Bible Defense Of Slavery
Take sackcloth of the darkest dye,
And shroud the pulpits round!
Servants of Him that cannot lie,
Sit mourning on the ground.
Let holy horror blanch each cheek,
Pale every brow with fears;
And rocks and stones, if ye could speak,
Ye well might melt to tears!
Let sorrow breathe in every tone,
In every strain ye raise;
Insult not God's majestic throne
With th' mockery of praise.
A 'reverend' man, whose light should be
The guide of age and youth,
Brings to the shrine of Slavery
The sacrifice of truth!
For the direst wrong by man imposed,
Since Sodom's fearful cry,
The word of life has been unclos'd,
To give your God the lie.
Oh! When ye pray for heathen lands,
And plead for their dark shores,
Remember Slavery's cruel hands
Make heathens at your doors!
The Slave Mother
Heard you that shriek? It rose
So wildly on the air,
It seemed as if a burden'd heart
Was breaking in despair.
Saw you those hands so sadly clasped --
The bowed and feeble hand --
The shuddering of that fragile form --
That look of grief and dread?
Saw you the sad, imploring eye?
Its every glance was pain,
As if a storm of agony
Were sweeping through the brain.
She is a mother, pale with fear,
Her boy clings to her side,
And in her kirtle vainly tries
His trembling form to hide.
He is not hers, although she bore
For him a mother's pains;
He is not hers, although her blood
Is coursing through his veins!
He is not hers, for cruel hands
May rudely tear apart
The only wreath of household love
That binds her breaking heart.
His love has been a joyous light
That o'er her pathway smiled,
A fountain gushing ever new,
Amid life's desert wild.
His lightest word has been a tone
Of music round her heart,
Their lives a streamlet blent in one --
Oh, Father! must they part?
They tear him from her circling arms,
Her last and fond embrace.
Oh! never more may her sad eyes
Gaze on his mournful face.
No marvel, then, these bitter shrieks
Disturb the listening air;
She is a mother, and her heart
Is breaking in despair.
Onward to her destination,
O'er the stream that Hannah sped,
When a cry of consternation
Smote and chilled our hearts with dread.
Wildly leaping, madly sweeping,
All relentless in their sway,
Like a band of cruel demons
Flames were closing 'round our way
Oh! the horror of those moments;
Flames above and waves below-
Oh! the agony of ages
Crowded in one hour of woe.
Fainter grew our hearts with anguish
In that hour with peril rife,
When we saw the pilot flying,
Terror-stricken, for his life.
Then a man up rose before us-
We had once despised his race-
But we saw a lofty purpose
Lighting up his darkened face.
While the flames were madly roaring,
With a courage grand and high,
Forth he rushed unto our rescue,
Strong to suffer, brave to die.
Helplessly the boat was drifting,
Death was staring in each face,
When he grasped the fallen rudder,
Took the pilot's vacant place.
Could he save us? Would he save us?
All his hope of life give o'er?
Could he hold that fated vessel
'Till she reached the nearer shore?
All our hopes and fears were centered
'Round his strong, unfaltering hand;
If he failed us we must perish,
Perish just in sight of land.
Breathlessly we watched and waited
While the flames were raging fast;
When our anguish changed to rapture-
We were saved, yes, saved at last.
Never strains of sweetest music
Brought to us more welcome sound.
To The Union Savers Of Cleveland
Men of Cleveland, had a vulture
Sought a timid dove for prey
Would you not, with human pity,
Drive the gory bird away?
Had you seen a feeble lambkin,
Shrinking from a wolf so bold,
Would ye not to shield the trembler,
In your arms have made its fold?
But when she, a hunted sister,
Stretched her hands that ye might save,
Colder far than Zembla's regions,
Was the answer that ye gave.
On the Union's bloody altar,
Was your hapless victim laid;
Mercy, truth, and justice shuddered,
But your hands would give no aid.
