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God works in all things; all obey
His first propulsion from the night: Ho, wake and watch !—the world is gray
With morning light!
THE PRISONER FOR DEBT.
Look on him through his dungeon grate
Feebly and cold, the morning light
As if it loathed the sight.
No grateful fire before him glows,
And yet the winter's breath is chill ;
The frequent ague thrill!
chained and desolate !
Just God! why lies that old man there?
A murderer shares his prison bed, Whose eye-balls, through his horrid hair,
Gleam on him, fierce and red;
Whene'er that ruffian's tossing limb,
What has the gray-haired prisoner done ?
Has murder stained his hands with gore ? Not so; his crime's a fouler one;
GOD MADE THE OLD MAN POOR !
Old prisoner, dropped thy blood as rain On Concord's field, and Bunker's crest,
And Saratoga's plain ?
And fling the starry banner out;
Give back their cradle-shout:
But when the patron cannon jars,
That prison's cold and gloomy wall And through its grates the stripes and stars
Rise on the wind and fall
that prisoner's aged ear
Unworthy freemen, let it find
Of God and human kind!
WRITTEN ON READING PAMPHLETS PUBLISHED BY CLER
GYMEN AGAINST THE ABOLITION OF THE GALLOWS.
The suns of eighteen centuries have shone
Since the Redeemer walked with man, and made The fisher's boat, the cavern's floor of stone,
And mountain moss, a pillow for his head; And He, who wandered with the peasant Jew,
And broke with publicans the bread of shame,
And drank, with blessings in his Father's name, The water which Samaria's outcast drew, Hath now his temples upon every shore,
Altar and shrine and priest,--and incense dim
Evermore rising, with low prayer and hymn, From lips which press the temple's marble floor, Or kiss the gilded sign of the dread Cross He bore
Yet as of old, when, meekly “doing good,"
How ill are his high teachings understood'!
At his own altar binds the chain anew; Where He hath bidden to Life's equal feast,
The starving many wait upon the few; Where He hath spoken Peace, his name hath been The loudest war-cry of contending men; Priests, pale with vigils, in his name have blessed The unsheathed sword, and laid the spear in rest, Wet the war-banner with their sacred wine, And crossed its blazon with the holy sign; Yea, in his name who bade the erring live, And daily taught his lesscă-to forgive !
Twisted the cord and edged the murderous steel; And, with his words of mercy on their lips, Hung gloating o'er the pincer's burning grips,
And the grim horror of the straining wheel; Fed the slow flame which gnawed the victim's limb, Who saw before his searing eye-balls swim
The image of their Christ in cruel zeal, Through the black torment-smoke, held mockingly
to him !
The blood which mingled with the desert sal i,
And beaded with its red and ghastly dew The vines and olives of the Holy Land
The shrieking curses of the hunted JewThe white-sown bones of heretics, where'er They sank beneath the Crusade's holy spear, Goa's dark dungeons-Malta's sea-washed cell,
Where with the hymns the ghostly fathers sung Mingled the groans by subtle torture wrung,
Heaven's anthem blending with the shriek of hell !
Of Smithfield, and that thrice-accursed flame
When guilt itself a human tear might claim,-
When the great truth begins at last to find
An utterance from the deep heart of mankind, Earnest and clear, that ALL REVENGE IS CRIME! That man is holier than a creed,—that all Restraint
upon him must consult his good, Hope's sunshine linger on his prison wall, And Love look in
Who shall arrest this tendency ?-Bring back
to a brother's pain ?
Grope in the shadows of Man's twilight time, What mean ye, that with ghoul-like zest ye brood, D'er those foul altars streaming with warm blood,
Permitted in another age and clime ?