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Poetry: Address Of The Carrier Of The Signal Of Liberty

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January 1, 1842 I. When the bold mariner, at midnight hour, Tossed by tempestuous winds and raging waves, Ploughs the dark main, where thickening vapors lour, And unseen rocks old ocean's fury braves; Through the dense mist the sailor casts his eye, And seeks with care the well known "SIGNAL" bright; Climbs the tall mast, the beacon to descry, To catch the first faint glimmering on his sight, That shines through all the storms with undiminished light. II. Built on the eternal rocks, the "SIGNAL" stands, Unchanged in place, conspicuous from afar; From night to night it brightens all the strands, With light as radiant as the polar star: Nor rushing wind, nor oceans mountain wave, Can aught diminish of its useful beams; There it still stands, from horrid death to save, The countless souls with which the ocean teams, And, from its greedy grasp, unnumbered lives redeems. III. So shines our "Signal;" and so let it shine, Based on Truth's foundations firm and strong: On just and equal rights the gift divine, Which to each man, inseparable belong. O'er all the land let Freedom's light extend, Through the thick darkness, let its rays appear; Bringing to all who the slave befriend, By prayers, and votes, and the sympathizing tear, Our warm cordial wishes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR! IV. How many various turns of mortal fate Occur within the space of each brief year; Some are with momentary joys elate, While others shed with grief the unceasing tear. Have ye not heard, how haply sailed of late, For Afric's coast, the pining MENDI BAND? Slaves now no more, with heartfelt joy elate, Their sail's by heavens propitious breezes fanned, Swift o'er the dancing waves, they sought their native land. V. By Potomac's wave, or Mississippi's flood, Where groans the slave beneath the oppressive rod; Where Christ's own followers take the price of blood, For souls that were purchased by the SON OF GOD; How many wretched ones have left the earth, Since the last circle of the year begun; Condemned to ignoble servitude by birth, SLAVES they must be till life's drear work be done, And in their veins the circling flood should cease to run. VI. Others have chosen an adventurous way Through brakes and swamps, before untrod by man, Where midnight owls and rav'ning beasts of prey, Held firm possession since the earth began. With steadfast will they sought the happy shore, Where British laws will recognize their right, Despite of tyrants, and of blood hound's roar, Poor, hungry, faint, they summoned all their might, And found at last, the long expected land in sight. VII. Breathe's there the man, with soul to vilely base, Who to his master will the slave betray? Shall study freemen, of New England race, Thus sell Liberty for a tyrant's pay? Their ancient, upright ancestors disgrace, And help the man-thief in his curst design; Their minds 'gainst every noble feeling brace, Show how their wills to SATAN'S word incline, And prove that they are his, by sharing in the crime! VIII. Receie the strangers to your house and home, Their need relieve, their every want attend; How would you feel, were you obliged to roam O'er all the earth without, a single friend, To cheer you through the lonely wilderness? Think how the Saviour bide you them receive, The poorest brethren who his name profess; In his atoning blood they may believe, And thus at least, a crown of endless life achieve! IX. Nor these alone your kindest care demand: Extend your thoughts to the Capitol's walls; Think how the negro, chained by neck and hand, In long procession marches past those halls. Your Representatives see the cursed sight, Your PORTER and HOWARD and WOODERIDGE grave; They care nothing for the crush'd bondman's right, Or, ever try their country's fame to save: Slaveholder's towering wrath is more than they can brave! X. Rebuke them sternly for their cowardice: Tell them our land is now the heathen's mirth! A land of slaves, a by-word and a hiss, The scorn and mockery of a sneering earth! Rebuke them by your independent vote, Nor, by your suffrage, ratify their shame: Proclaim to every one, near or remote, No servile candidates will you sustain, But those who know their rights, and knowing, DARE MAINTAIN! XI. Nor be your thoughts to politics confined; Plead for the slave within the church's walls: Rebuke the cold, instruct the simple mind, Bid every Christian hear when mercy calls. Let every church its firm remonstrance make, And chase th' oppressor from its sacred doors, Nor longer with his hateful sin partake; But help the suppliant who their aid implores, Til GOD in mercy all his long lost rights restores. XII. Brethren proceed: labor, and toil, and pray, And think how short will be your earthly span; Act for the slave: on each revolving day, Sternly bear witness for the rights of man. So shall the darkness from our land depart, And truth make certain progress year by year; No needless "SIGNAL" then shall bear a part In showing danger, or removing fear, When Freedom's rising Sun in glory shall appear!