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Poems (XHTML)


An 1883 volume of mixed evangelical and antislavery poems, by African American abolitionist Alfred Gibbs Campbell. Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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My printer says that every book ought to have a preface, and he has called upon me for one for this. I will therefore simply say that, acting upon the suggestion of personal friends and in accordance with my own inclination, I have here gathered in a volume, (rather promiscuously it must be confessed,) various pieces in verse which I have written during the past thirty years or so. For want of a more distinctive name, I call them “Poems,” which possibly, in a minor sense, they may be. I claim for them no literary excellence. If in them there is anything worthy of living, it will live.

The Anti-slavery pieces will show the author’s position in that great “moral warfare,” which resulted in the overthrow of the giant crime

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against human nature and its Divine Author. They were published, at the time they were written, in the papers devoted to that subject: and but few of the pieces in the book are now printed for the first time.

Should their appearance in this form afford pleasure to my friends, I shall be gratified.



Newark, N. J.

April 7th, 1883.


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On the Deep, ------------------------------ 1

Caleb’s Vision, ---------------------------- 5

The Divine Mission, ------------------------12

Ode to Death, ----------------------------- 16

A Paraphrase, ----------------------------- 18

To a Young Mother, ----------------------- 20

Invocation, --------------------------------- 23

Musings, ----------------------------------- 24

Questionings, ------------------------------- 25

My Mother’s Grave, ------------------------ 27

Life’s Pilgrimage, ---------------------------- 29

I Would Be Free, ----------------------------32

Xerxes, ------------------------------------- 34

Cry “Infidel,” -------------------------------- 35

A Land Above Us, -------------------------- 37

Death’s Death, ------------------------------ 39

Drifting, -------------------------------------- 40

[page vi]

To My Absent Wife, -------------------------- 41

Advent, --------------------------------------- 43

National Song, -------------------------------- 45

Redeemed, ------------------------------------ 47

Go Ahead, ------------------------------------- 49

Abraham Lincoln, -------------------------------51

Album Dedication, ------------------------------54

Album Pieces, ----------------------------------55, 57, 59

Of Death and Life, ------------------------------ 60

Invitation to the Clergy, -------------------------- 63

Warning, ---------------------------------------- 65

The Doom of Slavery, --------------------------- 67

The Virginian’s Appeal, -------------------------- 70

Slaves’ Prayer, ---------------------------------- 72

In Tyrannos, ------------------------------------- 75

Liberty, ------------------------------------------ 78

July 4th, 1855, ----------------------------------- 80

July 4th, 1857, ----------------------------------- 83

Old John Brown, --------------------------------- 85

A Battle-Cry, ------------------------------------- 87

Waiting for Day, ---------------------------------- 89

Victory, -------------------------------------------93

In Memoriam—Abbie Hutchinson, ---------------- 94

In Memoriam—Rev. F. E. Butler, ----------------- 96

Consolatory, -------------------------------------- 98

Ships at Sea, -------------------------------------- 100

Prayer for Temperance Meeting, ------------------- 101

[page vii]

God Shall be All in All, ----------------------------- 103

Jesus, Give Me of Thy Spirit, ----------------------- 105

Morning Hymn, ------------------------------------- 107

Blessed Jesus, Who for Me, ------------------------ 109

God is Love, ---------------------------------------- 111

Inscription on a Child’s Tombstone, ----------------- 112

I Will Trust the Crucified, ---------------------------- 113

If Thou, Dear Lord, Art Mine, ----------------------- 115

Oft as I Hear the Story, -------------------------------117

New Year’s Musings, ---------------------------------119

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Hard at their oars the fishers toiled,
But adverse winds their labors foiled;
Torn into shreds, their useless sail,
Streamed out upon the angry gale;
No nearer drew their destined port;
Their bark, the tempest’s mock and sport,
High on the waves was wildly tossed,
Till every human hope seemed lost.
Yet strained their vision through the night
To catch some gleam of coming light;
When, lo! to their astonished eyes
What vision of affright doth rise?
A form of self-poised majesty
Walking upon the stormy sea.
In vain the billows round him rise,
The wind in vain its fury tries;

[page 2]
He heeds them not, but through the dark
Walks calmly toward the laboring bark.
“No mortal thus the waves can thread!
“It is a spirit from the dead!
“Some dreadful harbinger of doom
“Burst from the darkness of the tomb.”
As thus they spake with bated breath,
Dire fancies of impending death
Stole o’er their souls in wild array,
And overwhelmed them with dismay.
Their very heart’s blood felt a chill
Which brake the link twixt act and will;
They stood as stone-carved statues still.
Nor had they power to ask his name
As nearer now the stranger came;
But accents which they knew full well,
Dissolved at once the fearful spell;
A voice in softest music said,
“Lo! it is I! be not afraid!”
Then all their terror fled apace;
Joy tinted each fear-whitened face;
Their hearts, which erst had ceased to beat,
Pulsated with a rapture sweet;
The Master’s voice a holy calm
Shed on their souls, like healing balm.

[page 3]
The raging winds, the surging sea,
Acknowledged His supremacy;
(He could command what He had made,)
And the mad turbulence was stayed.
No more the sailors toil in vain;

            His will, who quelled the furious gale,
            Supplies the place of oars and sail,

And straight their destined port they gain. 

So when, upon Life’s changeful sea,
Winds howl and waves rise furiously,
If my lone bark shall, tempest driven,
Strive vainly toward the port of Heaven;
Should clouds and darkness intervene
My soul and God’s pure light between,
And neither sun nor star shall be seen;
Should hope and joy afar be fled,
And my sad soul, disquieted,
Grope darkly for some ray of light
To guide it through the stormy light;
Then, Jesus, Master, let my eyes
Behold Thy glorious form arise,
With such a mien, in such a guise,
That I my Lord may recognize!
Let Thy dear voice upon my ear
Fall with its words of holy cheer!

[page 4]
Be Thou my fellow-voyager!
Then shall the wild winds sink to sleep
And placid grow the raging deep;
Darkness and storm shall quickly fly,
And leave unclouded all my sky;
My soul, no longer tempest-driven,
Shall find in Thee its joy, its Heaven!

[page 5]
Caleb went, as was his custom

            On a quiet Sunday morn,

To the house of prayer and worship,

            Thither by devotion borne.

With his heart to Heaven uplifted,

            All his soul engaged in prayer,

Caleb in his inmost being

            Felt God’s gracious presence there.

Rose the organ’s diapason,

            Deep, majestical and wild,

And the singers sang a chorus

            To the praise of Mary’s child.

Soon the song to silence melted,

            Died the organ-tones away,

And the pastor in the pulpit

            Said in low voice, “Let us pray!”

[page 6]
In most earnest supplication

            Then the good man’s voice uprose,

For a world in darkness lying,

            For its wickedness and woes,

All by one man’s sin engendered,

            All by Adam’s fatal fall,

Which, the pastor said, hath all men

            Wrapped within its fearful pall.

When the pastor ceased his praying,

            In the pulpit stood up one

Whose high brow with care was furrowed,

            Darkened by an Orient sun,

And he told, in strains pathetic,

            Of a distant eastern clime,

Where, by superstition fettered,

            Sunk in ignorance and crime,

All the people worshiped idols,

            Gods which their own hands had made,

Vainly thinking, in their blindness,

            Earth-born gods could give them aid.

[page 7]
And as Caleb heard the story

            All his heart within him burned,

And his soul with deep compassion

            For that wretched people yearned.

Now before his spirit’s vision

            These sad scenes began to glide:

Mothers their own children casting

            Headlong ’neath the rolling tide


Of the Ganges, monster haunted,

            Counting love maternal naught;

Nature’s holiest instincts vanquished

            By the faith which they are taught.

Multitudes, self-immolating,

            Deeming their salvation bought

By a death beneath the pond’rous

            Wheels of gory Juggernaut.

On the funeral-pyre, the widow,

            Lying down beside the dead,

While the red flames, hot and savage,

            Leap in fury overhead.

[page 8]
Age defenceless, left to perish

            On the alter-river’s bank,

Mid dark vapors thence uprising,

            With foul, poisonous odors rank;

No kind friend to sit beside them,

            Or to close the glazing eye;

Naught save the cold stars above them,

            Keeping watch, as thus they die.

Stifled cry of drowning infant,

            Bleeding victim’s dying groan,

Piercing shriek of burning widow,

            Age’s low expiring moan,

With a strange and untold horror

            All his spirit overcast,

As the dreadful panorama

            Rolled in sad distinctness past.

“Neither gold nor silver have I,

            But myself to them I give;

I will bear to them the Gospel,

            That they, hearing it, may live.”

[page 9]
Such was Caleb’s earnest answer

            To the preacher’s solemn call

On the worshippers of Him who

            Said, “My gospel preach to all.”

