains,
An uncreated man!

And still, where'er to sun and breeze,
My country, is thy flag unrolled,
With scorn, the gazing stranger sees
A stain on every fold.

Oh, tear the gorgeous emblem down!
It gathers scorn from every eye,
And despots smile and good men frown
Whene'er it passes by.

Shame! shame! its starry splendors glow
Above the slaver's loathsome jail;
Its folds are ruffling even now
His crimson flag of sale.

Still round our country's proudest hall
The trade in human flesh is driven,
And at each careless hammer-fall
A human heart is riven.

And this, too, sanctioned by the men
Vested with power to shield the right,
And throw each vile and robber den
Wide open to the light.

Yet, shame upon them! there they sit,
Men of the North, subdued and still;
Meek, pliant poltroons, only fit
To work a master's will.

Sold, bargained off for Southern votes,
A passive herd of Northern mules,
Just braying through their purchased throats
Whate'er their owner rules.

And he, [2] the basest of the base,
The vilest of the vile, whose name,
Embalmed in infinite disgrace,
Is deathless in its shame!

A tool, to bolt the people's door
Against the people clamoring there,
An ass, to trample on their floor
A people's right of prayer!

Nailed to his self-made gibbet fast,
Self-pilloried to the public view,
A mark for every passing blast
Of scorn to whistle through;

There let him hang, and hear the boast
Of Southrons o'er their pliant tool,--
A new Stylites on his post,
"Sacred to ridicule!"

Look we at home! our noble hall,
To Freedom's holy purpose given,
Now rears its black and ruined wall,
Beneath the wintry heaven,

Telling the story of its doom,
The fiendish mob, the prostrate law,
The fiery jet through midnight's gloom,
Our gazing thousands saw.

Look to our State! the poor man's right
Torn from him: and the sons of those
Whose blood in Freedom's sternest fight
Sprinkled the Jersey snows,

Outlawed within the land of Penn,
That Slavery's guilty fears might cease,
And those whom God created men
Toil on as brutes in peace.

Yet o'er the blackness of the storm
A bow of promise bends on high,
And gleams of sunshine, soft and warm,
Break through our clouded sky.

East, West, and North, the shout is heard,
Of freemen rising for the right
Each valley hath its rallying word,
Each hill its signal light.

O'er Massachusetts' rocks of gray,
The strengthening light of freedom shines,
Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay,
And Vermont's snow-hung pines!

From Hudson's frowning palisades
To Alleghany's laurelled crest,
O'er lakes and prairies, streams and glades,
It shines upon the West.

Speed on the light to those who dwell
In Slavery's land of woe and sin,
And through the blackness of that bell,
Let Heaven's own light break in.

So shall the Southern conscience quake
Before that light poured full and strong,
So shall the Southern heart awake
To all the bondman's wrong.

And from that rich and sunny land
The song of grateful millions rise,
Like that of Israel's ransomed band
Beneath Arabia's skies:

And all who now are bound beneath
Our banner's shade, our eagle's wing,
From Slavery's night of moral death
To light and life shall spring.

Broken the bondman's chain, and gone
The master's guilt, and hate, and fear,
And unto both alike shall dawn
A New and Happy Year.
1839.



THE RELIC.
Written on receiving a cane wrought from a fragment of the  wood-work
of Pennsylvania Hall which the fire had spared.

TOKEN of friendship true and tried,
From one whose fiery heart of youth
With mine has beaten, side by side,
For Liberty and Truth;
With honest pride the gift I take,
And prize it for the giver's sake.

But not alone because it tells
Of generous hand and heart sincere;
Around that gift of friendship dwells
A memory doubly dear;
Earth's noblest aim, man's holiest thought,
With that memorial frail in wrought!

Pure thoughts and sweet like flowers unfold,
And precious memories round it cling,
Even as the Prophet's rod of old
In beauty blossoming:
And buds of feeling, pure and good,
Spring from its cold unconscious wood.

Relic of Freedom's shrine! a brand
Plucked from its burning! let it be
Dear as a jewel from the hand
Of a lost friend to me!
Flower of a perished garland left,
Of life and beauty unbereft!

