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Now, looking o'er the frozen North
For one like him in word and act,
To call her old, free spirit forth,
And give her faith the life of fact,
To break her party bonds of shame,
And labor with the zeal of him
To make the Democratic name
Of Liberty the synonyme,
We sweep the land from hill to strand,
We seek the strong, the wise, the brave,
And, sad of heart, return to stand
In silence by a new-made grave!
There, where his breezy hills of home
Look out upon his sail-white seas, The sounds of winds and waters come,
And shape themselves to words like these:
"Why, murmuring, mourn that he, whose power
Was lent to Party over-long,
Heard the still whisper at the hour
He set his foot on Party wrong?
"The human life that closed so well
No lapse of folly now can stain;
The lips whence Freedom's protest fell
No meaner thought can now profane.
'Mightier than living voice his grave
That lofty protest utters o'er;
Through roaring wind and smiting wave
It speaks his hate of wrong once more.
"Men of the North! your weak regret
Is wasted here; arise and pay
To freedom and to him your debt,
By following where he led the way!"
OHN BROWN OF OSSAWATOMIE spake on his dying day : "I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in Slavery's pay. But let some poor slave-mother whom I have striven to free, With her children from the gallows-stair put up a prayer for me!"
John Brown of Ossawatomie, they led him out to die;
And lo! a poor slave-mother with her little child pressed nigh.
Then the bold, blue eye grew tender, and the old harsh face grew
As he stooped between the jeering ranks and kissed the negro's child!
The shadows of his stormy life that moment fell apart;
And they who blamed the bloody hand forgave the loving heart.
That kiss from all its guilty means redeemed the good intent,
And round the grisly fighter's hair the martyr's aureole bent!
Perish with him the folly that seeks through evil good!
Long live the generous purpose unstained with human blood!
Not the raid of midnight terror, but the thought which underlies;
Not the borderer's pride of daring, but the Christian's sacrifice.
Never more may yon Blue Ridges the Northern rifle hear,
Nor see the light of blazing homes flash on the negro's spear.
But let the free-winged angel Truth their guarded passes scale,
To teach that right is more than might, and justice more than mail!
So vainly shall Virginia set her battle in array;
In vain her trampling squadrons knead the winter snow with clay. She may strike the pouncing eagle, but she dares not harm the dove; And every gate she bars to Hate shall open wide to Love!
HEARD the train's shrill whistle call,
I saw an earnest look beseech,
And rather by that look than speech
My neighbor told me all.
And, as I thought of Liberty
Marched handcuffed down that sworded street,
The solid earth beneath my feet
Reeled fluid as the sea.
I felt a sense of bitter loss,
Shame, tearless grief, and stifling wrath,
And loathing fear, as if my path
A serpent stretched across.
All love of home, all pride of place,
All generous confidence and trust,
Sank smothering in that deep disgust
And anguish of disgrace.
Down on my native hills of June,
And home's green quiet, hiding all,
Fell sudden darkness, like the fall
Of midnight upon noon!
And Law, an unloosed maniac, strong,
Blood-drunken, through the blackness trod,
Hoarse-shouting in the ear of God
The blasphemy of wrong.
"O Mother, from thy memories proud,
Thy old renown, dear Commonwealth,
Lend this dead air a breeze of health,
And smite with stars this cloud.
"Mother of Freedom, wise and brave,
Rise awful in thy strength," I said;
Ah, me! I spake but to the dead;
I stood upon her grave!
ON THE PASSAGE OF THE BILL TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE AGAINST THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT.
SAID I stood upon thy grave,
My Mother State, when last the moon
Of blossoms clomb the skies of June.
And, scattering ashes on my head,
I wore, undreaming of relief,
The sackcloth of thy shame and grief.
Again that moon of blossoms shines
On leaf and flower and folded wing,
And thou hast risen with the spring!
Once more thy strong maternal arms
Are round about thy children flung,
A lioness that guards her young!
No threat is on thy closed lips,
But in thine eye a power to smite
The mad wolf backward from its light.
Southward the baffled robber's track
Henceforth runs only; hereaway,
The fell lycanthrope finds no prey.
Henceforth, within thy sacred gates,
His first low howl shall downward draw
The thunder of thy righteous law.
Not mindless of thy trade and gain,
But, acting on the wiser plan,
Thou 'rt grown conservative of man.
So shalt thou clothe with life the hope,
Dream-painted on the sightless eyes
Of him who sang of Paradise,
The vision of a Christian man,
In virtue as in stature great,
Embodied in a Christian State.
And thou, amidst thy sisterhood
Forbearing long, yet standing fast,
Shalt win their grateful thanks at last;
When North and South shall strive no more,
And all their feuds and fears be lost
In Freedom's holy Pentecost.