Homeward Caleb went, still burning

            With a new and holy fire;

The salvation of the heathen

            His most ardent, sole desire.

Having first himself committed

            To the Great All-Father’s care,

And his consecration offered,

            All his purposes laid bare,

On his peaceful coach lay Caleb,

            In a quiet slumber bound,

When had Night her jeweled curtain

            Drawn the weary earth around;

And a vision was vouchsafed him;

            Stood an angel by his bed,

Clothed in robes of spotless beauty,

            Radiance streaming from his head;

[page 10]
And he spake in accents softer

            Than the south wind’s gentlest sigh,

“Fear not, Caleb, I am sent thee

            From the Lord who rules on High,

“Sent to say thy consecration

            And thy vows have all been heard;

He doth graciously accept them,

            In His book they’re registered.

“Go, on God’s own strength relying,

            Raise Immanuel’s standard high,

Teach the poor, benighted millions

            How to live and how to die.

“Tell them of God’s great compassion;

            Of His tender heart which yearns

Like a mother’s o’er her children;

            Of His love which brightly burns

“With a steady flame, undying,

            With an energy divine,

Seeking all the lost and ruined,

            Who in sin and misery pine.

[page 11]
“Tell them of His incarnation,

            Of His earthly life and loss,

How for them He greatly suffered,

            How for them He bore the cross.

“Be thou faithful to the message,

            Shrink not, fear not, though thou be

Often weary of thy life-work,

            Think what Christ hath done for thee.

“In His strength go forward boldly,

            Bear the banner of the Cross,

And its victories shall surely

            Compensate thy every loss.

“And thy soul’s most ardent wished

            Shall be more than satisfied,

In the hosts who heed thy message

            And accept the Crucified.

“And when thou thy task hast finished,

            When thy earthly work is o’er,

Heaven its doors shall open to thee,—

            Thine its joys for evermore!”

[page 12]
When on the earth had settled moral night,
And darkness reigned where once shone Sinai’s light;
When superstitious rites usurped the place
Where beamed Religion once with holy grace;
When Justice, Truth and Mercy far had fled
From Church and State, and hollow forms instead—
Tithings of “anise, mint and cummin,” made
For sanctimonious priests a thriving trade,
Who, like our modern priests, gain-seeking men,
God’s holy temple made a robbers’ den;—
At such a time, long centuries ago,
From heaven’s high mansions to the earth below
An angel band, on gladsome errand bound,
Sped to the plains where, seated on the ground,
The humble shepherds through the solemn night
Watched their beloved flocks, and gathered pure delight
And holy wisdom, which each glowing star
Rained on them with its radiance from afar.
Around the shepherds shone celestial light,
(Each gem eclipsing in the crown of night,)

[page 13]
Making them quake with apprehensive dread,
But momentary, for God’s angel said,
“Fear not, I bring glad tidings unto all
“People who dwell on this terrestrial ball.”
Then Heaven’s high dome with sounds harmonic rang
As the angelic host in concert sang
“Glory to God! Good-will and peace on earth!”
Most fitting song to usher in the birth
Of Heaven’s divinest Son, whose mission grand
Eternal Love had from eternal planned!
* * * * * * *
Lo! in a manger where the oxen fed,
The Son of God made His first lowly bed;
He who, on high, with glory erst was crowned,
No prouder birth-place than a stable found.
As in our time the North-star’s steady ray
Guides weary pilgrims on their toilsome way
From bondage worse than that of Pharaoh’s reign,
So there appeared, among the shining train,
One flaming star which like a beacon shone,
And from the East-land led the sages on,
Who, finding Jesus, worshiped him, and rolled
Full at His feet their gifts of precious gold,
And incense-breathing gums, whose odors rare
Symboled the fragrance of their praise and prayer.

[page 14]
When unto manhood had the Christ-child grown,
Sunlike, but spotless, His example shone,
Teaching the world great truths which long had been
Hid by traditions false and priestly din.
He trampled on the vain and hollow rites
Practices by vainer, hollower hypocrites,
Who hoped by them to bring the heavens in debt,
Or blind the omniscient eye of God, while yet
They daily added to their ill-got store
By stealing bread from God’s afflicted poor,
And still contrived how they might still steal more!
The poor, the blind, the outcast and the slave,
The victims of the rich, proud Pharisee,
These were the sharers of His sympathy,
These were the ones he Loved to bless and save.
Oh! Holy Christ, Thy mission is not done;
Still on oppression shines the noon-day sun;
Thy children still are trampled in the dust,
‘Neath the remorseless heel of power crushed.
Dost Thou not hear their grief-extorted cry?
Look’st Thou not on them still with pitying eye?
Behold, the Oppressor waxes yet more bold,
And grasps them with a tighter, sterner hold,
While, as of old, the Church and priesthood stand

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Leagued with Thy foes, and claiming Heaven’s command
For all their deeds of villainy and crime
Which stain with human blood the page of time.
But as unto the least of Thine ‘tis done,
‘Neath night’s dark cover, or the blazing sun,
So is it done to Thee, and Thou wilt yet
Thy majesty and power vindicate!

[page 16]
            ODE TO DEATH.
Blessed Death! thou op’st the door
To the Grand Forevermore!
Unto thee the task is given
To unbar the gates of Heaven!
Thou alone dost hold the keys
Of eternal harmonies!
Thou the secrets dost rehearse
Of the wondrous universe!
Thou art God’s interpreter
Of the mysteries which stir
To its depths the human soul
Longing for its final goal!
Universal friend thou art,
Healing every broken heart!
Ultra Abolitionists,
Breaking the chains as thou dost list!
Stern emancipator, thou
Layest petty despots low;
Breakest every captive’s chain;
Soothest every sufferer’s pain;

[page 17]
Driest every mourner’s tears;
Quellest all our timorous fears;
Thou shalt fold the human race
In thy loving, dear embrace,
Opening to our failing eyes
Panoramas of the skies.
Fear shall not out bosoms stir,
Welcome! God’s messenger!

[page 18]

            A PARAPHRASE.

One, dressed in purple and linen,
Sat at his ease, in state;
The other, a leprous beggar,
Lay at the rich man’s gate:
Dainty and rare were the viands
On which the rich man fed;
Happy indeed was the beggar
To get but a crust of bread;
With costly and odorous ointments
The rich man’s house abounds,
While never a box of cerate
Has the beggar for his wounds;
And the dogs came forth and licked them,
Richer in sympathy
Than the proud and selfish rich man
Who spurned him heartlessly.
The rich man died, and was buried
With gorgeous and solemn show;
For a rich man’s gold then purchased
Funereal honors, as now;

[page 19]
But, reckless of these, he lifted
From Hell his imploring eyes,
And beheld the once spurned beggar
Full happy in Paradise,
While he himself was tormented
With fiercely exquisite pain.
Then cried he to Father Abraham,
But alas! he cried in vain;
For, as he had meted to others,
It was measured to him again!

[page 20]

            TO A YOUNG MOTHER.

Another life from Life’s Fountain,
Hath flowed through thy life into being,
And entered a deathless existence.
The sun may go down in a darkness
Which never a dawn-streak shall follow;
The stars may stray from their orbits
And be found not again forever;
The earth may, by fires internal
Be burned into stark desolation;
But thy first-born, little Alameda,
Will live, and live on, while God lives.
Here is work for thy heart, and thy brain, and thy
This innocent, plastic immortal
Is God’s beneficent task to thee, Mother!
In eternity will thy work be examined and tested.

[page 21]
God’s workwoman now, thou holdest a high com-
Those little feet shall walk in the paths thou direct-
Those little hands shall work good or ill at thy
Those little eyes shall dance to the music of thy
That little heart shall beat to the measure of thy own
That little soul shall expand with divine aspirations
Or grow loveless and stunted, as thou willest.
Behold then thy task, O! Mother; wisely survey
An angel might covet a work of such grandeur and
Dost thou shrink back appalled and affrighted?
God is not an Egyptian! For every task he
He also ordaineth the requisite strength and mater-

[page 22]
He knows poor humanity’s trials and weakness,
He well understands its tremulous shrinking and
And never His humblest worker had labor allotted,
Which God was not willing to share with him more
than half.
God waits but thy asking to meet thee.
Art thou weakness? He is strength overflowing.
Art though ignorance? He is wisdom, a fountain
Art thou darkness? He is light supernal, obscure-
Art thou poverty? He is wealth beyond computa-
And more than this, O, mother, He is love and He
loves thee.
His infinite heart yearns over thee and thy task.
Open wide to Him the doors of thy soul!
He will enter and fill it with love, which is God,
And therefore is all thou needest!