Oh, if the young enthusiast bears,
O'er weary waste and sea, the stone
Which crumbled from the Forum's stairs,
Or round the Parthenon;
Or olive-bough from some wild tree
Hung over old Thermopylae:

If leaflets from some hero's tomb,
Or moss-wreath torn from ruins hoary;
Or faded flowers whose sisters bloom
On fields renowned in story;
Or fragment from the Alhambra's crest,
Or the gray rock by Druids blessed;

Sad Erin's shamrock greenly growing
Where Freedom led her stalwart kern,
Or Scotia's "rough bur thistle" blowing
On Bruce's Bannockburn;
Or Runnymede's wild English rose,
Or lichen plucked from Sempach's snows!

If it be true that things like these
To heart and eye bright visions bring,
Shall not far holier memories
To this memorial cling
Which needs no mellowing mist of time
To hide the crimson stains of crime!

Wreck of a temple, unprofaned;
Of courts where Peace with Freedom trod,
Lifting on high, with hands unstained,
Thanksgiving unto God;
Where Mercy's voice of love was pleading
For human hearts in bondage bleeding;

Where, midst the sound of rushing feet
And curses on the night-air flung,
That pleading voice rose calm and sweet
From woman's earnest tongue;
And Riot turned his scowling glance,
Awed, from her tranquil countenance!

That temple now in ruin lies!
The fire-stain on its shattered wall,
And open to the changing skies
Its black and roofless hall,
It stands before a nation's sight,
A gravestone over buried Right!

But from that ruin, as of old,
The fire-scorched stones themselves are crying,
And from their ashes white and cold
Its timbers are replying!
A voice which slavery cannot kill
Speaks from the crumbling arches still!

And even this relic from thy shrine,
O holy Freedom! Hath to me
A potent power, a voice and sign
To testify of thee;
And, grasping it, methinks I feel
A deeper faith, a stronger zeal.

And not unlike that mystic rod,
Of old stretched o'er the Egyptian wave,
Which opened, in the strength of God,
A pathway for the slave,
It yet may point the bondman's way,
And turn the spoiler from his prey.
1839.



THE WORLD'S CONVENTION

OF THE FRIENDS OF EMANCIPATION,
HELD IN LONDON IN 1840.

Joseph Sturge, the founder of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery
Society, proposed the calling of a world's anti-slavery convention, and
the proposal was promptly seconded by the American Anti-Slavery Society.
The call was addressed to "friends of the slave of every nation and of
every clime."

YES, let them gather! Summon forth
The pledged philanthropy of Earth.
From every land, whose hills have heard
The bugle blast of Freedom waking;
Or shrieking of her symbol-bird
From out his cloudy eyrie breaking
Where Justice hath one worshipper,
Or truth one altar built to her;

Where'er a human eye is weeping
O'er wrongs which Earth's sad children know;
Where'er a single heart is keeping
Its prayerful watch with human woe
Thence let them come, and greet each other,
And know in each a friend and brother!

Yes, let them come! from each green vale
Where England's old baronial halls
Still bear upon their storied walls
The grim crusader's rusted mail,
Battered by Paynim spear and brand
On Malta's rock or Syria's sand!
And mouldering pennon-staves once set
Within the soil of Palestine,
By Jordan and Gennesaret;
Or, borne with England's battle line,
O'er Acre's shattered turrets stooping,
Or, midst the camp their banners drooping,
With dews from hallowed Hermon wet,
A holier summons now is given
Than that gray hermit's voice of old,
Which unto all the winds of heaven
The banners of the Cross unrolled!
Not for the long-deserted shrine;
Not for the dull unconscious sod,
Which tells not by one lingering sign
That there the hope of Israel trod;
But for that truth, for which alone
In pilgrim eyes are sanctified
The garden moss, the mountain stone,
Whereon His holy sandals pressed,--
The fountain which His lip hath blessed,--

Whate'er hath touched His garment's hem
At Bethany or Bethlehem,
Or Jordan's river-side.
For Freedom in the name of Him
Who came to raise Earth's drooping poor,
To break the chain from every limb,
The bolt from every prison door!
For these, o'er all the earth hath passed
An ever-deepening trumpet blast,
As if an angel's breath had lent
Its vigor to the instrument.

