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Poetry: Stanzas For The Times

Poetry: Stanzas For The Times image
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Alternate Title: "The Sentence of John L. Brown"

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Written on roading the sentence of John L. Brown, of North Carolina, who wus to hnve been executed on the 25lh of April, 1344, for the crime of nssislingr a feinale slave to escape from bondage. [Senténcè afierwards commuted.] BY J. O. WHITTIER. Ho! thou who seekeet late and Jong A licence from the Holy Book Por brutal lust and Heli's red wrong, Man of the Pulpit look! - Lift up those cold and aiheist eyes, This ripe fruit of thy teaching seoj And teil ua how to Heaven will rise; The;iHcence oftkis sacritice - Tkis blossom of the Guüows Tree- Benrch out for Slavery's liour of need Some fitting t?xt ofeacred writ; Give Heaven the credit of a deed Which shames thenethor pil! Kneel, stnooth blasphemer, unto Him, Whose truth is on thy lipsa lie; Ask that the bright-winged cherubim May bend nround that scaffold grim, To gu-ard nrid bless and eaijctify !- Hoï chafnp ióii of the people's cause' Suspend tli-y }oud and vain rebuke Öf foreign' vííong and old world laws} Man of the Seríate, look! Was Tkisüte prottiise of the free, Yhe great hopö" of ouf early time; - That slavery'e pbisoW vine Fhould be Üpborne by Freedony rftfrsetf tree; O'erc usiéred rfrith stick iruits of crinté? -Send out thé surotnons Ëaef and West',And and North- let all be there,Where h'e whö1 pitjed the oppressed Swings out m sun atid" air!: Let not 4' deniocratic hand The grisly hnnyrcranV task refuse;-' There Iet ench loyai fjtktriot stand', Awaitmg akvery's cbmmand Tb twist the röpe aml dtfaw the noose!But vajn is irony - unttieét lts bold rebuke for deeda which start ín1 fiery and iftdignant beat The pulses of tlm' heart. Leave studied wit and guarded p1ir6e For those who tkink but do not frili Let mbn, speak out ifr worr's which raiae Whorf'er tlrey fall an answering bhizo, Like flints which strike the fire ironi etéel. Still let a1 mousing Priesthood ply Their garbled lext and gloss of cin,An'd mnko the fettered scroll deny Tts liv'mg soul withift;: Still let the placefed tilled knavo Plead Robbery's rig-ht with purciiasecf lips And teil un that our fathers gave Por Freedoin's pedesta1!, a slave, For frie2e and mouldin, ohains and whips!- But ye who own that higherlnw, Whose tablets in tfoe'henrt are Ee% Speak out inr words of power and uwe, That God rs i,mto tet! B"reathe forth once nrore those tones sublime W'hich thrill'd the burdeneii Prophel's lyre, And in a dark and evil ti-ne' Saiote down on Israel's fast of crime ' And gift of biood a rain of fire!' Oh!' not for us the graceful lay, To whosö' soft neasuras lightly mbve The drad and the woodlanrj fay, O'erlóoked by Mirth and Love; But such a sterff and startlingf strain' A htmted Bards iking down' From' Snowdon to the c onquered pliiin, Whereharshly dnnfce'l the Saxen chain On trampled' fiblds and saiokin towmBy Iiibörty'e dishonoretl name, By nwn's lasf hope and trtirt, By worda and deetewhich bow with shanw Our foreHeadS fo the dust; By the exlilttn Tyrant'e sneer, Borne to us by the old world's throncs, And by his vjcrims' grief, wbo hear In suriles8 minos and dungeons dreaf, How Freedom? Jand br foith disowns!'Speak out in acts - the lime Cor words Mus passer!, und deeds alone suffice; In tbeluud clang of meeting swords, Tlie softer mu.-ic die.s! Ac! - act in God's name, whileye may, Smite fiöm the Church her leproos limb, Throw open to the ligh' of day The bondman's cell and break away The chains the Siate has bound on him. Ho! - every true and living soul, To Freedom's periled altar bear The Freemnifs and ihe Christian's whole, Tongne, pen, and vote, and prayer! One lastgieat battle forthellight One short, sharp struggle to be f'ree To do is to succeed- our fight Is wuged in Heaven's approving sight- The smile of God is Victory !- Tbree new pttbüca'ipns, froni the pen of Rev. Dr. Junkin, President of Minmi College, Rov. AIhx. McCame, of the Methodist Proi?stHnt church, and of a clergvman of tlie Uincinnati Synod, defendinor slavery on scrip tura' erounds, ha ve recent ly made iheir ap pearance.