[page 23]
O love, descend and with celestial fire
Dissolve my iciness of soul! Dispel,
With thy supernatural light, the clouds which hang
Like phantoms terrible above my soul.
Within its foul and murky blackness earth
Hath me enshrouded, and no ray divine
From thy far distant sun peers through the gloom,
To chase its darkness and its frozen air.
Let not those horrid monsters twin, Grim Night
And Dreary Winter, reign in me for aye!
Thee I invoke, Spirit of Light divine!
Drive out the fell usurpers, and thy throne
Establish, and o’er all my soul do thou
Sway thy benignant scepter!

                        Reign thou there

Alone, supreme! With undivided rule
Subject all thoughts, affections, sentiments,
Emotions, aspirations, to thyself!
O! I would be thy child, and like to thee!
Would lean on thee as trustingly as sleeps
Upon its mother’s breast th’ unconscious babe.
Yea! in thy being’s boundless ocean, I
Would plunge, and lose myself, and be no more!

[page 24]
On Mother Earth’s fond bosom I delight to lie,
And gazing on the blue sky’s fathomless depths,
Lose consciousness of self among the stars,
Those tireless watchers whom the Infinite Love
Hath set above our world, while o’er my soul
Rolls the divinest harmony, making me one
With Nature and with God!

                                    One hour thus spent

Is worth whole years of earthly joy.
Wealth, Fame and Power are miserable toys,—
Yea, the whole world’s a bauble, in compare
With the serene delights of converse with the pure
And spiritual powers, who, from supernal heights,
Disdain not to instruct the seeking soul,
But gladly lift it to their God-lit realm.

[page 25]


Whence, O my soul! and wherefore, art thou
Mysterious inmost! tell me what art thou?
Where in the by-gone ages was thy home?
Where shall it be ages beyond the Now?
Wast living when the Architect Sublime
Laid the foundations of the Universe?
Didst thou behold this planet in its prime?
Didst hear the Sons of God their songs rehearse,
With which the boundless Vast re-echoed, when
His mighty voice from chaos spoke the earth,
Appointing it the dwelling-place of men,
Ere yet to them had oped the wondrous gates of birth?
And wast thou then with God, a part of God,
A part of that Great, Central, Living Soul
Whose sovereign Will spread all the heavens abroad,
Called into being worlds, and guides the whole?
If thou (as some philosophers would say),
Art thus of God a part disintegrate,
Imprisoned for a time in worthless clay,
But destined still to a deific state,—
To reabsorption in the Infinite,—

[page 26]
Why thus art fettered in the murky tomb
Of earth’s soul-dungeon, where no certain light
From Light’s Eternal Source dispels the gloom?
Is it for discipline? What need hath God
To learn, who is Himself the Primal Fount
Of Wisdom? To what end the weary road
Of life terrestrial, whence so hard to mount
To heaven’s serener clime? Is ‘t punishment?
Hath God then sinned? And doth God punish God?
If thou canst fathom the Divine intent,
Solve this dark problem, and cast light abroad?

[page 27]

            MY MOTHER’S GRAVE

Beneath this mound her hallowed ashes lie;

In this dark grave her weary form reposes,

And all of her which death could cause to die,

In its embraces cold this tomb incloses.

Above her tomb I stand and, longing, cry—

            Cry to her as in days of old, still longing

Amid the silence for some sweet reply

            From her dear voice, while holy mem’ries thronging

Around my spirit, whisper prophecies

            That I shall not for aye be disappointed;

By holy yearnings, longings such as these,

            Shall my dull ears and tear-dimmed eyes, anointed.

Be well prepared to hear her angel voice,

            To see her robed in beauty like the morning,

To walk with her the endless range of joys

            Which ever on the earth-freed soul is dawning.

[page 28]
But Oh, my mother! I would hear thee now:

            Speak to me now from out the heavens above me!

Speak as when round me thou thine arms didst throw,

            And thy dear kisses fondly said, “I love thee!”

Alas! thou answerest not! Silence profound

            Engulfs me as I linger at the portal

Of this dark, narrow house, wherein lies bound

            In death’s cold chains, all that of thee was mortal.

Yet I shall meet thee, when no longer this

            Dull earth shall keep my spirit in its prison;

Shall know the rapture of thy holy kiss

            In climes to which thy happy soul has risen.

For thou ‘lt await me, when its galling chain

            My soul shall break through, and Time’s fetters scorning,

Rise to that land where neither grief not pain

            Shall cloud the sun of the God’s eternal Morning!

[page 29]

            LIFE’S PILGRIMAGE.

Earth hath no true reality;
Its brightest gems doth time corrode;
Decay is marked on all we see,
And Life is but a weary word,
A sad and weary road to those
Whose sole resource is outward good;
Who never felt the anguished throes
Of earnest longings after God,
Nor heard, in answer to their prayer,
The still small voice of God reply,
“Look, look within thy soul, for there
Behold My dwelling-place have I,
“And I am with thee to uphold,
To guard thee with a Father’s care,
And lead thee to the chosen fold
Which for My children I prepare.”

[page 30]
But they who thus have heard His voice
Speak peace and calmness to their souls,
Knowing that they are His, rejoice,
Ev’n though affliction’s torrent rolls,
And whelms them ‘neath its darksome tide;
‘Tis but the baptism of His love,
Through which their spirits, purified,
Behold His smiling face above.
In every drear vicissitude
They recognize a Father’s hand;
And direst evils change to good,
By love paternal wisely planned.
Should monsters crouch along their way,
Or shadows from the vale of death
Cast deep’ning gloom across the day,
‘Tis but to exercise their faith.
By faith are shut the monsters’ jaws,
And deepest night doth day become,
While each succeeding trial draws
The faithful nearer to their home.

[page 31]
Though in Humiliation’s vale
Awhile their souls may mourn and sigh,
Soon their enraptured eyes shall hail,
From Joy’s sure mount, the scenes which lie
Before them stretching bright and fair,
Brighter than poet’s fairest dreams;
While heavenly music fills the air,
And God’s smile o’er their pathway beams.
Thus shall they upward, onward press,
To Heaven’s serene and changeless clime,
Whose unimaginable bliss
Shall compensate the woes of Time!

[page 31]

            I WOULD BE FREE.

I would be free! I will be free!
What though the world laugh at me?
To me alike are its smiles and its frowns,
I trample in scorn of its riches; and crowns
Are worthless to me as the heads which wear them.
O! how can humanity bear them?
I would be free! I will be free!
Free, though the world laugh at me!
I smile at its jeers and spurn its control,
And ne’er to its fetters shall bend my soul;
Let those who have need of a master wear them,
But never can my spirit bear them.
I would be free! I will be free!
And Truth shall my leader be!
Yea, whither she leads shall my willing feet
Joyfully tread in her footprints; and sweet
Shall her lessons be to my hungering soul!
To my thirsting and hungering soul.

[page 33]
I would be free! I will be free!
Though scorching my pathway be;
I can cheerfully bear the cross, and dare
The lot of my chosen leader to share;
And the cross shall be lighter than air to me,
For Truth shall my guide and helper be!

[page 34]
When the proud monarch, from the hill-top,
The plains beneath him covered with his troops,
And, on the sea beyond, his gallant ships,
His heart swelled big with vanity and pride.
“I, Xerxes, am beyond all kings, the Great!
The hills I level, and through mountains carve
A goodly pathway for my stately fleet,
And millions come and go at my behest.”
But, in the midst of this vain-glorious boast,
One thought humiliated all his pride:
“Where, in a hundred years, shall all this pomp,
These fleets and armies, and their master, be?

“Of this proud host not one shall be alive!”
And at this thought the monarch bowed his head,

While from his eyes fell unavailing tears
That he must meet a greater conqueror!

[page 35]

            CRY “INFIDEL”!

If you find a man who does not receive
The doctrines you have been taught to believe,

                        Spare him not! Cry “Infidel!”

If he worships not at the shrines you raise,
Joins not in your feasts on your holy days,

                                                Cry “Infidel!”

What though his heart with love overflow
To the victims of sin and want and woe,

                        Spare him not! Cry “Infidel!”

What though, in the long-waged fearful night,
He is ever found on the side of Right,

                                                Cry “Infidel!”

What though in each fellow-man he see
An image of Him of Calvary,

                        Spare him not! Cry “Infidel!”

What though he endeavor each soul to win
From the fearful paths of folly and sin,

                                                Cry “Infidel!”

[page 36]
What right has he to think other than you?
To judge for himself what is false or true?

                        Spare him not! Cry “Infidel!”

Wherefore have you been commissioned to preach,
If any may question the dogmas you teach?

                                                Cry “Infidel!”

Make him acknowledge you only are right,
That you hold the keys of the portals of light;

                        Spare him not! Cry “Infidel!”

Until he consent your fetters to wear,
And conscience and reason both to forswear,

                                                Cry “Infidel!”

[page 37]

            A LAND IS ABOVE US.