And Wales, from Snowden's mountain wall,
Shall startle at that thrilling call,
As if she heard her bards again;
And Erin's "harp on Tara's wall"
Give out its ancient strain,
Mirthful and sweet, yet sad withal,--
The melody which Erin loves,
When o'er that harp, 'mid bursts of gladness
And slogan cries and lyke-wake sadness,
The hand of her O'Connell moves!
Scotland, from lake and tarn and rill,
And mountain hold, and heathery bill,
Shall catch and echo back the note,
As if she heard upon the air
Once more her Cameronian's prayer
And song of Freedom float.
And cheering echoes shall reply
From each remote dependency,
Where Britain's mighty sway is known,
In tropic sea or frozen zone;
Where'er her sunset flag is furling,
Or morning gun-fire's smoke is curling;
From Indian Bengal's groves of palm
And rosy fields and gales of balm,
Where Eastern pomp and power are rolled
Through regal Ava's gates of gold;
And from the lakes and ancient woods
And dim Canadian solitudes,
Whence, sternly from her rocky throne,
Queen of the North, Quebec looks down;
And from those bright and ransomed Isles
Where all unwonted Freedom smiles,
And the dark laborer still retains
The scar of slavery's broken chains!

From the hoar Alps, which sentinel
The gateways of the land of Tell,
Where morning's keen and earliest glance
On Jura's rocky wall is thrown,
And from the olive bowers of France
And vine groves garlanding the Rhone,--
"Friends of the Blacks," as true and tried
As those who stood by Oge's side,
And heard the Haytien's tale of wrong,
Shall gather at that summons strong;
Broglie, Passy, and he whose song
Breathed over Syria's holy sod,
And, in the paths which Jesus trod,
And murmured midst the hills which hem
Crownless and sad Jerusalem,
Hath echoes whereso'er the tone
Of Israel's prophet-lyre is known.

Still let them come; from Quito's walls,
And from the Orinoco's tide,
From Lima's Inca-haunted halls,
From Santa Fe and Yucatan,--
Men who by swart Guerrero's side
Proclaimed the deathless rights of man,
Broke every bond and fetter off,
And hailed in every sable serf
A free and brother Mexican!
Chiefs who across the Andes' chain
Have followed Freedom's flowing pennon,
And seen on Junin's fearful plain,
Glare o'er the broken ranks of Spain
The fire-burst of Bolivar's cannon!
And Hayti, from her mountain land,
Shall send the sons of those who hurled
Defiance from her blazing strand,
The war-gage from her Petion's hand,
Alone against a hostile world.

Nor all unmindful, thou, the while,
Land of the dark and mystic Nile!
Thy Moslem mercy yet may shame
All tyrants of a Christian name,
When in the shade of Gizeh's pile,
Or, where, from Abyssinian hills
El Gerek's upper fountain fills,
Or where from Mountains of the Moon
El Abiad bears his watery boon,
Where'er thy lotus blossoms swim
Within their ancient hallowed waters;
Where'er is beard the Coptic hymn,
Or song of Nubia's sable daughters;
The curse of slavery and the crime,
Thy bequest from remotest time,
At thy dark Mehemet's decree
Forevermore shall pass from thee;
And chains forsake each captive's limb
Of all those tribes, whose hills around
Have echoed back the cymbal sound
And victor horn of Ibrahim.

And thou whose glory and whose crime
To earth's remotest bound and clime,
In mingled tones of awe and scorn,
The echoes of a world have borne,
My country! glorious at thy birth,
A day-star flashing brightly forth,
The herald-sign of Freedom's dawn!
Oh, who could dream that saw thee then,
And watched thy rising from afar,
That vapors from oppression's fen
Would cloud the upward tending star?
Or, that earth's tyrant powers, which heard,
Awe-struck, the shout which hailed thy dawning,
Would rise so soon, prince, peer, and king,
To mock thee with their welcoming,
Like Hades when her thrones were stirred
To greet the down-cast Star of Morning!
"Aha! and art thou fallen thus?
Art thou become as one of us?"

Land of my fathers! there will stand,
Amidst that world-assembled band,
Those owning thy maternal claim
Unweakened by thy, crime and shame;
The sad reprovers of thy wrong;
The children thou hast spurned so long.

Still with affection's fondest yearning
To their unnatural mother turning.
No traitors they! but tried and leal,
Whose own is but thy general weal,
Still blending with the patriot's zeal
The Christian's love for human kind,
To caste and climate unconfined.

