« ПретходнаНастави »
O utter degradation! Freedom turned
Slavery's vile bawd, to cozen and betray
To the old lecher's clutch a maiden prey,
And we are silent,-we who daily tread
Beckon no more, shades of the noble dead !
Or hope to rouse some Coptic dullard, hid
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 there none left of thy staunch Mayflower breed ?
Of Virtue's altar-flame the kindling seed ?
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.
TO W. L. GARRISON. 'Some time afterwards, 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.
Put lever to the heavy world with less :
He had a dauntless spirit, and a press.
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 ure 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
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.
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.
WOE worth the hour when it is crime
To plead the poor dumb bondman's cause,
Are traitors to our cruel laws !
One gleam of brotherhood to send;
Then shut-and here behold the end !
No pitying throe thy bosom gave;
The stranger's charity—a grave.
The hand of God sows not in vain;
And all the fields are deep with grain.
Man's heart still struggles, still aspires;
Her ancient energies and fires.
Have stilled and left the spirit room,
That bring the vengeance and the doom ;
Not man's brute vengeance, such as rends
What rivets man to man apart, —-
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
Of ererlasting 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.
And read for ever in the storied page
One onward step of Truth from age to age.
The poet sings through narrow dungeon-grates; Man's hope lies quenched ;-and, lo! with steadfast gain
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 ;
And only freer wrestles with the Ill.
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.
Thy spirit bends itself to loving tasks,
Is all the crown and glory that it asks.
For love and pity, and for helpful deeds ;
To life more vain than this in clayey weeds. From off the starry mountain-peak of song,
Thy spirit shows me, in the coming time, An earth unwithered by the foot of wrong,
A race revering its own soul sublime. What wars, what martyrdoms, what crimes may come,
Thou knowest not, nor I; but God will lead The prodigal soul from want and sorrow home,
And Eden ope her gates to Adam's seed. Farewell! good man, good angel now! this hand
Soon, like thine shall lose its cunning, too ; Soon shall this soul, like thine, bewildered stand,
Then leap to thread the free, unfathomed blue: When that day comes, 0, may this hand grow cold,
Busy, like thine, for Freedom and the Right; O, may this soul, like thine, be ever bold
To face dark Slavery's encroaching blight ! This laurel-leaf I cast upon thy bier;
Let worthier hands than these thy wreath entwine ; Upon thy hearse I shed no useless tear,-
For us weep rather thou in calm divina !