Dost thou ever feel a longing
For a purer, happier land,
Where no vexing sorrows thronging
Round thy pathway ever stand?
Dost thou feel a secret yearning
For a home where all is bright;
Where earth’s care is never turning
All thy pleasures into blight?
O! there is a land above us
Only by immortals trod,
And those happy beings love us,
And would lead us unto God.
We may hear them, if we listen,
In the silent midnight hours;
May behold their bright eyes glisten,
Bending lovingly to ours.

[page 38]
And their happy voices, falling
On the spirit’s listening ear,
In celestial tones are calling
To their holy, happy sphere.
That bright land we may inherit,
All its happiness may share;
By our Saviour’s boundless merit
We may have our portion there.
Christ will fill thy secret yearning,
Christ will yield thee true delight,
If thy spirit, to Him turning,
Seek His wisdom and His light.
When His love for us had brought Him
To our world of sin and pain,
Never vainly mortal sought Him,
Never asked His aid in vain.
Then, with confidence relying
On His never-changing love,
Love supreme, divine, undying.
Seek His favor from above.
Then thy heart shall gain a treasure
Heaven alone to thee can bring:
Then thy soul shall know the measure
Of the songs the angels sing!

[page 39]

            DEATH’S DEATH

Though Death now seem triumphant, as he waves
His dreadful banner o’er a world of graves,
And feasts, with ghoulish glee, on broken hearts,
Bleeding and torn by his vindictive darts,
He shall not always reign: of power shorn,
The victor’s chaplet from his black brow torn,
Himself shall die: for he who wields his power
Hath not of immortality the dower.
O! Earth, rejoice!
Away with grief and tears;
Cast off your groundless fears;
Lift up your voice,
Your Great Deliverer greet!
The Son of God shall come,
Beneath His conquering feet
Death meet his doom,
The Devil be destroyed
And Hell made void!
Captivity shall captive be,

And Heaven and Earth hold jubilee!

[page 40]
Drifting on Life’s stormy sea,

   Tossed by raging wind and wave,

   Jesus, me from shipwreck save,

Dearest Lord, my pilot be.
Thou canst calm the tumult wild,

   Thou canst bid the raging cease,

   Thou canst speak the word of peace;

Speak it, Lord, and save Thy child.

Once Thy guidance lost, I drift

   On the rocks of bleak despair;

   Ah! how many shipwrecked there,

Nevermore shall hope uplift.
Jesus! if Thou take the helm,

   Safe to port my bark shall tend:

   Those who trust Thee to the end,

Tempests never can o’erwhelm!

[page 41]

            TO MY ABSENT WIFE

My dear, true wife,

   Life of my life,

And my heart’s solace only,

   Thou knowest not

   How drear my lot

Without thee, and how lonely!

   Yet well I know,

   Come weal or woe,

Thy heart is mine forever:

   Though Far apart

   From me thou art,

Our true souls naught can sever!

   What though the pall

   Of sorrow fall,

And shroud all things in sadness,

   Love’s holy light

   Shall banish night,

And change the gloom to gladness!

[page 42]

   Love cannot die!

   ’Tis Deity!

’Tis bliss, pure, bright, supernal;

   Though worlds shall fall

   To ruin,—all,

Yes, all of Love’s eternal!

[page 43]
No prophet speaks to-day,
No voice from heaven we hear;
Cheerless we grope our way
Through darkness and in fear.
Quenched are our Altar fires;
God hears not Israel’s cry;
Our Nation’s hope expires;
In deep despair we lie!
But hark! what means that shout
Which cleaves the midnight sky?
What joyous songs rings out
Their rapturous melody?
“Behold! is born this day
A Saviour, Christ, the Lord.”
A King shall He bear sway,
Nations shall hear His word!

[page 44]
Glory to God on high!
On earth to men goodwill!”

God hath heard Israel’s cry;

He loves His people still!
God speed the happy time
When fear and hate and crime

   Shall flee away:

When Love, her flag unfurled,
Shall o’er a ransomed world

   Hold peaceful sway.

[page 45]

            NATIONAL SONG.


            Stars which our banners light,

            Shine through oppression’s night,

Warning to tyrants and hope to the slave;

            Symbol of liberty,

            Fadeless forever be;

Happy the land where our bright banners wave!

            Stripes which our flag adorn,

            Like the first rays of morn,

Darkness dispersing and heralding day:

            Joyful your mission be,

            Truthful your prophecy,

Happy the land under Liberty’s sway!


            Flag of the truly free,

            Despots before thee flee,

Victims of tyranny hail thee with pride;

            Emblem of liberty

            Thou shalt forever be:

Happy the land where her children abide!

[page 46]

            Joy to the nations all,

            Tyrants before thee fall,

Land of my love, when thy bright banners wave;

            Faithful thy children be,

            God still protecting thee,

Happy the land which His power shall save!

            Stars which our banners light,

            Shine through oppression’s night,

Terror of tyrants and joy of the slave!

            Brighter your orbs shall glow,

Purer your light shall flow;

            Happy the land where our bright banners wave!


            Lo! the glad word is spoke!

            Shattered be every yoke,

Stricken the chains from each down-trodden slave!

            Glory to God on high,

            God who gives Liberty,

God bless the land where our bright banners wave!

            Now for a hundred years,

            Through strife and blood and tears,

Dark though the way has been which we have trod,

            We have emerged from night,

            Clear shines the glorious light;

Proudly our banners wave! Glory to God!

[page 47]
The deep suspense is o’er;
The bloodless battle’s past;
Freedom from shore to shore,

                        Decreed at Last!

The People’s voice at length
Echoes the voice of God;
Shattered and reft of strength

                        The tyrant’s rod!


Columbia redeemed

From slavery’s bitter sway;
The name she once blasphemed,

                        Her hope and stay!

Purged by baptismal fires,
A purer life is hers;
With holier desires

                        Her new heart stirs!

[page 48]
Diviner the career
Which now before her opens;
God-chosen pioneer

                        Of human hopes!

Her stars shall henceforth shine
Beacons of Love and Light,
With radiance divine

                        Dispelling night!

God’s blessing evermore
Shall keep her true and free,
Till all the wide world o’er

                        Reigns Liberty!

November, 1864

[page 49]
            GO AHEAD!
Hark to what the angels say!

            Watch and pray

            While you may,

            Work alway,
Time is flying fast away!
O! my soul, they speak to you!
            Up and do,

            Still pursue,

            Put it through:

Soon shall prosper what is true!
Boldly battle, never fear!

            Drop no tear,

            You shall hear

            Words of cheer

From the ages, far and near,

[page 50]
Bidding you still go ahead!

            By these led,

            Go ahead,

            Though your bed

Be the ground on which you tread!
Error shall not reign for aye!

            It shall die;

            Wrong shall fly,

            And for aye
Truth shall reign and falsehood die!
Let the “good time” now begin!
            Pray it in,
            Work it in,
            Let all sin
Flee away. Let Right come in!
List to what the angels say!

            Work and pray,

            Watch always,

            Work away,
Soon shall dawn the perfect day!

[page 51]
                        ABRAHAM LINCOLN.


Ah! our dead President!

            Bear him to rest,

            Him we loved best,

By God to us lent.
Heavy the burdens he bore

            Faithfully, cheerfully!

Now burdens for him no more!

            Lay him to rest,

                        Tenderly, tearfully,

            Him we loved best,

            Evermore blest!

Nobly his great work was done,

            Faithfully done!

                        Now he’s gone home;

            Home to abide,

            Home with the glorified!

[page 52]
Martyr of Truth and Right,
Who for thy country died,
Look from thy glorious height,

            How many million eyes

            Grief doth baptize

            With its sad sacrifice;

And while the hot tears fall
O’er our beloved’s pall,
List to the vows we make
            Over thy bier;
Hear now the oath we take
By the Great God above,
Him whose best name is Love,

            Name ever dear,

That thou avenged shalt be,
Perfectly, speedily;
Not by the death of those
Who were thy deadly foes;
Not by a bloody tide
Poured out on every side;

            Powerless this alone,

            Never could this atone

            For the assassin’s deed;

But the fell crime, whose power
Nerved, in that fatal hour,
Murderous heart and hand,

[page 53]

            Shall be with speed

Swept from thy native land.
Millions whom thou didst free,
(When God, through thy decree,
Blew his great trump of Liberty,)

            Standing redeemed indeed,

Shall help rebuild the State
Firm and regenerate,

            Ne’er to be torn again

                        By factions dire;

            Ne’er to be rent in twain

                        By Treason’s ire!

[page 54]


Flattery, fair but false, retire!
Off, incorrigible liar,
With thy tongue and pen of fire!
Here thy words are needed not:
Ever sacred be this spot
Unto LOVE,—which changes not;
Unto FRIENDSHIP, true and pure,
Which shall evermore endure,
As the earth’s foundation sure!
Unto TRUTH, whose words, though few,
Gently falling as the dew,
Have a power forever new!

