Слике страница

A soil sublime, at least, with heroes' graves!
Beckon no more, shades of the noble dead!
Be dumb, ye heaven-touched lips of winds and waves!
Or hope to rouse some Coptic dullard, hid
Ages ago, wrapt stiffly, fold on fold,
With cerements close, to wither in the cold
Forever hushed, and sunless pyramid!

Beauty and Truth, and all that these contain,
Drop not like ripened fruit about our feet;

We climb to them through years of sweat and pain; Without long struggle, none did e'er attain The downward look from Quiet's blissful seat:

Though present loss may be the hero's part, Yet none can rob him of the victor heart Whereby the broad-realmed future is subdued, And Wrong, which now insults from triumph's car, Sending her vulture hope to raven far, Is made unwilling tributary of Good.

O Mother State, how quenched thy Sinai fires!
Is there none left of thy staunch Mayflower breed?
No spark among the ashes of thy sires,

Of Virtue's altar-flame the kindling seed?

Are these thy great men, these that cringe and creep,

And writhe through slimy ways to place and power? How long, O Lord, before thy wrath shall reap

Our frail-stemmed summer prosperings in their flower? O for one hour of that undaunted stock That went with Vane and Sydney to the block !

O for a whiff of Naseby, that would sweep,
With its stern Puritan besom, all this chaff

From the Lord's threshing-floor! Yet more than half The victory is attained, when one or two,

Through the fool's laughter and the traitor's scorn,
Beside thy sepulchre can abide the morn,
Crucified Truth, when thou shalt rise anew.


"Some time afterward, it was reported to me by the city officers that they had ferreted out the paper and its editor; that his office was an obscure hole, his only visible auxiliary a negro boy, and his supporters a few very insignificant persons of all colors.". Letter of H. G. Otis.

In a small chamber, friendless and unseen,

Toiled o'er his types one poor, unlearned young man; The place was dark, unfurnitured, and mean; Yet there the freedom of a race began.

[ocr errors]

Help came but slowly; surely no man yet
Put lever to the heavy world with less:
What need of help? He knew how types were set,
He had a dauntless spirit, and a press.

Such earnest natures are the fiery pith,

The compact nucleus round which systems grow! Mass after mass becomes inspired therewith,

And whirls impregnate with the central glow

O Truth! O Freedom! how are ye still born
In the rude stable, in the manger nursed!
What humble hands unbar those gates of morn
Through which the splendors of the New Day burst!

What! shall one monk, scarce known beyond his cell,

Front Rome's far-reaching bolts, and scorn her frown? Brave Luther answered YES; that thunder's swell

Rocked Europe, and discharmed the triple crown.

Whatever can be known of earth we know,

Sneered Europe's wise men, in their snail-shells curled; No! said one man in Genoa, and that No

Out of the dark created this New World.

Who is it will not dare himself to trust?

Who is it hath not strength to stand alone? Who is it thwarts and bilks the inward MUST?

He and his works, like sand, from earth are blown.


Men of a thousand shifts and wiles, look here!
See one straightforward conscience put in pawn
To win a world; see the obedient sphere

By bravery's simple gravitation drawn!

Shall we not heed the lesson taught of old,
And by the Present's lips repeated still,
In our own single manhood to be bold,
Fortressed in conscience and impregnable will?

We stride the river daily at its spring,

Nor, in our childish thoughtlessness, foresee What myriad vassal streams shall tribute bring, How like an equal it shall greet the sea.

O small beginnings, ye are great and strong,

Based on a faithful heart and weariless brain! Ye build the future fair, ye conquer wrong,

Ye earn the crown, and wear it not in vain.

WOE worth the hour when it is crime

To plead the poor dumb bondman's cause,
When all that makes the heart sublime,
The glorious throbs that conquer time,

Are traitors to our cruel laws!

He strove among God's suffering poor

One gleam of brotherhood to send;
The dungeon oped its hungry door
To give the truth one martyr more,

Then shut, and here behold the end!

[ocr errors]

O Mother State! when this was done,
No pitying throe thy bosom gave;
Silent thou saw'st the death-shroud spun,
And now thou givest to thy son

The stranger's charity-a grave.

Must it be thus forever? No!

The hand of God sows not in vain;


Long sleeps the darkling seed below,
The seasons come, and change, and go,
And all the fields are deep with grain.

Although our brother lie asleep,

Man's heart still struggles, still aspires;
His grave shall quiver yet, while deep
Through the brave Bay State's pulses leap
Her ancient energies and fires.

When hours like this the senses' gush

Have stilled, and left the spirit room,
It hears amid the eternal hush
The swooping pinions' dreadful rush,

That brings the vengeance and the doom;

Not man's brute vengeance, such as rends
What rivets man to man apart, -
God doth not so bring round his ends,
But waits the ripened time, and sends

His mercy to the oppressor's heart.


I Do not come to weep above thy pall,

And mourn the dying-out of noble powers; The poet's clearer eye should see, in all

Earth's seeming woe, the seed of Heaven's flowers.

Truth needs no champions: in the infinite deep
Of everlasting Soul her strength abides,
From Nature's heart her mighty pulses leap,

Through Nature's veins her strength, undying, tides.

Peace is more strong than war, and gentleness,

Where force were vain, makes conquest o'er the wave; And love lives on and hath a power to bless,

When they who loved are hidden in the grave.

The sculptured marble brags of death-strewn fields,
And Glory's epitaph is writ in blood;

But Alexander now to Plato yields,

Clarkson will stand where Wellington hath stood.

I watch the circle of the eternal years,

And read forever in the storied page
One lengthened roll of blood, and wrong, and tears,-
One onward step of Truth from age to age.


The poor are crushed; the tyrants link their chain
The poet sings through narrow dungeon-grates;
Man's hope lies quenched; and, lo! with steadfast


Freedom doth forge her mail of adverse fates.

Men slay the prophets; fagot, rack, and cross
Make up the groaning record of the past;
But Evil's triumphs are her endless loss,

And sovereign Beauty wins the soul at last.

No power can die that ever wrought for Truth;
Thereby a law of Nature it became,
And lives unwithered in its sinewy youth,

When he who called it forth is but a name.

Therefore I cannot think thee wholly gone;
The better part of thee is with us still;
Thy soul its hampering clay aside hath thrown,
And only freer wrestles with the Ill.

[ocr errors]

Thou livest in the life of all good things;

What words thou spak'st for Freedom shall not die; Thou sleepest not, for now thy Love hath wings

To soar where hence thy Hope could hardly fly.

And often, from that other world, on this

Some gleams from great souls gone before may shine, To shed on struggling hearts a clearer bliss,

And clothe the Right with lustre more divine.

Thou art not idle: in thy higher sphere
Thy spirit bends itself to loving tasks,
And strength, to perfect what it dreamed of here
Is all the crown and glory that it asks.

For sure, in Heaven's wide chambers, there is room
For love and pity, and for helpful deeds;
Else were our summons thither but a doom

To life more vain than this in clayey weeds.

« ПретходнаНастави »