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Title: Oration on Charles Sumner, Addressed to Colored People
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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            "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me:
                     Blessed are the dead which die
                              In the Lord!
                 That they may rest from their labors,
                            And their works
                    Do follow them."--REV. xiv., 13.

                             By EVANGELINE.

                     WEED, PARSONS & CO., PRINTERS.

                            CHARLES SUMNER.

                              In Memoriam.

                       The nation's heart is sad!
                         Her best beloved son,
                          The great and good!
                   Has winged his flight from earth,
                         And white robed angels
                 Shift the gorgeous scenery of the sky
                      To let his soul pass onward
                              To his God!
               Who sent his messenger to bid him "Come."

                            Sumner is dead!
                        Oh! many moons must come
                              And many go
                       Ere we be comforted again,
                  That follow him up the golden stair,
               Echoing through all the shining corridors
                               Of heaven,
                Where our beloved one has gone to rest!

                            Sumner is dead!
                            Oh, sad refrain!
                       In which the teeming earth
                           Doth find a voice,
                       And nature's gentle hands
                Are laid within the clasping of our own;
                Stilling the joyous songs of long silent
               That no awakening sound disturb our grief!

                    She casts her snow white mantle
                       O'er the whispering grass!
                     And hushes the hasty footfall
                           Of coming spring!
                    Calling to the swift March wind
                    To carry along the golden clouds
                           To waiting angels
                    The mournful tidings of our woe!

                            Sumner is dead!
                         O sad repeating words!
                       That beat upon our hearts
                      Like showers of frozen hail!
                           Melting in tears!
                  That swell the tidal wave of sorrow,
                Sweeping adown the great Pacific slopes,
                             Rushing along
             To the sorrowful shores of the broad Atlantic.

                            Sumner is dead!
                            And bitter tears
                           From our sad eyes
                     Doth make us little recompense
                    For his most noble life! Though
            The nations of the earth rise up to comfort us;
              The glorious Orient and the kindly Occident
                       Stretch forth their hands
                                 To us
                    Across the spaces of the earth!

                            Sumner is dead!
                        And the tears of heaven
                 Are mingling with the tears of earth,
                       Above his new made grave.
                         Showers of stormy rain
              Descend upon the grave of our beloved dead,
                        Whose most honored dust
                              Is heirloom
               To all the sorrowing nations of the earth!

                            Sumner is dead!
                           O mournful hearts,
                       At whose red-lintel doors
                      The angel of sorrow knocks,
                           And knocks again!
            O tear filled eyes! upon whose drooping fringes
                 The heavy foot of sorrow presses hard
                             Be comforted!
            For God shall wipe the tears from your sad eyes.


                            There is a word,
                           When once spoken,
               Fixes its meaning upon every human brain,
                        And finds a habitation,
                Within the sacred chambers of the soul;
                                A word,
              Whether spoken on the shores of the Orient,
                       Lying in slumbrous dreams
                            A-near the sun!
                    Or the land of the snow and ice,
                     Where gorgeous temples arise,
                      Whose translucent walls are
             Builded without the sound of hammer or chisel!
                             Whether spoken
              In the halls of learning or at the fireside,
                           On the ship's deck
                         Or the soldier's camp,
                             Finds an echo
                         In every human heart!

                                A word,
                             At whose sound
                       The pages of history open,
               And the stirring deeds of our forefathers
                    Are marshaled forth to meet us!
         Thousands of trusty swords leap from their scabbards,
                           And the hillsides
                     Are populous with rising life;
                  Long lines of shadowy soldier-forms
                               Start up,
               Forming in dense array along the valleys,
                            Bearing evidence
                              Of the word,
                             Whose meaning
                      Has never been changed since
             The Almighty traced the boundaries of the sea.
                      And bid the earth come forth
                        From the womb of waters!
                         THAT WORD IS FREEDOM!

