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Whence voices called me like the flow,
Which on the listener's ear will
grow, Of forest streamlets soft and low.
And gentle eyes, which still retain
Their picture on the heart and brain,
Smiled, beckoning from that path of pain.
In vain nor dream, nor rest, nor pause
Remain for him who round him draws
The battered mail of Freedom's cause.
From youthful hopes—from each green spot Of young Romance, and gentle Thought, Where storm and tumult enter not
From each fair altar, where belong
The offerings Love requires of Song
In homage to her bright-eyed throng-
With soul and strength, with heart and hand,
I turned to Freedom's struggling band-
To the sad Helots of our land.
What marvel then that Fame should turn
Her notes of praise to those of scorn-
Her gifts reclaimed—her smiles withdrawn?
What matters it a few years more,
Life's surge so restless heretofore
Shall break upon the unknown shore !
In that far land shall disappear
The shadows which we follow here-
The mist-wreaths of our atmosphere!
Before no work of mortal hand,
Of human will or strength expand
The pearl gates of the Better Land;
Alone in that great love which gave
Life to the sleeper of the grave,
Resteth the power to “ seek and save.”
Yet, if the spirit gazing through
The vista of the past can view
One deed to Heaven and virtue true-
If through the wreck of wasted powers,
Of garlands wreathed from Folly’s bowers,
Of idle aims and misspent hours
The eye can note one sacred spot
By Pride and Self profaned not-
A green place in the waste of thought,
Where deed or word hath rendered less “The sum of human wretchedness,” And Gratitude looks forth to bless
The simple burst of tenderest feeling
From sad hearts worn by evil-dealing,
For blessing on the hand of healing,
Better than Glory's pomp will be
green and blessed spot to me-
A palm-shade in Eternity !
Something of Time which may invite
The purified and spiritual sight
To rest on with a calm delight.
And when the summer winds shall sweep
With their light wings my place of sleep,
And mosses round my head-stone creep
as Freedom's rallying sign, Upon the young heart's altars shine The
fires they caught from mine
If words my lips once uttered still,
In the calm faith and steadfast will
Of other hearts, their work fulfill-
Perchance with joy the soul may learn
These tokens, and its eye discern
The fires which on those altars burn-
A marvellous joy that even then,
The spirit hath its life again,
In the strong hearts of mortal men,
Take, lady, then, the gift I bring,
No gay and graceful offering-
No flower-smile of the laughing spring.
Midst the green buds of Youth's fresh May,
With Fancy's leaf-enwoven bay,
My sad and sombre gift I lay.
And if it deepens in thy mind
A sense of suffering human kind-
The outcast and the spirit-blind :
Oppressed and spoiled on every side,
By Prejudice, and Scorn, and Pride,
Life's common courtesies denied ;
Sad mothers mourning o'er their trust,
Children by want and misery nursed,
Tasting life's bitter cup at first;
If to their strong appeals which come
From fireless hearth, and crowded room,
And the close alley's noisome gloom—
Though dark the hands upraised to thee
In mute beseeching agony,
Thou lend'st thy woman's sympathy-
Not vainly on thy gentle shrine,
Where Love, and Mirth, and Friendship twine
Their varied gifts, I offer mine.
Now, joy and thanks forevermore !
The dreary night has wellnigh passed,
The slumbers of the North are o'er-
The Giant stands erect at last!
hoped in that dark time,
We saw no welcome day-star climb
When, faint with watching, few and worn,
The cold gray pathway of the morn!
weary hours! O night of years !
What storms our darkling pathway swept,
Where, beating back our thronging fears,
By Faith alone our march we kept.
How jeered the scoffing crowd behind,
How mocked before the tyrant train,
As, one by one, the true and kind
Fell fainting in our path of pain !
They died—their brave hearts breaking slow-
But, self-forgetful to the last,
In words of cheer and bugle blow
Their breath upon the darkness passed.
A mighty host, on either hand,
Stood waiting for the dawn of day
To crush like reeds our feeble band;
The morn has come--and where are they ?
Troop after troop their line forsakes;
With peace-white banners waving free, And from our own the glad shout breaks,
Of Freedom and Fraternity! Like mist before the growing light,
The hostile cohorts melt away; Our frowning foemen of the night
Are brothers at the dawn of day!
As unto these repentant ones
open wide our toil-worn ranks, Along our line a murmur runs
Of song, and praise, and grateful thanks. Sound for the onset ! Blast on blast!
Till Slavery's minions cower and quail; One charge of fire shall drive them fast
Like chaff before our Northern gale!
O, prisoners in your house of pain,
Damb, toiling millions, bound and sold, Look! stretched o'er Southern vale and plain,
The Lord's delivering hand behold !
Above the tyrant's pride of power,
His iron gates and guarded wall,
The bolts which shattered Shinar's tower,
Hang, smoking, for a fiercer fall.
Awake! awake! my Father-land!
It is thy Northern light that shines ; This stirring march of Freedom's band
The storm-song of thy mountain pines. Wake, dwellers where the day espires !
And hear, in winds that sweep your lakes And fan your prairies' roaring fires,
The signal-call that Freedom makes !