[page 55]



            Dear Mrs. Montross,

            May no troubles e’er cross

Your journey through life, but may all

            Your pathway be bright,

            And your heart ever light,

With never a shadow at all.

            But if troubles come,

            (As doubtless will some,)

Meet bravely and conquer them all;

            For life, it is said,

            Is half sun and half shade;

Some shadows on every heart fall.

            Though clouds hide the sun,

            They will fly, one by one,

And brightly he’ll shine as before;

            Then in shade or sun

            Journey cheerfully on

To where shadows fall nevermore;

[page 56]

            To those realms above

            Where joy, peace, and love

Have forever fixed their abode;

            Where all souls at last,

            Their kind discipline past,

Shall dwell in the bosom of God!

[page 57]

            WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM.

Human life is all a mystery,—

            Dark and dreary, wild and sad;

Every heart hath the same history,

            Strugglings ‘twixt the good and bad;

Right and Wrong forever striving

            For the mastery of the soul;

Upward, downward, ever driving

            Toward or from the Heavenly goal.

In this whirl of wild confusion

            Who shall guide the weary soul?

Who shall heal the heart’s contusion,

            And the bruised reed make whole?

Christ will guide thee, youthful maiden,

            If thou wilt His guidance seek,

Lead thee to the happy Aiden

            Where no tears shall wet thy cheek;

[page 58]
Where His love shall bless, and ever

            Satisfy thy longing soul,

And a cloud of sadness never

            O’er thy happy being roll!


[page 59]


On the stream of wedded life

            Hath your bark begun to glide;

Oh! may no sad breath of strife

            Ever ruffle its smooth tide.

May your skies be ever bright,

            And your heart forever free

From the sorrows which can blight

            Hopes that now thrill joyously.

May each happy, youthful dream

            Yours in full fruition be,

As you float adown the stream

            To the broad, eternal sea.

O’er that broad sea may you find

            Haven of delightful rest,

Where love still your souls shall bind,

            And you be forever blest!


[page 60]

            OF DEATH AND LIFE

I know that I shall die;
But wherefore should I sigh?
Did sighing e’er abate
Inevitable fate?
The grave is dark and drear;
But what have I to fear?
Nor pain nor pleasure’s hid
Beneath the coffin’s lid.
My friends will me forget;
But why should I regret?
Nor human love nor hate
I then reciprocate.
But all is cold and dark;
No unextinguished spark
Of life to me remains,
Of hopes, or joys, or pains.

[page 61]
Yet fear I not the foe;
But, ready for Death’s blow,
Resignedly await
Inexorable fate.
But Death, the monster cold,
Shall not forever hold
My soul in his embrace;
For death shall end his race.
Yes, Death destroyed shall be,
And immortality,
(God’s gracious gift to man,)
Complete His wondrous plan.
Then shall Death’s victims be
From his dominion free,
Reborn as Sons of God,
With His own life endowed.
Then shall Love’s gentle reign
Bind, with electric chain,
Each human heart to each,
Far as the race shall reach.

[page 62]
And Earth, in harmony
With all the Heaven’s, shall be
Christ’s Heritage restored,
The Kingdom of our Lord!

[page 63




Ho! Preachers of His Gospel who
Salvation came to bring,
Rest from your labors for awhile,
And join our gathering!
Ye servants of the Living God!
Your fealty cast aside,
And with us for a single day
Stand on the Devil’s side!
What boots it that we open wide
Another door to woe,
Through which a still increasing tide
Of human souls shall flow?
Hell must be peopled; and our plan
Is quite the surest one;
Our railway’s a descending grade,
Our cars the swiftest run.

[page 64]
Not faster do the waters plunge
Adown Passaic’s steep,
Not swifter do the lightnings fly
Athwart the vaulted deep,
Than our good train, when once she starts,
With freight of priceless souls,
Speeds to the pit where, deep and dark,
Perdition’s Ocean rolls.
Then come with us and view the train;
The depot consecrate;
Where God’s voice in the cataract speaks,
Rum’s reign inaugurate!
Ho! Servants of the Living God!
Your fealty cast aside,
And with us, for a single day,
Stand on the Devil’s side!

NOTE.—In the year 1859 a party leased the “Cottage on the Cliff,” at the Passaic Falls, Paterson, N. J., proposing to open a first-class restaurant and drinking-saloon. In order to give éclat to his venture, he projected a grand civic and military procession in connection with the inauguration of his “Hotel,” to which he invited the principal citizens and the clergy of Paterson. So cleverly was the affair managed, that many were drawn into participation therein, without seeing clearly the drift of the thing. The above lines were written to show the affair in its true character.


[page 65]


Treason? Yes, make it treason, if ye will;
Build up your gallows, and your victims bring
Forth from their gloomy dungeon; bind their hands;
Tie, with your pious fingers, round their necks,
The consecrated rope; touch then the spring
And let the traitors drop! There let them hang,
A solemn sacrifice unto your god;
Call in your priests. Let Stuart, Dewey, Lord,
Spencer and Spring, and all their train attend
To join your holy sacrament, and chant,
In pleasing concord, praise unto the great
And most puissant deity whose throne
Is built on human souls, and laved with seas
Of human blood. Aye! Let their thankful songs
With Hell’s hoarse shouts of diabolic joy
Ascend in unison,—precious indeed
To Modern Moloch as the agony
Of the fond mother when her child is snatched
From her maternal grasp, to be no more
Clasped lovingly upon her bosom, or
The piercing shriek of the poor hunted slave
Torn piecemeal by his bloodhounds.

[page 66]

                                                But take heed!

Know that a day of reckoning is at hand,
For God is just! His Justice will not sleep
Forever! Even now behold how shakes
This guilty nation from its centre round
Unto its broad circumference. In wrong
Were its foundations laid, and crime inwrought
Into its structure. It must fall! The slave
Shall o’er its ruins make his exodus
From curséd bondage: and as Israel’s hosts
Saw their oppressors utterly destroyed,
(When God had wrought deliverance from their foes,)
And sang His great salvation,—so the bound
And stricken millions of our land shall stand
Freed from their shackles, and the arm of God,
Made bare in their deliverance, they shall see
Strike sorely their oppressors.

                                                Then shall they

Exult and sing—“God is our strength and song!
In glory hath He triumphed o’er our foes,
And led us forth in mercy and redeemed!”

NOTE.—In 1851 several colored men were indicted for treason because of their resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law.


[page 67]


Slavery shall not reign for aye,
Though exalted to the sky;
Even now the doom is nigh,
For a just God reigns on high.
What though earth and hell oppose?

Still the stream of Progress flows:

Ever hath the Truth uprose
From beneath the feet of foes,
Brighter, stronger, fairer than
When the battle first began;
Forward, then!—lead on the van;
Onward! Friends of God and man!
Shackled millions call on you:
“To yourselves and God be true:”
There’s a vast work yet to do!
Forward, brothers, put it through!

[page 68]
Not alone be Kansas’ plains
Rescued from the clank of chains;
But, wherever Slavery reigns,
Every spot his foot profanes,
Let your earnest efforts be
Freely given to make free;
Rest not until Liberty
Wear the crown of victory.

Slavery, Union, Compromise,

(Foulest of all trinities,)
Throned upon a tower of lies,
Are the nation’s deities.

Hurl these false Gods from their throne!

Snatch from Slavery’s brow the crown!

Tear the blood-stained Union down!
Trample Compromises down!
Long humanity hath bled;
Justice far away hath fled;

Truth seemed numbered with the dead;

God is silent overhead!

[page 69]
But, Humanity shall rise!
Justice (with unbandaged eyes)

Shall avenge the blood which cries—

Shall avenge Truth’s sacrifice!
God shall triumph over Wrong,

Though intrenched in fortress strong;

He shall smite her guilty throng,
Though his suffering seem long.
Then, upon the side of Right,
Let us ever stand and fight,
Till the blackest hosts of night
By the Truth are put to flight;
Till the morning dawn, whose rays

Force and Fraud and Fear shall chase,

And fair Freedom take her place,
Empress of the Human Race!

[page 70]

          A VIRGINIAN’S APPEAL.[1]

Shall Virginia sleep on
Till her liberties are gone?
Shall the plottings of her foes
Go unchecked beneath her nose?
Can she, unresisting, see
Women teach the A. B. C.?
No! that mystic trinity
Is the foe of slavery,
And those harmless looking letters

Yet may break our servants’ fetters,

And give Uncle Tom the key
To his prison-house, that he,
Taking legs, may run away,
Guided by the North-star’s ray.

[page 71]
This, Virginians, must not be!
Without “niggers” what are we?
Hungry, miserable sinners,
Who would cook our dainty dinners?