                                 A word
                      Fraught with deepest meaning
                                 To ye,
                       O ye down-trodden nation!
                            Who stood alone
              Under the sombre shadow of the past, waiting
                 For the angel of the future, the sound
             Of whose foot-falls made the present tremulous
                          With coming tidings!
                                A word,
             Pregnant with joys to the poor fettered slave,
               Toiling in the heat and burthen of the day
                          In southern fields,
                         Where the snowy cotton
                Unfurls its fleecy banner to the breeze!
                      Or in the luxuriant tropics,
                             Where forests
            Are all ablaze with gorgeous flowers, and birds,
                          And the odorous air
                    Is laden with orange and spice!

                               Or toiling
                         In northern latitudes,
                         Where his best efforts
                   And upward tendencies are clogged!
                     His life burdened with sorrow,
                         And ill-requited toil!
                               O ye men!
                     Over whose helpless nakedness
               He cast the mantle of liberty, woven out!
                             Woof and weft!
                    Of the threads of his very life!
                                Ye men!
             Whose faces were never so black as not to show
                       Behind their dark surface
                       The features of a brother!
          Whose hands, unstained by crime, were never so black
                     As to be unfit for his grasp!
                     In loving token of a long lost

                               O ye men!
                           Whom he discovered
                  Prone in the valley of tribulation!
         Looking with infinite longing, and sad yearning eyes,
                     At the solemn vault of heaven,
                              Where stars
                       Take their nightly course
                      Around a mysterious centre!
              If within the folding of those azure doors,
                        There was room for you!
                                Ye men!
                 For whom this great apostle of liberty
                  Stretched forth the rod of justice,
                               And smote,
        With a fearless blow, the stony rock of national caste,
                     Till all the waters of liberty
                             Flowed forth!
                       And he gave you to drink!

                              Ye may well
                      Stand with uncovered heads,
                       Above his new made grave,
                   Bowed down with a weight of woe--
            A sense of loss too great for human expression!
                           For the good man,
              Whom God called in the morning of his life,
                          To be a modern Moses
                To an oppressed and down-trodden nation,
                            Upon whose lives
               The iron-foot of bondage made its impress!
                              For the hand
              That bore aloft the proud banner of freedom,
             And scaled the walls of deep-rooted prejudice,
                               To demand
                 From the custodians of human liberty,
                    The scroll of your birth-right!
                          _Lies cold and still
                               In death!_

                          The strong right arm
                        That smote the pillar of
                 Your wrongs in the dust! Calling back
             Fleeting generations, before whose revelations
                      The white faces of the earth
                              Stood still!
                   Trembling before outraged heaven.
              Upon whose faithful pages every oppression,
                        Every lash of the whip,
                               Every tear
                From long suffering eyes were registered
                         For future reference!
              Said Sumner in his great appeal to humanity,
                   "_Of the groans of wounded souls;
                      Oppress not to the uttermost
                            A single heart!
               For one solitary sigh has power to overset
                            A whole world!_"

                          O, ye freed people!
                         Scarce had the name of
                 Traced its guilty lines upon the page
                      Of that most consummate act
                              Of cruelty,
           When a hundred guns from Boston's classic heights
                    Belched forth their teeming fire
                            In ratification
                     Of the great treaty of blood!
                        Like a ponderous knell!
             Their jarring sound boomed out your death cry,
                        Upon the soul of Sumner!
               And all the night, of that most lurid day,
                          Alone with his God.
                His fast retreating and coming footsteps
            Made his silent chamber eloquent with his agony.
                     And kept their mournful rhythm
                      With the throes of his soul!

                             This true man
                       Who stood up in your midst
                        Like a pillar of light!
                 Endowed with power to emit a radiance
                              All its own!
                       When friend and foe alike
                   Refusing the succor and protection
                         Of a common humanity;
                     Would force back the hapless,
                             Fugitive slave
                        To the hell of slavery;
                         "_Thus openly_ DEFYING
      _Every sentiment of justice, humanity and christian duty._"
                     Leaving to coming generations
                       A record of human wrongs,
                "_Amongst the crimes of history, another
                        Is about to be recorded,
                     Which no tears can blot out!_"
                      Said the upright statesman.