A holy gathering! peaceful all
No threat of war, no savage call
For vengeance on an erring brother!
But in their stead the godlike plan
To teach the brotherhood of man
To love and reverence one another,
As sharers of a common blood,
The children of a common God
Yet, even at its lightest word,
Shall Slavery's darkest depths be stirred:
Spain, watching from her Moro's keep
Her slave-ships traversing the deep,
And Rio, in her strength and pride,
Lifting, along her mountain-side,
Her snowy battlements and towers,
Her lemon-groves and tropic bowers,
With bitter hate and sullen fear
Its freedom-giving voice shall hear;
And where my country's flag is flowing,
On breezes from Mount Vernon blowing,
Above the Nation's council halls,
Where Freedom's praise is loud and long,
While close beneath the outward walls
The driver plies his reeking thong;
The hammer of the man-thief falls,
O'er hypocritic cheek and brow
The crimson flush of shame shall glow
And all who for their native land
Are pledging life and heart and hand,
Worn watchers o'er her changing weal,
Who fog her tarnished honor feel,
Through cottage door and council-hall
Shall thunder an awakening call.
The pen along its page shall burn
With all intolerable scorn;
An eloquent rebuke shall go
On all the winds that Southward blow;
From priestly lips, now sealed and dumb,
Warning and dread appeal shall come,
Like those which Israel heard from him,
The Prophet of the Cherubim;
Or those which sad Esaias hurled
Against a sin-accursed world!
Its wizard leaves the Press shall fling
Unceasing from its iron wing,
With characters inscribed thereon,
As fearful in the despot's ball
As to the pomp of Babylon
The fire-sign on the palace wall!

And, from her dark iniquities,
Methinks I see my country rise
Not challenging the nations round
To note her tardy justice done;
Her captives from their chains unbound;
Her prisons opening to the sun
But tearfully her arms extending
Over the poor and unoffending;
Her regal emblem now no longer

A bird of prey, with talons reeking,
Above the dying captive shrieking,
But, spreading out her ample wing,
A broad, impartial covering,
The weaker sheltered by the stronger
Oh, then to Faith's anointed eyes
The promised token shall be given;
And on a nation's sacrifice,
Atoning for the sin of years,
And wet with penitential tears,
The fire shall fall from Heaven!
1839.



MASSACHUSETTS TO VIRGINIA.

Written on reading an account of the proceedings of the citizens of
Norfolk, Va., in reference to George Latimer, the alleged fugitive
slave, who was seized in Boston without warrant at the request of James
B. Grey, of Norfolk, claiming to be his master. The case caused great
excitement North and South, and led to the presentation of a petition to
Congress, signed by more than fifty thousand citizens of Massachusetts,
calling for such laws and proposed amendments to the Constitution as
should relieve the Commonwealth from all further participation in the
crime of oppression. George Latimer himself was finally given free
papers for the sum of four hundred dollars.

THE blast from Freedom's Northern hills, upon its Southern way,
Bears greeting to Virginia from Massachusetts Bay.
No word of haughty challenging, nor battle bugle's peal,
Nor steady tread of marching files, nor clang of horsemen's steel.

No trains of deep-mouthed cannon along our highways go;
Around our! silent arsenals untrodden lies the snow;
And to the land-breeze of our ports, upon their errands far,
A thousand sails of commerce swell, but none are spread for war.

We hear thy threats, Virginia! thy stormy words and high,
Swell harshly on the Southern winds which melt along our sky;
Yet, not one brown, hard hand foregoes its honest labor here,
No hewer of our mountain oaks suspends his axe in fear.

Wild are the waves which lash the reefs along St. George's bank;
Cold on the shore of Labrador the fog lies white and dank;
Through storm, and wave, and blinding mist, stout
are the hearts which man
The fishing-smacks of Marblehead, the sea-boats of Cape Ann.

The cold north light and wintry sun glare on their icy forms,
Bent grimly o'er their straining lines or wrestling with the storms;
Free as the winds they drive before, rough as the waves they roam,
They laugh to scorn the slaver's threat against their rocky home.

What means the Old Dominion? Hath she forgot the day
When o'er her conquered valleys swept the Briton's steel array?
How side by side, with sons of hers, the Massachusetts men
Encountered Tarleton's charge of fire, and stout Cornwallis, then?

Forgets she how the Bay State, in answer to the call
Of her old House of Burgesses, spoke out from Faneuil Hall?
When, echoing back her Henry's cry, came pulsing on each breath
Of Northern winds, the thrilling sounds of "Liberty or Death!"

