Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

TO THE MEMORY OF THOMAS

SHIPLEY,

Gone to thy Heavenly Father's rest!

The flowers of Eden round thee blowing,

And on thine ear the murmurs blest
Of Siloa's waters softly flowing!

Beneath that Tree of Life which gives
To all the earth its healing leaves
In the white robe of angels clad,

And wandering by that sacred river,
Whose streams of holiness make glad

The city of our God forever!
Gentlest of spirits !--not for thee
Our tears are shed, our sighs are given :

mourn to know thou art a free
Partaker of the joys of Heaven?
Finished thy work, and kept thy faith
In Christian firmness unto death :
And beautiful as sky and earth,

When Autumn's sun is downward going
The blessed memory of thy worth

Around thy place of slumber glowing !

Why

But

woe for us! who linger still With feebler strength and hearts less lowly, And minds less steadfast to the will

Of Him whose every work is holy.
For not like thine, is crucified
The spirit of our human price:
And at the bondman's tale of woe,

And for the outcast and forsaken,
Not like thine, but cold and slow,

Our weaker sympathies awaken.

warm

Darkly upon our struggling way

The storm of human hate is sweeping;
Hunted and branded, and a prey,

Our watch amidst the darkness keeping,
Oh! for that hidden strength which can
Nerve unto death the inner man !
Oh! for thy spirit, tried and true,

And constant in the hour of trial,
Prepared to suffer, or to do,

In meekness and in self-denial.

Oh! for that spirit, meek and mild,

Derided, spurned, yet uncomplainingBy man deserted and reviled,

Yet faithful to its trust remaining. Still prompt

and resolute to save From scourge and chain the hunted slave! Unwavering in the Truth's defence,

Even where the fires of Hate were burning, Th’ unquailing eye of innocence Alone

upon th' oppressor turning! O loved of thousands! to thy grave,

Sorrowing of heart, thy brethren bore thee; The poor man and the rescued slave

Wept as the broken earth closed o'er thee; And grateful tears, like summer rain, Quickened its dying grass again! And there, as to some pilgrim-shrine,

Shall come the outcast and the lowly, Of gentle deeds and words of thine

Recalling memories sweet and holy !

Oh! for the death the righteous die !

An end, like Autumn's day declining,
On human hearts, as on the sky,

With holier, tenderer beauty shining;
As to the parting soul were given
The radiance of an opening Heaven!

As if that pure and blessed light,

From off th' Eternal altar flowing, Were bathing, in its upward flight,

The spirit to its worship going!

TO A SOUTHERN STATESMAN.

1846.

Is this thy voice, whose treble notes of fear
Wail in the wind ? And dost thou shake to hear,
Actæon-like, the bay of thine own hounds,
Spurning the leash, and leaping o'er their bounds:
Sore-baffled statesman! when thy eager hand,
With game afoot, unslipped the hungry pack,
To hunt down Freedom in her chosen land,
Hadst thou no fear, that, ere long, doubling back,
These dogs of thine might snuff

' on Slavery's track ? Where's now the boast, which even thy guarded

tongue, Cold, calm and proud, in the teeth o' the Senate

flung, O'er the fulfilment of thy baleful plan, Like Satan's triumph at the fall of man ? How stood'st thou then, thy feet on Freedom

planting, And pointing to the lurid heaven afar, Whence all could see, through the south windows

slanting,
Crimson as blood, the beams of that Lone Star !
The Fates are just; they give us but our own;
Nemesis ripens what our hands have sown.
There is an Eastern story, not unknown,
Doubtless, to thee, of one whose magic skill
Called demons up his water-jars to fill;
Deftly and silently, they did his will,

But, when the task was done, kept pouring still,
In vain with spell and charm the wizard wrought,
Faster and faster were the buckets brought,
Higher and higher rose the flood around,
Till the fiends clapped their hands above their

master drowned !
So, Carolinian, it may prove with thee,
For God still overrules man's schemes, and takes
Craftiness in its self-set snare, and makes
The wrath of man to praise Him. It may

be, That the roused spirits of Democracy, May leave to freer States the same wide door Through which thy slave-cursed Texas entered in, From out the blood and fire, the wrong and sin, Of the stormed city and the ghastly plain, Beat by hot hail, and wet with bloody rain, A myriad-handed Aztec host may pour, And swarthy South with pallid North combine, Back on thyself to turn thy dark design.

LINES,

WRITTEN on the adoption of Pinckney's Resolutions, in the House of Representatives, and the passage of Calhoun's “ Bill for excluding papers written or printed, touching the subject ! Slavery from the U. S. Post-office,” in the Senate of the United States.

MEN of the North-land! where's the manly spirit

Of the true-hearted and the unshackled gone ? Sons of old freemen, do we but inherit

Their names alone ?

Is the old Pilgrim spirit quenched within us,

Stoops the strong manhood of our souls so low, That Mammon's lure or Party's wile can win us

To silence now?

Now, when our land to ruin's brink is verging,

In God's name, let us speak while there is time ! Now, when the padlocks for our lips are forging,

Silence is crime!

What! shall we henceforth humbly ask as favors

Rights all our own? In madness shall we barter, For treacherous peace, the freedom Nature gave us,

God and our charter ?

Here shall the statesman forge his human fetters,

Here the false jurist human rights deny, And, in the church, their proud and skilled abettors

Make truth a lie ?

Torture the pages of the hallowed Bible,

To sanction crime, and robbery, and blood ? And, in Oppression's hateful service, libel

Both man and God ?

Shall our New England stand erect no longer,

But stoop in chains upon her downward way, Thicker to gather on her limbs and stronger

Day after day?

Oh, no; methinks from all her wild, green moun

tainsTrom valleys where her slumbering fathers lieFrom her blue rivers and her welling fountains,

And clear, cold sky

From her rough coast, and isles, which hungry

Ocean Gnaws with his surges—from the fisher's skiff, With white sail swaying to the billows' motion

Round rock and cliff

From the free fire-side of her unbought farmer

From her free laborer at his loom and wheel

[blocks in formation]
« ForrigeFortsæt »