                              As he stood
                        Amidst the surging tide
                     Of calumny and misconception,
                               Bearing up
             Against the pressure of the waves of "caste."
              His solemn words echoing through the senate:
                          "_By the supreme law
                    Which commands me to do justice;
                          By the comprehensive
                         And conscientious law
                            Of brotherhood;
                          By the constitution
                        I have sworn to support,
                    I am bound to disobey this act!
                               And never,
         In any circumstance, can I render voluntary aid to it!
                   Pains and penalties I will endure!
                    This great wrong I will not do.
                         Better be the victim,
                    Than the instrument of wrong!_"

                        With Athenian eloquence,
                  Towering aloft in his noble manhood!
                      Bearing the grand proud form
                           Of a Cret'an hero!
                         The thunder of heaven
                         Upon the guilty heads
                Of your inhuman and infamous oppressors,
                           Who would enslave
                    The very freedom of his speech!
                                And hang
                      The fetters of party strife
                     Upon his independent thoughts!
                 But he rose up in his giant strength,
                      Raising the prostrate column
                            Of your rights,
               Manfully fighting for it, block by block,
                        Every inch of the ground

                              What wonder
                           That common minds,
                 Lacking the moral vertebræ (backbone)
             Of a grand and noble humanity, should deem him
                           Yet, "what is life
                       Without passionate feeling
                          To false sentiment?
                 It is, indeed, a dangerous auxiliary;
                   But no true sentiment is complete
                              Without it."
                          And truer sentiments
           Never lit the fires of eloquence in a purer breast
                             Than Sumner's!
                 A breast that heaved with indignation
                        For your bitter wrongs,
               And the piteous spectacle of human nature
                     That Taney's mandate presented
                       To the eyes of the world!

                            "_The black man_
          _Has no rights the white man is bound to respect._"
                             O! omnipotent
                          And omnipresent God!
                    Who made us in thine own image,
                         Thine own pure breath
                     Into our dust-created bodies!
                        Giving of thine own life
                              A semblance
        So great in all its purity so grand in all its fulness,
                That our humanity can scarce contain it!
               So, whether our faces be black, or whether
                             They be white,
                    If we but retain thy semblance,
                           And keep _within_

                               The sacred
                         Cloister of our souls
                  The lamp that thou didst consecrate
                                And gave
                      Into our most solemn keeping
               To illuminate the fair pages of our lives,
                                And shed
                      Its holy light upon the path
         That lies along the shimmering moon-beams of the sky,
                        Upon whose silver stair
                         Expectant angels wait;
              Whose luminous wings enfold us round about,
                        Bearing our happy souls
                       Beyond the sapphire gates
                              To the home
                          From whence we came
                        _We are as one to thee!_
                _And all the thinking, reasoning nations
                             Of the earth!_

                               Once only
                     In the history of this nation,
                    The floor of the senate chamber
                   Dedicated to justice and liberty,
                       Is stained with the blood
                              Of a martyr!
             He lay helpless and lifeless along that floor,
                        Like an Athenian warrior
                  Slain upon the altar of his country!
                         His grand, proud head
                       Dyed with the crimson tide
                         Of his own life blood!
             His pale, cold face, and white soundless lips
                  Appealing in their speechless agony
        To the banner of his country, that hung in starry folds
                            Above his head!
                 The hand that smote him to the earth,
                     Severed the life-chord of his
                          Physical well-being!

                           Out of the blood,
                  Out of the turmoil, the warfare and
                         Passionate strivings,
                      Out of the pain and anguish,
                     Out of the ruin and solitude,
            Out of the great silence that lay upon his life,
                             There rose up
                          A spirit of grandeur
              With the thews and sinews of Divine wisdom!
                    A grander, nobler, truer manhood
                        Wrought out of the fires
                          Of anguish and pain!
              A wisdom that has gone its slow, sure round
                        Upon the wheels of time,
               Calling out of your own nation a full man
                          To sit in the chair
                Of him who smote your patriot and friend
                          At his post of duty!

                         From the ruin wrought
                 By a thoughtless and passionate hand!
                    Sumner, the Christian statesman
                        Arose grander than ever!
                       Daring to speak the truth
              Having the moral courage to wear it proudly
                             Upon his lips!
                      Flooding its glorious light
                     Upon the actions of his life!
                           Oh ! How we revere
                     The man who speaks the truth!
                        Whose words and actions
                 Call no unhealthy effort to the mind!
                 In winnowing out the one bright grain
                                Of truth
                 From the chaff of shiftless falsehood!
                 The tired brain, weary with analyzing
             Sought rest in his statements, nor placed them
                          Within its crucible!

