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A SABBATH SCENE.
When down the summer shaded street
She saw the white spire through the trees,
O, pitying Christ! a refuge give
That poor one in thy dwelling!
Like a scared fawn before the hounds,
She raised a keen and bitter cry,
To Heaven and Earth appealing;· Were manhood's generous pulses dead? Had woman's heart no feeling?
A score of stout hands rose between
"Who dares profane this house and day?" Cried out the angry pastor.
'Why, bless your soul, the wench's a slave, And I'm her lord and master !
"I've law and gospel on my side,
And who shall dare refuse me?" Down came the parson, bowing low, "My good sir, pray excuse me!
"Of course I know your right divine
Plump dropped the holy tome, and o'er Its sacred pages stumbling,
Bound hand and foot, a slave once more, The hapless wretch lay trembling.
I saw the parson tie the knots,
Although," said he, "on Sabbath day,
Are deadly sins, we must fulfil
"And this commends itself as one To every conscience tender;
As Paul sent back Onesimus,
My Christian friends, we send her!"
Shriek rose on shriek, the Sabbath air Her wild cries tore asunder;
I listened, with hushed breath, to hear
All still! - the very altar's cloth
Had smothered down her shrieking, And, dumb, she turned from face to face, For human pity seeking!
I saw her dragged along the aisle,
The Lord devoutly thanking!
My brain took fire: "Is this," I cried,
"Foul shame and scorn be on ye all
"Than garbled text or parchment law
Just then I felt the deacon's hand
I started up,·
But, on the open window's sill,
O'er which the white blooms drifted,
And flower and vine, like angel wings
And freely from the cherry-bough
The oriole was singing.
As bird and flower made plain of old
So now I heard the written Word
For to my ear methought the breeze
Bore Freedom's blessed word on; THUS SAITH THE LORD: BREAK EVERY YOKE, UNDO THE HEAVY BURDEN!
NE day, along the electric wire
Dead! while his voice was living yet,
In echoes round the pillared dome! Dead! while his blotted page lay wet
With themes of state and loves of home!
Dead! in that crowning grace of time,
Dead! he so great, and strong, and wise,
While the mean thousands yet drew breath; How deepened, through that dread surprise, The mystery and the awe of death!
From the high place whereon our votes
Of some great anthem yet to swell.
We seemed to see our flag unfurled,
Our champion waiting in his place For the last battle of the world,
The Armageddon of the race.
Through him we hoped to speak the word
Which dropped from Hampden's dying hand.
For he had sat at Sidney's feet,
And walked with Pym and Vane apart; And, through the centuries, felt the beat
Of Freedom's march in Cromwell's heart.
He knew the paths the worthies held,
No wild enthusiast of the right,
Self-poised and clear, he showed alway
His steps were slow, yet forward still
He pressed where others paused or failed; The calm star clomb with constant will, The restless meteor flashed and paled!
Skilled in its subtlest wile, he knew
And owned the higher ends of Law; Still rose majestic on his view
The awful Shape the schoolman saw.
Her home the heart of God; her voice
We saw his great powers misapplied
To poor ambitions; yet, through all, We saw him take the weaker side,
And right the wronged, and free the thrall.