Who would till our farms and fields,

Gather in what harvest yields?
Who would all our work perform
In the house or on the farm?
Who, when money go quite tight,
Would refill our purses light,
If we could not “niggers” breed
For a sale in time of need?
Up! Up, to the rescue, then!
Act as it becometh men!
Let Marm Douglass promptly know
You’ll not stand the deadly blow
Which she aims at slavery
By her mystic A. B. C.
Let her know you’ve jails to let,
And a cell in one she’ll get
With her dangerous alphabet!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

She’s caged at last; for six months more
May we breathe freely as we did before.

[page 72]


O God! Look down and see

            Outraged Humanity

‘Neath the Oppressor’s rod!

            Give ear, O God,

To the despairing cries

            Which ever rise

From Thy down-trodden sons
And helpless ones
Whose hope’s alone in Thee!

            Oh! Set us free!

Thou who proud Pharaoh’s hosts

            And scornful boasts

Didst whelm beneath the wave,

            And Israel save

From their oppressor’s power,

            In darkest hour

Baring Thy mighty arm

            To shield from harm

The chosen of Thy heart,

            Take now our part!

[page 73]
Let us not always be
Ground down by tyranny,
Victims of giant wrong:

            Thou know’st how long

Our heavy load we’ve borne

            Of grief and scorn,

Our heavy load of shame;—

            Our very name

A nation’s idle jest,

            While on us rest

A nation’s fraud and force!

            Without remorse

They tread on us in the dust:

            Our hopes are crushed:

Yet our sad souls to Thee
Still turn, for only Thou

            Canst help us now!

Let us not seek in vain

            Thy help to gain!

Let thy righteous ire

            Rain down avenging fire

Uopn each tyrant’s head;

            Though we have bled

We ask not blood for blood!

[page 74]

            Let not a flood

Destroy as when, of eld,
Thine eye beheld
The world’s increasing crime.

            Spare for a time!

Alas! Their cup is filled,

            Their ruin willed,

Willed by their own proud hearts!

            Thy vengeful darts

Shall fall upon them. They

            Who erst did prey

Upon us, shall soon feel,

            Yea! sorely feel

Thy Chastisement, and we

            Shall yet be free!

To Thee the glory be,

            To Thee! to Thee!


[page 75]

            IN TYRANNOS.

Tyrants! Your doom is nigh:
Short is your reign:
Your bondmen’s wailing cry
To Heaven again
Hath risen, and the Infinite God
Whom ye have long denied,
Whom ye have long defied,
Prepareth his avenging rod
Whose chastisements shall fall,
And spread the hideous pall
Of desolation o’er your land,
And when your woe is direst, ye shall see
Those outraged bondmen, by the Lord set free,
Erect in majesty of manhood stand!

[page 76]
Though ye have said
“God is dead,”
Yet shall ye wake in dread
From your long and guilty dream:
Though his righteous judgments seem
Long delayed,
They are terrible and sure!
Though his mercy long endure,
Be afraid!
When his wrath, which seemed to sleep,
Shall arouse to its deepest deep,
It shall overwhelmingly sweep
Your refuge of lies away;
And in that day,
Beneath His rod,
Your souls shall say
“God is God!”
Too late shall ye believe!
Too late the truth perceive!
Ye have hugged the lie so long,
(Ye love it still,)
It hath bound its chain so strong

[page 77]
Around your will,
That ye cannot now turn back!
Ye chose Destruction’s track
With open eyes,
And your vision now is sealed
Till the judgment be revealed!
That shall your souls surprise,
That shall unscale your eyes,
And in that day
With new-found sight
And new-discovered light,
Your souls shall see
And, broken ‘neath His rod,
In anguish say
“God is God!”
September, 1860.

[page 78]
What! Boast of Freedom, while ye bind

   Three millions of your race in chains,

Whom ye have doomed to every kind

   Of outrage, torture, pains!


Prate loud of Liberty! And steal

   The infant from his cradle-bed;

And o’er him let the iron heel

   Of foul Oppression tread!


Boast of your Liberty! Then tear

   The baby from its mother’s breast!

Heed not her cries, or tears, or prayer—

   Stripes may put them to rest!

Praise God for freedom! and consign

   The maiden pure to Lust’s embrace!

Body and soul is she not thine—

   Bought in the marketplace?

[page 79]
Bless God you’re free! Then sunder all

   Affection’s dearest, holiest ties!

What right have slaves to feel at all?

   What claim to sympathies?

Have ye not heard God’s priest declare

   That they are slaves by Heaven’s decree?

That he has doomed them all to wear

   The badge of slavery?

Who then shall dare resist the Lord,

   Or fight against His holy will?

Do not th’ expounders of His word

   Say, slaves shall be slaves still?

Hold, hypocrites! These priestly lies

   Shall be no refuge in that day

When your huge tower of blasphemies
   Shall crumble away

Before the tower of Truth, which God

   Shall yet make Sovereign of the world,

Scattering its healing life abroad,

   While Wrong’s to ruin hurl’d.

July 4, 1853.

[page 80]


Wake not again the cannon’s thunderous voice,
Nor to the breeze throw out the stars and stripes;
‘Tis not the time to revel and rejoice
Beneath the shadow of our nation’s types—
Types of her ancient glory, present shame.
The stars have faded of her own renown,
For Liberty is but an empty name,
While Slavery wields the scepter, wears the crown.
Why should we to the lie, persistent, cling,
And falsely boast our freedom on this day?
What though we are not governed by a king?
A sterner tyrant o’er our land holds sway,
And tramples on the dearest rights of man;—
Transforms God’s image into merchandise;
Places free speech beneath his impious ban,
And all our God-given liberties denies.

[page 81]
Each foot of land within our wide domain
He claims as hunting-ground, whereon to chase
The hero-fugitive who breaks his chain,
And earns his freedom by advent’rous race.
On our limbs, too, the shackles he would bind;
Pluck out our hearts, or change them into stone;
Crush all our sympathies for human kind,
And bid us God and manhood to disown.
Give but a crust of bread to one of these
God’s weary wanderers in search of rest,
Point out to him the North-star as he flees,
Or make him but an hour your welcome guest;—
And on your head the Robber Despot lays
With violence his unrelenting hand,
And with imprisonment and fine repays
Simple obedience to God’s clear command.
We are not free! In every Southern State
Speech and Press are fettered;—and for him
Who dares speak out, the martyr-fires await,
Or hangman’s rope from tallest pine-tree’s limb.
We are not free! One man in every seven,
Throughout our false Republic, groans beneath
The vilest despotism under heaven,
Which leaves no hope of freedom but in death.

[page 82]
Nearly four millions in our land in chains!
One-half our country slave-land! And the whole
Man-hunting ground! And Kansas’ virgin plains,
(Once pledged to Freedom,) under the control
Of the Slave Power! Say, Boaster, are we free?
See if the huge lie blister not your lips:
Where Slavery reigns, there Freedom cannot be!
Light vanishes beneath the sun’s eclipse.

[page 83]

            JULY 4TH, 1857.

Hurrah for the fourth of July!

   Throw out your flag to the breeze!

Let your wild shouts ascend to the sky,

   And be merry and gay as you please.

But sad is the day to me,

   For sad are the thoughts it wakes

Of the millions in slavery,

   Of whose woes my soul partakes.

Every cut of the lash I feel!

   Their fetters my own limbs bear,

And their deeper griefs which words but conceal

   My spirit doth with them share!

I feel as the slave-mother, when

   Her babe from her bosom is torn

By demons incarnate in men

   Who God and humanity scorn.

[page 84]
I feel as the loving wife feels

   When her husband is snatched away;

As the fugitive, when at his heels

   He hears the fierce bloodhound’s bay;

And I scorn your hollow pageantry,

   And your false and mocking show

Got up in the name of Liberty,

   Who was murdered long ago!


[page 85]

            “OLD JOHN BROWN.”

“Swing up the traitor!” Let him die!
Truth, honor and sincerity
Are treason to Virginia’s laws,
Are fatal to Virginia’s cause,
And he who doth true courage show
Strikes an unpardonable blow.
“Swing up the traitor!” for the deed’s
Demanded by Virginia’s needs,
And all her broad dominion lies
In deepest peril, till he dies!
The truest man ye ever saw
Hang by Virginia’s glorious law!
“Swing up the traitor!” Who shall dare
Henceforth to taint Virginia’s air
With freedom’s word or honor’s breath?
Behold for such a traitor’s death.
As symbol of her sovereignty
Virginia hoists the gallows-tree.

[page 86]
“Swing up the traitor!” Though he be
Captive, yet Conqueror is he!
The blow he struck destroyed your power,
And prophesied the coming hour
When heaven’s avenging wrath shall fall,
And wrap your land in ruin’s pall.
That prophecy ye heard aright!
Your lips with terror pale to white,
For every north wind’s breath ye feel
Now seems your certain doom to seal,
And every midnight sound ye hear
Palsies your coward souls with fear!
Oh! Glorious “Traitor!” out to thee
Gushes my full heart’s sympathy!
Heroic Martyr, from thy tomb
Shall speak the awful voice of doom,
And ages hence they name shall be
The hallowed watchword of the Free.