                               O, truth!
                         Thou art born of God!
                            On thy fair brow
                  The jeweled crown of purity gleams!
                              Thy garments
                Are luminous with shimmering star-light
                                O truth!
                   Thou semblance of the living God!
                 What have we not borne, what suffered
                               For thee!
                       Darkens thy fair features!
          Misconstruction covers thee with her shadowy mantle!
                             Throwing wide
                       The flood-gates of sorrow
                   That rush from the bitter fountain
                          Of the grieved soul!
                      In thy right hand is a crown
                         Of glory! In thy left
                          A crown of _thorns_!

                         Is a spirit of glory!
                    A body of transcendent grandeur!
                          Sinewy and tenacious
                      For the human mind to grasp!
                        The nations of the Earth
                          Stand forth to honor
                            A man of truth,
                   And lay their tribute at his feet!
                            Alas! too often
                         _After_ his human ear,
                Strained to the utmost tension to catch
                           The far off sound,
                      _After_ his throbbing heart!
                Hungering for human sympathy, thirsting
                          For the cup of love
                  Starving for the kindly hand-grasp,
                      Tired, and worn, and weary,
                           Lays down to die!

                         The dread Saul's march
                       Thrilling its weird music
                            Above his grave,
               Is but an echo of dead expectancy and woe!
                       That fall upon our hearts
                  Like the rustling leaves of autumn!
                         There are human faces
                       Meeting our eyes each day,
                       If they lay cold and still
                The air would rend with our lamentations
                              And sorrow!
                   And our sad tears would vainly try
                       To wash the lines of care
                         From their dead faces!
               That fill the haunted chamber of our souls
                             For evermore!

                          No word of sympathy,
                         No outstretched hand,
                  Bore to their full expectant hearts
                                A token!
                           No kindling glance
                      Of sympathetic brotherhood;
                       Bore to their asking eyes
                        "I have a care of thee!"
                 Thus we go on day after day, wrapping
             The mantle of selfishness round our humanity!
                         Looking so earthward,
                   The tears of our grieving brother
                          Fall upon our feet!
                          O, have a care that
          No such sin as this be recorded in Heaven's register
                       To burthen your free souls
                            As ye go upward!

                             The weary day
                        Lays down her tired head
                  Upon the dreamy pillow of the past,
                   Closing the silent gates of night
                      On her departing foot-falls!
                Throwing back upon our thrilling senses
                        The curtains of mystery!
                  That float upon the silence and hush
                          Of the night season!
                        Making the soundless air
                          Tremulous with life!
                               'Tis then,
                           And not till then.
                   Pervaded by a divine restlessness
                                We kneel
             And loose our earthly shoes from off our feet
                    For the ground whereon we stand
                                Is holy!

                       With the divine sculptor,
                         Whose unerring chisel,
            Rounds off the uneven curves and awkward corners
                         Of our erring nature,
                           The heroic statue
                   Is wrought out of roughest marble!
                            So, the good man
                   Is moulded out of his very faults!
                       Thus the great master hand
                         With divine precision
               Measured the breadth and depth and height
                               Of Sumner!
                     To fill with honor and credit
                           The royal shrine;
               The grand and noble niche prepared for him
                               In heaven,
                      And in the stirring history
                             Of the world!

                             There are men
                       So utterly narrow-minded,
                      So wanting in moral vertebræ
          And grand human nature, that they are never greatly
                With discriminating acumen, seeks higher
                            Prey than these!
                They are all too flimsy, weak, and crude
                           For his purposes!
                Upon the men of moral breadth, of depths
                             Of human pity;
                Of height of divine abiding! Some prince
                       Of the sons of the earth,
                          Whom God has chosen
                  For some great epoch in our history,
                      The whole artillery of hell
                          Is brought to bear!

