CHANNING! my Mentor whilst my thought was young,
And I the votary of fair liberty,—
How hung I then upon thy glowing tongue,
And thought of love and truth as one with thee!
Thou wast the inspirer of a nobler life,
When I with error waged unequal strife,
And from its coils thy teaching set me free.
Be ye, his followers, to his leading true,
Nor privilege covet, nor the wider sway;
But hold right onward in his loftier way,
As best becomes, and is his rightful due.
If learning ’s yours,—gifts God doth least esteem,—
Beyond all gifts was his transcendent view:
O realize his Pentecostal dream!
FREEDOM’S first champion in our fettered land!
Nor politician nor base citizen
Could gibbet thee, nor silence, nor withstand.
Thy trenchant and emancipating pen
The patriot Lincoln snatched with steady hand,
Writing his name and thine on parchment white,
’Midst war’s resistless and ensanguined flood;
Then held that proclamation high in sight
Before his fratricidal country men,—
“Freedom henceforth throughout the land for all,”—
And sealed the instrument with his own blood,
Bowing his mighty strength for slavery’s fall;
Whilst thou, stanch friend of largest liberty,
Survived,—its ruin and our peace to see.