[page 87]

            A BATTLE-CRY

Sons of Freedom, rise once more
‘Gainst a foe upon our shore,
Deadlier than all foes of yore;

     Down with Slavery!

Slavery’s hounds are on your track,
Hungry, fierce, and vengeful pack;
Send them howling, hellward back.

     Down with Slavery!

See your sons by Slavery slain,
Shed their blood like summer rain:
Shall their blood be shed in vain?

     Down with Slavery!

God directing every blow,
Strike with all the strength ye know
Lay the bloody Moloch low;

     Down with Slavery!

[page 88]
When war’s awful thunder rolls,
And the heavens are flaming scrolls,
‘Tis no time for coward souls;

     Down with Slavery!

Let no fear your faces blanch,
But, like Alpine avalanche,
Overwhelming root and branch,

     Down with Slavery!

Until Slavery vanquished be,
Peace our land can never see,
Nor can we ourselves be free;
     Down with Slavery!
Till it pierce the very sky,
Reaching to God’s throne on high,
Let us shout our Battle-cry:

     Down with Slavery!


[page 89]

            WAITING FOR DAY.

I looked from the mountain height, and saw
Rapine assume the robes of law!
Justice I saw driven out apace,
While Robbery climbed to the highest place.
Humanity, trampled down in the street,
Lay bleeding beneath unholy feet.
And rulers, and priests, and people, all
Quickly responded to Rapine’s call,
And shouted aloud, “Henceforth art thou
The only God to whom we will bow.”
A chosen few there were, indeed,
Who would not swear to the robber-creed;
But disturbed the nation’s wicked rest,
Pleading the cause of the poor oppressed;

[page 90]
And they were hissed, and hooted, and curst,
As though of all men they were the worst.
But they still kept faith in God, and some
Attested that faith by martyrdom.
Fair Freedom, wounded, hid away,
And dared not walk in the light of day;
But Rapine, bolder and bolder grown,
Swore that the nation was all his own:
And over it now his black flag waves,
A nation once free,—now a nation of slaves!
Its sun has set, and a starless night
Drops, like a curtain, before my sight!

     *     *     *     * 

I look again from the mountain height,
To catch the first gleam of morning light.
I hear the first shot of a distant gun,
Which speaks of a battle just begun—

[page 91]
The hurried tramp of armed hosts I hear,
Whose martial tread shakes a hemisphere.
By the cannon’s fitful glare, I behold
Two banners over the field unrolled:
On one shine the stars with waning light;
The other is black as Slavery’s night;
Two hostile armies, in battle array,
Each eager to enter the terrible fray;
But no sure gleam of coming morn
Through the gloom of this rayless night is borne.
Yet I know that a brighter day shall rise
To cheer our hearts, and gladden our eyes.
Justice and Law shall resume their sway,
While Rapine and Robbery slink away.
Humanity, lifted up from the dust,
No more by violence shall be crushed—
For Christ our Lord shall come and reign—
His glance shall shatter each poor slave’s chain;

[page 92]
And whatever shall dare obstruct his path
Shall be swept away by Jehovah’s wrath.
And that day, by prophets long foretold,
Shall its brightest glories all unfold!
For its speedy coming let us pray:
Oh! Hasten, dear Lord, the perfect day!
 March, 1862.

[page 93]
Though “John Brown’s body lies a-moulder-
ing in the grave,”
His noble soul looks down on the land he died to
And he hears the tramp of armies and the battle’s
dreadful roar,
And he sees our heroes falling and our fields drenched
with their gore:
But as each of Freedom’s martyrs from the red field
takes his flight
On spirit-wings to Heaven, to receive a crown of
He is welcomed on the threshold by that old heroic
Whose self-denying valor placed him first upon the
And they know they are victorious, for they hear
their Lord’s decree,
“Not vainly are their lives poured out who die for
Man and Me.”

[page 94]
            IN MEMORIAM


Were death a never-ending sleep,

   And the dark grave life’s final goal,

Well might we o’er her ashes weep,

   And let our tears unceasing roll.

But, springing from its senseless clay,

   The deathless spirit wings its flight,

Its happy flight, to cloudless day,

   Which never shall give place to night.

Sorrow and sickness nevermore

   Shall come to her, or cast their gloom

Around her, on that peaceful shore,

   Which she has passed to through the tomb.

She wiped the tears from others’ eyes,

   No tear her eye shall dim again;

She strove to still the mourner’s sighs,

   No more her breast shall heave with pain.

[page 95]
She lived for others: not in vain;

   In many hearts are treasured up,

(More precious than the garnered grain,)

   Her works of love, her words of hope.

Now, in the regions of the blest,

   She reaps the harvest she has sown,

That true and everlasting rest

   Which God ordaineth for His own.

Yet sometimes, from those regions fair,

   Her pure soul visits us again,

And strives to help us calmly bear

   Our loss, which is her glorious gain.

We may not see her, yet we feel

   The hallowed influence she imparts,

Like balm our stricken souls to heal,

   Like oil upon our wounded hearts.

Yet we shall see her. We shall meet

   Where partings nevermore can come:

There shall we hold communion sweet,

   In our dear Father’s Happy Home!


[page 96]
            IN MEMORIAM*
Soldier of Christ, no more!

   Victor—thy warfare’s done.

For thee the battle’s roar

   Is hushed. Thy crown is won!

Oh! Not for thee our tears!

   Happy in fadeless light,

Beyond the reach of fears,

   Thy faith is changed to sight.

Thine eyes with rapture see

   Thy dear Lord face to face,

Whose life of Love in thee

   His own eye loved to trace!

[page 97]
Kind helper of God’s poor!

   Friend of the friendless one!

Thy memory shall endure

   While suns their courses run;

And bright thy crown shall be

   With living jewels set!

Souls won to Christ by thee
   Adorn thy coronet!
And yet our tears will flow,

   As we our loss recall:

How can we let thee go,

   Brother and friend of all?

[page 98]


A circle of happy angels
   In the beauteous Spirit-Land,
Have chosen your little darling

   As a member of their band;

And have led him into regions

   Bright with perpetual day,

Where his soul shall grow in wisdom

   And the Father’s love always.

Though your eyes no more behold him,

   Though his voice no more you hear,

Though your fond arms shall enfold him

   Nevermore in this dark sphere;

Yet yield not your souls to anguish,

   But look, with the eye of faith,

To brighter spheres of the spirits

   Who have met and conquered Death!

[page 99]
And there shall you see Charles Albert,

   O’er-roaming the fields of light,

With his new-found friends, the angels,

   Who shall teach him with delight.

His spirit shall sometimes visit

   Your souls with message of cheer,

And, with unseen hands, endeavor

   To wipe from your eyes the tear.

Not lost! He’s but gone before you,

   And his loving spirit waits

To welcome you to the Mansions

   Which stand past the Pearly Gates.

[page 100]

            SHIPS AT SEA.

All of us have our ships at sea;

   Will they ever reach port, I wonder.

A few may sail in merrily,

   But most will the wild waves sunder.

And some which do reach port, I guess,

   Will discharge only damaged cargoes;

Better had they been kept by stress

   Of weather, or Fate’s embargoes.

Trust not thy treasures on the sea,

   Nor idly expect joy tomorrow:

Take what to-day doth offer thee.

   Nor pleasure nor trouble borrow.

[page 101]


Thou hast taught us, Lord, that where
Two or three are met for prayer,
Thou wilt certainly be there!
As we meet, O Lord, to-night,
Asking Thee for higher light,
Guide our hearts and words aright!
Let us know that Thou art here!
Let us feel Thy presence near;
Let us hear Thy voice of cheer!
In the warfare we would wage
‘Gainst the grim vice of our age,
May we earnestly engage
With a consecration new,
With a purpose firm and true,
With the will to dare and do!

[page 102]
Give us strength to battle wrong,
Through the conflict stern and long,
Though the enemy seem strong.
Stronger Thou than all the foes
Who Thy righteous cause oppose,
Though united fall their blows!
Though the righteous seem to fail,
Like spring-blossoms by the hail,
Scattered on each passing gale;
Thou hast still a chosen few
Who unto Thy cause are true,
Who Thy steps would fain pursue!
Oh! Increase their numbers, Lord;
Let them, resting on Thy word,
Draw once more Truth’s mighty sword,
And with Thee for Captain, fight
Till Intemperance take his flight
To his native realms of night!

[page 103]

            “GOD SHALL BE IN ALL.”