                       Tried and trusted of God!
                    Fitted to go down to the arena,
            "To fight the great fight," from the going down
                       To the rising of the sun!
            Struggling with some deadly temptation that has
                               Locked him
                         In its sinewy embrace;
                      Or taking some wild passion
                             By the throat,
                  And strangling it out of existence.
             The large-hearted, square-headed, high minded,
                            Men of history,
                      Are his best stock in trade!
             To these temptation comes! _and if they fall_,
                 He lashes them to his chariot wheels,
                      And carries them in triumph
                               Into hell!

                              But Sumner,
                     The man of princely integrity,
              Accepted no defeat, acknowledged no tempter!
                             The lobbyist,
                Engaged in tunneling under human nature,
                       Fled from before his face!
                              The briber,
                      Whose soft insinuating palm
              Takes kindly to the hands of his fellow man!
                        Who cometh with a smile,
                       And asketh for no receipt!
                   Whose loosened purse strings, bind
                         The tender conscience
                 With cords, gripped by the sinewy hand
                               Of Satan,
                   Turns aside to let Sumner pass on;
                      _The utterly incorruptible!_

                               'Tis thus,
                           Viewing the great
                Defender of the constitution surrounded
               By an atmosphere of bribery and corruption
                                 Of men
                Selling the very sinews of their country
                        For just so many dollars
                           Of bitter enemies,
                          Of unstable friends;
                           Of hurry and rush
                          Of weak legislation;
                   Of "the groans of wounded souls;"
                    Of falsehood and moral contagion
                         That we love him best.
                     For amidst the soulless throng
                  He stood up in his peerless manhood
                        Like a pillar of truth,
                   And carried with him the brightest
                           Stars of the age!

                           'Twas not in vain
                                He sat,
                          A studious disciple
                      At the royal feet of wisdom!
            Culling the sweets of knowledge from her tomes!
                              Not in vain
              Did he visit other lands, and other climes,
                               Filling up
                   The vast storehouses of his mind,
                            With the rarest
                      And richest gems of culture,
              The grand position he had taken in the great
                              Human family
                              Needed this!
               He stood like a great tree in the forest,
                  The branches of which stretched out
                                 So far
                     As to cover the oppressed ones
                          Of the whole world!

                               Let us all
                         Kindle our aspirations
                 At his shrine! For the loftiest ideas
                             Flow from him!
                 This our modern Solomon who challenged
                      The admiration of the world!
                     Whose wise and pure character
                     Stands out before us to-night
                                 As one
                That fills the void in our highest ideas
                              Of manhood!
                        The light of his example
                  Throws its clear defining ray along
                       The pathway of our lives;
               Keeping our eye upon that beacon of light
                         We shall not stumble,
              But fulfill our duties truthfully, manfully,
                         And with a pure heart!

                             His character,
                   In its human and divine greatness,
                      Has a wondrous completeness!
             In its compact firmness, its grasp of justice.
                 In its rounded purity, its magnanimous
                    In its fine intuitive sympathy!
                      In its lofty ideas of duty!
              Has left us a rich inheritance not in lands
                             Or tenements,
                But in jewels of silver, jewels of gold,
                          And precious stones!
                 Heir-looms that shall crown our lives
                              With honor!

                              These jewels
                Dived for, in fathoms deep of the waters
                            Of tribulation,
                        Are our common heritage!
          Nobility of character, caught from divine communing!
              Devotion to truth and integrity of purpose!
                Allegiance to pure principles and honor!
                   Grand moral and physical courage,
                        And his great humanity!
                Towering in strength, like a giant tree
                             In the forest,
                      These are the casket of gems
                     He has willed to our keeping,
                          To adorn our lives!

                            We stand amazed
                        At the pyramid of work,
                 Of toilsome labors, he has raised up!
                Associated with your rise, progression,
                           And preservation!
               The pages of his life are illuminated with
                        The records of his toil!
                              These facts
          Should pass into your lives, elevating and ennobling
                             Your efforts!
                         Raising you upward to
                    The true dignity of daily labor!
                        Ye diggers of the soil,
                 Remember that he was a digger amongst
                          The roots of wisdom!
                  Remember that _he_ was pre-eminently
                               A laborer,
                    Whose deeds have passed securely
                            Into the history
                             Of the world!