What asks the Old Dominion? If now her sons have proved
False to their fathers' memory, false to the faith they loved;
If she can scoff at Freedom, and its great charter spurn,
Must we of Massachusetts from truth and duty turn?

We hunt your bondmen, flying from Slavery's hateful hell;
Our voices, at your bidding, take up the bloodhound's yell;
We gather, at your summons, above our fathers' graves,
From Freedom's holy altar-horns to tear your wretched slaves!

Thank God! not yet so vilely can Massachusetts bow;
The spirit of her early time is with her even now;
Dream not because her Pilgrim blood moves slow and calm and cool,
She thus can stoop her chainless neck, a sister's slave and tool!

All that a sister State should do, all that a free State may,
Heart, hand, and purse we proffer, as in our early day;
But that one dark loathsome burden ye must stagger with alone,
And reap the bitter harvest which ye yourselves have sown!

Hold, while ye may, your struggling slaves, and burden God's free air
With woman's shriek beneath the lash, and manhood's wild despair;
Cling closer to the "cleaving curse" that writes upon your plains
The blasting of Almighty wrath against a land of chains.

Still shame your gallant ancestry, the cavaliers of old,
By watching round the shambles where human flesh is sold;
Gloat o'er the new-born child, and count his market value, when
The maddened mother's cry of woe shall pierce the slaver's den!

Lower than plummet soundeth, sink the Virginia name;
Plant, if ye will, your fathers' graves with rankest weeds of shame;
Be, if ye will, the scandal of God's fair universe;
We wash our hands forever of your sin and shame and curse.

A voice from lips whereon the coal from Freedom's shrine hath been,
Thrilled, as but yesterday, the hearts of Berkshire's mountain men:
The echoes of that solemn voice are sadly lingering still
In all our sunny valleys, on every wind-swept hill.

And when the prowling man-thief came hunting for his prey
Beneath the very shadow of Bunker's shaft of gray,
How, through the free lips of the son, the father's warning spoke;
How, from its bonds of trade and sect, the Pilgrim city broke!

A hundred thousand right arms were lifted up on high,
A hundred thousand voices sent back their loud reply;
Through the thronged towns of Essex the startling summons rang,
And up from bench and loom and wheel her young mechanics sprang!

The voice of free, broad Middlesex, of thousands as of one,
The shaft of Bunker calling to that of Lexington;
From Norfolk's ancient villages, from Plymouth's rocky bound
To where Nantucket feels the arms of ocean close her round;

From rich and rural Worcester, where through the calm repose
Of cultured vales and fringing woods the gentle Nashua flows,
To where Wachuset's wintry blasts the mountain  larches stir,
Swelled up to Heaven the thrilling cry of "God save Latimer!"

And sandy Barnstable rose up, wet with the salt sea spray;
And Bristol sent her answering shout down Narragansett Bay
Along the broad Connecticut old Hampden felt the thrill,
And the cheer of Hampshire's woodmen swept down from Holyoke Hill.

The voice of Massachusetts! Of her free sons and daughters,
Deep calling unto deep aloud, the sound of many waters!
Against the burden of that voice what tyrant power shall stand?
No fetters in the Bay State! No slave upon her land!

Look to it well, Virginians! In calmness we have borne,
In answer to our faith and trust, your insult and your scorn;
You've spurned our kindest counsels; you've hunted for our lives;
And shaken round our hearths and homes your manacles and gyves!

We wage no war, we lift no arm, we fling no torch within
The fire-clamps of the quaking mine beneath your soil of sin;
We leave ye with your bondmen, to wrestle, while ye can,
With the strong upward tendencies and godlike soul of man!

But for us and for our children, the vow which we have given
For freedom and humanity is registered in heaven;
No slave-hunt in our borders,--no pirate on our strand!
No fetters in the Bay State,--no slave upon our land!
1843.



THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE.

In a publication of L. F. Tasistro--Random Shots and Southern Breezes--
is a description of a slave auction at New Orleans, at which the
auctioneer recommended the woman on the stand as "A GOOD CHRISTIAN!" It
was not uncommon to see advertisements of slaves for sale, in which they
were described as pious or as members of the church. In one
advertisement a slave was noted as "a Baptist preacher."

A CHRISTIAN! going, gone!
Who bids for God's own image? for his grace,
Which that poor victim of the market-place
Hath in her suffering won?

