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Poetry: Stanzas For The Times

Poetry: Stanzas For The Times image
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John Greenleaf Whittier, a well-known antislavery poet, signed the poem "A Farmer" when it was originally published in the Boston Courier on September 22, 1835.

OCR Text

Is this the land our fathers loved? The freedom wh ich they toiled to win? Ia the soil whereon they moved? Are these the graves they slumber ín? Ato toe the sons by wliom is borno The mantles which the dead have worui Aad shall we crouch above the grave9, With craven soul and fottered lip? Yoke in with marked and brandad slavf.s, And trerable at the dr vera whip? Eend to the earth our pliant koees And speak - but as our masters please? Shall outraged nature cease to feel? Shall Mercy's tears no longer flowï Shall rufiian threate of cord and steel, The dungeon's gloom - the aesassia'a blow Turn back the spirit rutised to save Our Truth - our Country - and the slave? Of human ckulls that shrine was made Whereon the priest of Mexico Before their loathsorae idol orayed- Is freedom's altar fashioned so? And must we yield to Freedom's God, Aa offering meet, the negro's bloodi Shall tongues be mute, when deeds are wrought Which well might shame extremest heil? Shall freemen lock th' indignant thought? Shall Mercy's bosora cease to swell? Kaall honor bleed? - Shall truth succumb! Shall pen and presa and soul be dumb? NQ! - by each spot of haunted ground Where Freedom weepB her children's fali; By Plymouth's rock, and Bunker's raound - By Griswold'e siaioed and shattered wa!l - By Warren's ghost - by Langdon's sbade - By all the memories of our deadi By thelr enlarging eouls, which burst The bands and fetters round them set - By the free pilgrim spirit nursed Within our inraost bosoms, yet - By all above - around- 4)elow - Be ours the indignant answer - NOi No - guided by our country'6 laws, For truth and right and suffering man, Be ours ta strive in Freedom's cause, As Christian's may - as canl Still pouring on unwilling ears That oppression only fears." "What! shall we guard our neighbor slill,, While tcoman shrieks beneath his rod, And whiie he tramples down at vill The image of a comraon God! Shall watch and ward be round him set Of northern nerve and bayonet? And shall we know and shsre with him The danger and the open shame? And see our Freedom's Jight grow dim, Which should have filled the world with flame, And, writhing, feel where'er we turn, A world's leproech around us burn? Is't not enough that this is borne? And, asks our haughty neighbor more? Must fetters which his Blaves have worn Clank round the Yankee farmer's door, Must he be told, beside his plough, When he must speak, and when and how? Must he be told his freedora stands On elavery's dark foundation strong - On breaking hearts and fetterred banda, On robbery and crime and wrong? Thatall his fathers taught in vain - That freedom's embleia is the chain? lts life- its soul, frotn slavery drawn? False - foul - profane! go - teach aa well Of holy truth from falsehood bom - Of heaven refreshed by airs from heil! Of virtue nursed by open vice- Of demons planting Paradise! Rail on, then ''brethren of the south" - Ye Bhall not hear the truth the less - No seal is on theYankee's mouth, No fetter on the Yankee's press! From our Green mountains tothe eea One voice shall thander - we are fkee.