                             Work is done!
                 The temple is built all but the crest,
               And to tender and loyal hands he has left
                         The finishing thereof!
                 He has fulfilled the mission to which
                            God called him!
                    With the bright band of thinkers
                             And laborers,
              Has brought you out of bondage, of Egyptian
                  To the glorious noon day of freedom,
                           The promised land
                  Is yours by divine and human right!
                From his immense altitude, with the eyes
                              Of prophesy,
                     He could see you possessed of
                           Its every corner!

                            Wreath is woven!
                    Not upon the garniture of costly
                But upon the loving and sorrowing hearts
                   Of four millions of freed people!
                                Not upon
                           The marble statue,
                But upon the appreciative consciousness
                         Of the world at large!
                          His wreath is woven!
                     Every leaf bedewed with tears!
              Every flower wreathed in with lamentations!
            Tied with the heart-strings of a nation's love!
                But, "we mourn not as one without hope!"
                  For "I am the resurrection and life
                            "Saith the Lord!
              He who believeth in me, though he were dead
                          Yet shall he live."

                               Ye women!
                        Upon whose kindly bosoms
                        Lisping children nestle!
             For the eyes that saw deepest into your human
                    And trembled in humid tenderness
                      For your degraded humanity,
                         _Are closed for ever!_
                              For the lips
                    That broke your galling fetters
                With the fiery thunder of his manhood's
                     In all its God-given symmetry,
                        The disjointed framework
                          Of your human lives,
                              Are stilled!

                               Ye women!
                            Who stood alone,
                     On the outer fringes of proud
                 Appealing in your helpless degradation
                       To the pity of the world!
                              For the hand
                         That made room for you
                   Amongst the nations of the earth,
                           And placed a seat
                                For you
                     In the halls of civilization!
                             For the hand,
                   That dug out of the shifting sands
                           Of public opinion
               The gem you wear proudly upon your bosoms,
                         _Lies cold in death!_

                               Ye women,
                    As ye take a last lingering look
                              At the face
                          Of your dead martyr,
                  On which the surging tide of calumny
                           And misconception
                   Have left their harrowing traces,
                              That he was
                 The great high priest of your nation,
                      To its highest aspirations!
                                The hand
                 That lies with such pathetic attitude
                         Above his quiet bosom,
                    Opened wide the gates of freedom
                        To your weary footsteps,
                            And let you in!

                              O ye women!
                             And take heed
                  What influence ye bring to bear upon
                         The coming generation!
                              For ye, too,
                           Form a strong link
                   In the chain of our civilization!
                   Woman, in all ages, in all climes,
                            White and black,
                Have swayed an influence over the world
                         For evil or for good,
              Which has swept the black tide of iniquity,
            Whose waters reach down to the uttermost depths
                                Of hell;
              Or the gentle waves of good, freighted with
                         A nation's blessings!
                 Upon the waves, _whose reflex actions
                       Are the currents that flow
                             From heaven_!

                              O ye women!
                            And forget not!
                     Your great patriot and friend
                          Left to your keeping
                The jewels of divine and human greatness
                         Washed with his tears!
                       Brightened with his love!
                            And forget not!
             The intertwining of your prayer extended hands
                            Forms a stairway
                       By which your nation hope
                        To reach all greatness,
                       All purity, all grandeur,
                              And at last
               To follow your leader up the shining stair
                               To heaven!

                         The voice of sympathy
                        Hath a thousand tongues,
                   Making the silent mystery of night
                   Eloquent with gentle whisperings,
               So, out of the seclusion of my quiet life,
                                 To ye
              O ye millions of freed people, I have come!
                 To ye my sympathies go forth to-night.
           At whose fountain head, the angel of purity sits;
                   And from her sacred niche, beholds
                   The coming and the going thereof.
                                 For ye
               Whom he called his children, were knit in
                     With every fibre of his heart;
                         And your wrongs echoed
                 To the innermost chamber of his soul,
                                 To ye
                         His loss is greatest!