My God! can such things be?
Hast Thou not said that whatsoe'er is done
Unto Thy weakest and Thy humblest one
Is even done to Thee?

In that sad victim, then,
Child of Thy pitying love, I see Thee stand;
Once more the jest-word of a mocking band,
Bound, sold, and scourged again!

A Christian up for sale!
Wet with her blood your whips, o'ertask her frame,
Make her life loathsome with your wrong and shame,
Her patience shall not fail!

A heathen hand might deal
Back on your heads the gathered wrong of years:
But her low, broken prayer and nightly tears,
Ye neither heed nor feel.

Con well thy lesson o'er,
Thou prudent teacher, tell the toiling slave
No dangerous tale of Him who came to save
The outcast and the poor.

But wisely shut the ray
Of God's free Gospel from her simple heart,
And to her darkened mind alone impart
One stern command, Obey! [3]

So shalt thou deftly raise
The market price of human flesh; and while
On thee, their pampered guest, the planters smile,
Thy church shall praise.

Grave, reverend men shall tell
From Northern pulpits how thy work was blest,
While in that vile South Sodom first and best,
Thy poor disciples sell.

Oh, shame! the Moslem thrall,
Who, with his master, to the Prophet kneels,
While turning to the sacred Kebla feels
His fetters break and fall.

Cheers for the turbaned Bey
Of robber-peopled Tunis! he hath torn
The dark slave-dungeons open, and hath borne
Their inmates into day:

But our poor slave in vain
Turns to the Christian shrine his aching eyes;
Its rites will only swell his market price,
And rivet on his chain.

God of all right! how long
Shall priestly robbers at Thine altar stand,
Lifting in prayer to Thee, the bloody hand
And haughty brow of wrong?
1843



THE SENTENCE OF JOHN L. BROWN

Oh, from the fields of cane,
From the low rice-swamp, from the trader's cell;
From the black slave-ship's foul and loathsome hell,
And coffle's weary chain;
Hoarse, horrible, and strong,
Rises to Heaven that agonizing cry,
Filling the arches of the hollow sky,
How long, O God, how long?



THE SENTENCE OF JOHN L. BROWN.

John L. Brown, a young white man of South Carolina, was in 1844
sentenced to death for aiding a young slave woman, whom he loved and had
married, to escape from slavery. In pronouncing the sentence Judge
O'Neale addressed to the prisoner these words of appalling blasphemy:

You are to die! To die an ignominious death--the death on the gallows!
This announcement is, to you, I know, most appalling. Little did you
dream of it when you stepped into the bar with an air as if you thought
it was a fine frolic. But the consequences of crime are just such as you
are realizing. Punishment often comes when it is least expected. Let me
entreat you to take the present opportunity to commence the work of
reformation. Time will be furnished you to prepare for the great change
just before you. Of your past life I know nothing, except what your
trial furnished. That told me that the crime for which you are to suffer
was the consequence of a want of attention on your part to the duties of
life. The strange woman snared you. She flattered you with her word;
and you became her victim. The consequence was, that, led on by a desire
to serve her, you committed the offence of aid in a slave to run away
and depart from her master's service; and now, for it you are to die!
You are a young man, and I fear you have been dissolute; and if so,
these kindred vices have contributed a full measure to your ruin.
Reflect on your past life, and make the only useful devotion of the
remnant of your days in preparing for death. Remember now thy Creator in
the days of thy youth is the language of inspired wisdom. This comes
home appropriately to you in this trying moment. You are young; quite
too young to be where you are. If you had remembered your Creator in
your past days, you would not now be in a felon's place, to receive a
felon's judgment. Still, it is not too late to remember your Creator. He
calls early, and He calls late. He stretches out the arms of a Father's
love to you--to the vilest sinner--and says: "Come unto me and be
saved." You can perhaps read. If so, read the Scriptures; read them
without note, and without comment; and pray to God for His assistance;
and you will be able to say when you pass from prison to execution, as a
poor slave said under similar circumstances: "I am glad my Friday has
come." If you cannot read the Scriptures, the ministers of our holy
religion will be ready to aid you. They will read and explain to you
until you will be able to understand; and understanding, to call upon
the only One who can help you and save you--Jesus Christ, the Lamb of
God, who taketh away the sin of the world. To Him I commend you. And
through Him may you have that opening of the Day-Spring of mercy from
on high, which shall bless you here, and crown you as a saint in an
everlasting world, forever and ever. The sentence of the law is that you
be taken hence to the place from whence you came last; thence to the
jail of Fairfield District; and that there you be closely and securely
confined until Friday, the 26th day of April next; on which day, between
the hours of ten in the forenoon and two in the afternoon, you will be
taken to the place of public execution, and there be hanged by the neck
till your body be dead. And may God have mercy on your soul!