Do they not greatly err, who hold

   That He who made the human soul

   Will not its destinies control

For final good, but, wrathful, fold
It in the shrouds of hopeless woe,

   Of deathless gloom, of quenchless fire,

   The creatures of His vengeful ire,

Whence it can never ransom know?
The Lord is Love! And though His rod

   Fall on us with chastising care,

   E’en while its bitter pangs we bear,

We know and feel ’t is for our good
He sends His chast’nings; that His love

   Corrects us when we go astray,

   And points us to the better way,

The path to happy realms above.
So in the world to come, His love

   Shall freely unto all abound;

   E’en prisoners in the depths profound

Shall see His kind face beam above

[page 104]
Their drear abode, and hear His voice,

   Unheeded once, in mercy call

   “Turn ye to Me and live!”—and all

Shall hear the summons and rejoice.
Lost men, repentant, shall return!

   Believing, loving, purified,

   Death shall be conquered in his pride,

And Hell’s fierce fires shall cease to burn.
Then shall our God be all in all!

   His love bear universal sway,

   His love preserve all souls for aye,

Nor shall the weakest fear a fall!

[page 105]
Jesus, give me thy spirit,

   Make me meek and mild like Thee;

Let me all Thy grace inherit,

   All Thy love and purity!

I would be Thy imitator;

   I would choose Thee for my guide,

Oh! Thou loving Mediator

   Who for my salvation died.

Pity, Christ, and help my weakness;

   Somewhat of Thy strength impart;

Blest Physician, cure my sickness;

   Heal my sin-diseaséd heart.

Give me strength with wrong to battle,

   Help me error to oppose,

Though around me thunders rattle,

   Thunders from Thy warring foes.

[page 106]
In the conflict let me never

   Shrink with doubt, or fear, or dread,

Knowing that the truth forever

   Is by Thee to triumph led!

Confident on Thee relying,

   I would Thy disciple be,

With a firm faith and undying,

   Ever own Thy mastery;

Follow in Thy footsteps ever

   Whether cross or crown I win,

And with hearty, true endeavor,

   Strive to vanguish all my sin.

Help me, Jesus, and Thy spirit

   Give me,—make me like to Thee;

Let me all Thy grace inherit,

   Love and strength and purity.

[page 107]

            MORNING HYMN.

Our Father! when we wake and see

   The glories of the morn arise,

And midnight shadows swiftly flee

   Before the day-king’s opening eyes.

To Thee our grateful hearts we raise;

   To Thee our praise and prayer ascend;

Accept, O Lord! our simple lays,

   Thine ear unto our lispings bend.

We bless Thee, for Thy loving care

   Which slumbers never, day nor night;—

That we, Thy children, ever are

   Beneath Thine all-protecting sight.

Be with us through the new-born day;

   Help us all duties to the fulfill,

Nor let our thoughts or wishes stray

   From full obedience to Thy will.

[page 108]
Shouldst Thou paternal chastenings send,

   Help us to bear and kiss the rod;—

Help us our wills to Thine to bend,

   And daily love Thee more, O God!

Let us each day grow more like Thee;

   More of Thy loving spirit give;

More of Thy truth and purity,

   That in Thee wholly we may live.

And when our days on earth are o’er

   When all our work below is done,

O bid us welcome to the shore

   Of peace and light beyond the sun.

[page 109]
Blessed Jesus, who for me
Gave Thy life a ransom free,
Wash me in the precious flood
Of Thy dear redeeming blood:
Let me give myself to Thee,
Who didst give Thyself for me;
Be Thou evermore my guide;
Keep me ever by Thy side:
Let me never, never stray

From Thee, Only Living Way!

Let my hungry soul be fed
On Thee, Lord, of Life the Bread!
Let me quench my thirst in Thee,

Love’s Immeasurable Sea!

Let Thy love so constant shine
In this heart and soul of mine,
That, completely lost in Thee,
As a raindrop in the sea,
I may feel and act and will,
Just as Thou my being fill!

[page 110]
No more, then, shall unbelief
Fill me with intensest grief;
No more, then, shall Satan’s power
O’er my soul in darkness lower;
But all earthy hope and fame
I’ll surrender for Thy name,
Count all earthly good as dross,
Glory only in Thy Cross;
And my greatest joy shall be
Jesus died and lives for me!

[page 111]

            “GOD IS LOVE.”

One thought, all other thoughts above,
Shall guide me wheresoe’er I rove,
Shall all my soul’s devotion move,
The blessed thought that “God is Love!”
Where’er my wandering footsteps stray,
Or in the broad or narrow way,
Whether at rest or roving still,
This blessed thought my soul shall fill.
I could not, if I would, remove
Myself beyond His precious love;
In highest heaven or deepest hell,
That love shall guard, and save, as well.
Ere, from the realms of nothing, I
Awoke to live, awoke to die,—
His love my destiny decreed,
And stooped to reach my greatest need.

[page 112]
Dear Saviour, blood-stained Calvary
Reveals Thy deathless love for me!
No longer shall my spirit rove,
Since this I know, that “God is Love.”
Beauteous and fair, our little child

   To us a while was given:

The angels looked upon him, smiled,

   And led him home to Heaven.

[page 113]


Though the world my choice deride,
I will trust the Crucified
Who for my redemption died.
I will trust the Crucified.
Oh! my soul, how great thy loss
But for His redeeming Cross!
All thy treasures count but dross,
All but His redeeming Cross.
I will trust Thy love divine,
Which has made me ever Thine,
Which has made Thee ever mine!
I will trust Thy Love divine.
Let Thy Love still hold me fast,
And when earth for me is past,
When I reach my home at last,
Still Thy Love shall hold me fast.

[page 114]
All my joy and all my pride
Centre in the Crucified!
And whatever me betide,
I will trust the Crucified!

[page 115]
If Thou, dear Lord, art mine,
If I indeed am Thine,
Send down Thy holy light
And banish all my night.
My constant, welcome guest,
Abide within my breast;
Cast all its evil out,
Put all Thy foes to rout.
Let me henceforward be
Happy alone in Thee;
So shall my freed soul feel
For Thee a quenchless zeal;
So shall my will o’er be
In perfect harmony
With all that Thou dost send,
My Saviour and my Friend.

[page 116]
In sickness or in health,
In poverty or wealth,
I yield my willing soul
To Thy supreme control.
With me it shall be well,
In earth, or Heaven, or hell,
Since, Jesus, Thou art mine,
Saviour and Friend Divine.

[page 117]

            OFT AS I HEAR THE STORY.

Oft as I hear the story

   Of Jesus and his love,

It fills my soul with glory
   Akin to that above,
It thrills my heart with gladness

   It else could never know;

No room for gloom or sadness

   Since Jesus loved me so.

Yes! I believe the story

   Of Jesus and his love;

It fills the earth with glory

   From God’s own throne above;

Love’s banner waving o’er us,

   Let us exult and sing,

And with our happy chorus

   Make the glad welkin ring.

[page 118]
O! I will sing the story

   Of Jesus and his love;

The never-failing story

   Of God’s redeeming love;

That love my heart subduing,

   Shall keep me near to Thee;

Thy footsteps still pursuing,

   Till I Thy glory see.

And when I see Thy glory,

   With Thy redeemed above,

I still will sing the story

   Of Jesus and his love;

For ev’n in realms of glory,

   My highest joy shall be,

That I have learned the story

   That Jesus died for me!

[page 119]

            NEW YEAR’S MUSINGS.

Eighteen hundred and eighty-two,
Pass along; we have done with you.
Your record is sealed and laid away,
Not to be opened till Judgment-day.
Eighteen hundred and eighty-three,
Tell us what shall thy outcome be?
Whom of our friends shalt thou lay away

Beneath the cold and unpitying clay?
Shall we, at thy close, be living here,

Or shall we have joined, in a happier sphere,
Our friends who have left us and gone before,
And whose feet now tread on the “shining shore”?
Shall our hopes, which now are budding and warm,
Bloom into fruitage or yield to the storm?
Shall our souls grow brighter, and fairer and truer?
Shall Happiness yield to us when we would woo her?
Shall Health on our cheeks grow her prettiest roses?
Shall Sorrow befall us before thy reign closes?

[page 120]
Thou makest no answer, not liftest thy curtain
Which hides from our vision the doubtful and certain.
But one thing we know, and it’s surely enough;
Whether thou deal with us gently or rough,
Our Father our destinies holds in His hand,
And thou canst do nothing His love hath not planned!
   January 1st, 1883.

[1] Suggested by the imprisonment of Mrs. Douglas, in Virginia, for the crime (!) of teaching colored children to read.

* REV. FRANCIS E. BUTLER, Chaplain of the Twenty-fifth New Jersey Regiment, was fatally wounded at the siege of Suffolk, Va., on Sunday, May 2, 1863, and died the following day. “None know him but to love him.”