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O, ideal of my boyhood's time!
The faith in which my father stood, Even when the sons of Lust and Crime
Had stained thy peaceful courts with blood!
Still to those courts my footsteps turn,
For through the mists which darken there, I see the flame of Freedom burn
The Kebla of the patriot's prayer! The generous feeling, pure and warm,
Which owns the rights of all divine The pitying heart—the helping arm
The prompt self-sacrifice-are thine. Beneath thy broad, impartial eye,
How fade the lines of caste and birth! How equal in their suffering lie
The groaning multitudes of earth!
Still to a stricken brother true,
Whatever clime hath nurtured him; As stooped to heal the wounded Jew
The worshipper of Gerizim. By misery unrepelled, unawed
By pomp or power, thou see'st a MAN In prince or peasant-slave or lord
Pale priest, or swarthy artisan.
Through all disguise, form, place, or namo,
Beneath the flaunting robes of sin, Through poverty and squalid shame,
Thou lookest on the man within.
On man, as man, retaining yet,
Howe'er debased, and soiled, and dim, The crown upon his forehead set
The immortal gift of God to him.
And there is reverence in thy look ;
For that frail form which mortals wear The Spirit of the Holiest took,
And veiled his perfect brightness there. Not from the shallow babbling fount
Of vain philosophy thou art; He who of old on Syria's mount
Thrilled, warmed, by turns, the listener's hearty In holy words which cannot die,
In thoughts which angels leaned to know, Proclaimed thy message from on high
Thy mission to a world of woe.
That voice's echo hath not died !
From the blue lake of Galilee, And Tabor's lonely mountain side,
It calls a struggling world to thee. Thy name and watchword o'er this land
I hear in every breeze that stirs And round a thousand altars stand
Thy banded party worshippers.
Not to these altars of a day,
At party's call, my gift I bring; But on thy olden shrine I lay
A freeman's dearest offering :
The voiceless utterance of his will
His pledge to Freedom and to Truth, That manhood's heart remembers still
The homage of his generous youth. Election Day, 1843.
STRIKE home, strong-hearted man! Down to the
root Of old oppression sink the Saxon steel. Thy work is to hew down. In God's name then Put nerve into thy task. Let other men Plant, as they may, that better tree, whose fruit The wounded bosom of the Church shall heal. Be thou the image-breaker. Let thy blows Fall heavy as the Suabian’s iron hand, On crown or crosier, which shall interpose Between thee and the weal of Father-land. Leave creeds to closet idlers. First of all, Shake thou all German dream-land with the fall Of that accursed tree, whose evil trunk Was spared of old by Erfurt's stalwart monk. Fight not with ghosts and shadows. Let us hear The snap
of chain-links. Let our gladdened ear Catch the pale prisoner's welcome, as the light Follows thy axe-stroke, through his cell of night. Be faithful to both worlds ; nor think to feed Earth’s starving millions with the husks of creed. Servant of Him whose mission high and holy Was to the wronged, the sorrowing, and the lowly, Thrust not his Eden promise from our sphere, Distant and dim beyond the blue sky's span; Like him of Patmos, see it, now and here, The New Jerusalem comes down to man ! Be warned by Luther's error. Nor like him, When the roused Teuton dashes from his limb The rusted chain of ages, help to bind His hands, for whom thou claim'st the freedom of
How bland and sweet the greeting of this brecze
To him who flies
The close dark city lies !
Elere, while the market murmurs, while men throng
The marble floor
My better thoughts once more.
The cry of Gain
Like sere grass wet with rain ?
Once more let God's green earth and sunset air
Old feelings waken;
Hath not his trust forsaken.
And well do time and place befit my mood :
Beneath the arms
Of Mamre's lonely palms.
The virgin soil
Which blessed his honest toil.
Here, from his voyages on the stormy seas,
Weary and worn,
And praise for his return.
And vex the Carib main.
To hear the good man tell of simple truth,
Sown in an hour
in life and power : How at those gatherings in Barbadian vales,
A tendering love
And strength as from above :
Until his chain
Upon its life-long pain :
Of Peace and Truth,
And fair and bright-eyed youth.
Even when a boy,