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A soil sublime, at least, with heroes' graves!
Beauty and Truth, and all that these contain,
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!
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,
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,
TO W. L. GARRISON.
"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.
Help came but slowly; surely no man yet
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
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!
By bravery's simple gravitation drawn!
Shall we not heed the lesson taught of old,
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.
ON THE DEATH OF C. T. TORREY.
To plead the poor dumb bondman's cause,
Are traitors to our cruel laws!
He strove among God's suffering poor
One gleam of brotherhood to send;
Then shut, and here behold the end!
O Mother State! when this was done,
The stranger's charity-a grave.
Must it be thus forever? No!
The hand of God sows not in vain;
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF DR. CHANNING. 275
Long sleeps the darkling seed below,
Although our brother lie asleep,
Man's heart still struggles, still aspires;
When hours like this the senses' gush
Have stilled, and left the spirit room,
That brings the vengeance and the doom;
Not man's brute vengeance, such as rends
His mercy to the oppressor's heart.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF DR. CHANNING.
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
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,
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
The poor are crushed; the tyrants link their chain
Freedom doth forge her mail of adverse fates.
Men slay the prophets; fagot, rack, and cross
And sovereign Beauty wins the soul at last.
No power can die that ever wrought for Truth;
When he who called it forth is but a name.
Therefore I cannot think thee wholly gone;
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
For sure, in Heaven's wide chambers, there is room
To life more vain than this in clayey weeds.