No event in the history of the anti-slavery struggle so stirred the two
hemispheres as did this dreadful sentence. A cry of horror was heard
from Europe. In the British House of Lords, Brougham and Denman spoke of
it with mingled pathos and indignation. Thirteen hundred clergymen and
church officers in Great Britain addressed a memorial to the churches of
South Carolina against the atrocity. Indeed, so strong was the pressure
of the sentiment of abhorrence and disgust that South Carolina yielded
to it, and the sentence was commuted to scourging and banishment.

Ho! thou who seekest late and long
A License from the Holy Book
For brutal lust and fiendish wrong,
Man of the Pulpit, look!
Lift up those cold and atheist eyes,
This ripe fruit of thy teaching see;
And tell us how to heaven will rise
The incense of this sacrifice--
This blossom of the gallows tree!

Search out for slavery's hour of need
Some fitting text of sacred writ;
Give heaven the credit of a deed
Which shames the nether pit.
Kneel, smooth blasphemer, unto Him
Whose truth is on thy lips a lie;
Ask that His bright winged cherubim
May bend around that scaffold grim
To guard and bless and sanctify.

O champion of the people's cause
Suspend thy loud and vain rebuke
Of foreign wrong and Old World's laws,
Man of the Senate, look!
Was this the promise of the free,
The great hope of our early time,
That slavery's poison vine should be
Upborne by Freedom's prayer-nursed tree
O'erclustered with such fruits of crime?

Send out the summons East and West,
And South and North, let all be there
Where he who pitied the oppressed
Swings out in sun and air.
Let not a Democratic hand
The grisly hangman's task refuse;
There let each loyal patriot stand,
Awaiting slavery's command,
To twist the rope and draw the noose!

But vain is irony--unmeet
Its cold rebuke for deeds which start
In fiery and indignant beat
The pulses of the heart.
Leave studied wit and guarded phrase
For those who think but do not feel;
Let men speak out in words which raise
Where'er they fall, an answering blaze
Like flints which strike the fire from steel.

Still let a mousing priesthood ply
Their garbled text and gloss of sin,
And make the lettered scroll deny
Its living soul within:
Still let the place-fed, titled knave
Plead robbery's right with purchased lips,
And tell us that our fathers gave
For Freedom's pedestal, a slave,
The frieze and moulding, chains and whips!

But ye who own that Higher Law
Whose tablets in the heart are set,
Speak out in words of power and awe
That God is living yet!
Breathe forth once more those tones sublime
Which thrilled the burdened prophet's lyre,
And in a dark and evil time
Smote down on Israel's fast of crime
And gift of blood, a rain of fire!

Oh, not for us the graceful lay
To whose soft measures lightly move
The footsteps of the faun and fay,
O'er-locked by mirth and love!
But such a stern and startling strain
As Britain's hunted bards flung down
From Snowden to the conquered plain,
Where harshly clanked the Saxon chain,
On trampled field and smoking town.

By Liberty's dishonored name,
By man's lost hope and failing trust,
By words and deeds which bow with shame
Our foreheads to the dust,
By the exulting strangers' sneer,
Borne to us from the Old World's thrones,
And by their victims' grief who hear,
In sunless mines and dungeons drear,
How Freedom's land her faith disowns!

Speak out in acts. The time for words
Has passed, and deeds suffice alone;
In vain against the clang of swords
The wailing pipe is blown!
Act, act in God's name, while ye may!
Smite from the church her leprous limb!
Throw open to the light of day
The bondman's cell, and break away
The chains the state has bound on him!

Ho! every true and living soul,
To Freedom's perilled altar bear
The Freeman's and the Christian's whole
Tongue, pen, and vote, and prayer!
One last, great battle for the right--
One short, sharp struggle to be free!
To do is to succeed--our fight
Is waged in Heaven's approving sight;
The smile of God is Victory.
1844.





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