                               O ye men!
                             Who loved him
                       With a love past telling!
                  Be the better for his noble efforts!
                  Let the picture of his glorious life
                      Hang ever before your eyes!
         Sanctifying your efforts, ennobling your aspirations!
                              He suffered
                  In the throes of agony to give birth
                          To a higher manhood!
                           _Be that manhood!_
                   True, you have been buffetted and
                             Rudely tossed,
                But that has passed into the oblivion of
                           The receding age!
                         The present and future
                    Are open to you as never before!
                   Helping hands are extended to you!
                   _Take care of your opportunities!_

                                 Ye men
                            Cultivate truth!
                       For honor and independence
                   Follow quickly upon its footsteps!
                               'Tis true
                    The standard of Sumner is high!
              But a-down the ladder of his life there are
                         Steps of granite mould
                       That will bear you upward
                              And onward!
                _Be ye governed by no ignoble motives!_
              The time is not far distant when the missing
                   Of the glorious mantle of liberty
                    Will be sewn on by loving hands!
                          Be prepared for it!
                      Receive it upon your knees,
                         With uncovered heads!
                       Remembering whose hand had
                            Wrought it out!

                               Be ye sure
                           It is borne to ye
                 Within the folding of an angel's wing!
                              'Tis yours!
                        By the voice of heaven!
                              'Tis yours!
                         By the voice of earth!
                The pinnacle of your temple of freedom!
            The flag that will flutter freely o'er its top!
                        "O, my bill! My bill!!"
                 He cried in the last agonies of death!
                  "Take care of my civil rights bill!"
                         Were his solemn words,
                  As the messenger of death stood upon
                             His threshold!
                    "_O, don't let the bill fail!_"
               Was his dying injunction, as he sought out
                    With his glazing eye, the friend
                    Who kissed his hand in token of
                          The solemn covenant!

                        _Care of your rights!_"
                  Comes across the ocean of eternity,
                   A solemn message from your friend
                            And benefactor!
                           Be worthy of him!
               Raise the standard of your people higher,
                           And higher still!
                            To-day is yours!
                Grasp firm hold of it, for it cometh not
                   Again! Let the world see and note
                            The heroic fibre
                         Of which you are made!
                  Remember the gates of a great future
                            Are open to you!
           Educate yourselves, your women and your children,
                        Inaugurate and carry on
                       Reform within yourselves;
                   Enlarge your minds!  Quicken your
               Intelligence, and follow in the footsteps
                               Of Sumner!

                                Ye men,
                          Look well and wisely
                       To your political welfare!
                  Let not the foul fingers of bribery
                             And corruption
                    Pollute the pure scroll of your
              Remember the loving laborers upon the walls
                    Of liberty's republican temple.
                      A temple built on free soil!
            "Its corner stone," said Sumner, "is _freedom_;
                   Its broad, all sustaining arches,
                   _Truth_, _justice_ and _humanity_!
                Like the ancient Roman capitol, at once
                      A _temple_ and a _citadel_!
         Fit shrine for the genius of _American institutions_."
                     _A shrine at whose high Altar
            The best and noblest of the land doth minister!
                A temple wherein the lamp of human pity
            Suspended by the chain of universal brotherhood
                      Swings its perpetual light!_

                            Charles Sumner!
                    Thou friend of humanity, Adieu!
                          Never! Till the sun
                     Folds up his gorgeous mantle!
                        Hiding his burning head
                      In the dark valley of chaos!
                       Till the moon's pale hand
                   Forgets to throw her silver shower
                        A-down the ether track!
                         Till the angels forget
                 To replenish the glistening starlight
                              In the sky!
                  Till the great surging deep recedes
                       To the mysterious outlet,
                      From whence the voice of God
                            Called it forth!

                       Till the murmuring shells
                      Lying along the sunny shores
                          Forget their music!
                   Till the flowers hide their heads
                    Upon the dying heart of nature,
                        Sighing out the requiem
                        "There is no more life!"
               And the birds go silently to their death!
                           Till human hearts
                      Throb out their last breath
                       _Shalt thou be forgotten_!
                        Nay! Not even then! For
                  As we go upward on our last journey
             We'll see thy name with the names of the just
                       Written in letters of gold
                            Across the sky!


[Illustration: Muse]

"It will take a long time to get the whole truth told about that noble
man, and many voices to tell it."


CAMBRIDGE, May 11, 1874.

Transcriber's Notes:

Missing or obscured punctuation was corrected.

Typographical errors were silently corrected.

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