And ye sent her back to the torture,
Robbed of freedom and of fright.
Thrust the wretched, captive stranger.
Back to slavery's gloomy night.
Back where brutal men may trample,
On her honor and her fame;
And unto her lips so dusky,
Press the cup of woe and shame.
There is blood upon our city,
Dark and dismal is the stain;
And your hands would fail to cleanse it,
Though Lake Erie ye should drain.
There's a curse upon your Union,
Fearful sounds are in the air;
As if thunderbolts were framing,
Answers to the bondsman's prayer.
Ye may offer human victims,
Like the heathen priests of old;
And may barter manly honor
For the Union and for gold.
But ye can not stay the whirlwind,
When the storm begins to break;
And our God doth rise in judgment,
For the poor and needy's sake.
And, your sin-cursed, guilty Union,
Shall be shaken to its base,
Till ye learn that simple justice,
Is the right of every race.
Wail, winds of summer, as ye sweep
The arching skies;
O, let your echoes swell with deep,
Old ocean, with a heavy surge,
Cold, black and drear,
Roll thou the solemn note of dirge
On Europe's ear!
Sweet stars, that calmly, purely bright,
Look down below,
O, pity with your eyes of light
A Nation's woe!
Thou source of day, that rollest on
Though tempests frown,
Thou mind'st us of another sun
That has gone down!
Gone down,--no more may mortal eye
Its face behold!
Gone down,--yet leaving on the sky
A tinge of gold!
Ah, yes! Columbia, pause to hear
The note of dread;
'Twill smite like iron on the ear;--
Our Clay is dead!
Our Clay; the patriot, statesman, sage,
The Nation's pride,
With giant minds of every age
That form of manliness and strength
In Senate hall,
Is lying at a fearful length
Beneath the pall!
That voice of eloquence no more
Suspends the breath;
Its matchless power to charm is o'er--
'Tis hushed in death!
Thrice noble spirit! can we bow,
And kiss the rod?
With resignation yield thee now
Back to thy God?
And where, where shall we turn to find
Now thou 'rt at rest,
A soul so lofty, just and kind,
As warmed thy breast?
We bear thee, with a flood of tears,
Unto thy tomb;
There thou must sleep till rolling years
Have met their doom!
But thy bright fame and memory
Shall send a chime
From circling ages down to the
O, may thy mantle fall on some
Of this our day,
And shed upon the years to come
A happy ray!
Fishers Of Men
I had a dream, a varied dream:
Before my ravished sight
The city of my Lord arose,
With all its love and light.
The music of a myriad harps
Flowed out with sweet accord;
And saints were casting down their crowns
In homage to our Lord.
My heart leaped up with untold joy;
Life's toil and pain were o'er;
My weary feet at last had found
The bright and restful shore.
Just as I reached the gates of light,
Ready to enter in,
From earth arose a fearful cry
Of sorrow and of sin.
I turned, and saw behind me surge
A wild and stormy sea;
And drowning men were reaching out
Imploring hands to me.
And ev'ry lip was blanched with dread
And moaning for relief;
The music of the golden harps
Grew fainter for their grief.
Let me return, I quickly said,
Close to the pearly gate;
My work is with these wretched ones,
So wrecked and desolate.
An angel smiled and gently said:
This is the gate of life,
Wilt thou return to earth's sad scenes,
Its weariness and strife,
To comfort hearts that sigh and break,
To dry the falling tear,
Wilt thou forego the music sweet
Entrancing now thy ear?
I must return, I firmly said,
The strugglers in that sea
Shall not reach out beseeching hands
In vain for help to me.
I turned to go; but as I turned
The gloomy sea grew bright,
And from my heart there seemed to flow
Ten thousand cords of light.
And sin-wrecked men, with eager hands,
Did grasp each golden cord;
And with my heart I drew them on
To see my gracious Lord.
Again I stood beside the gate.
My heart was glad and free;
For with me stood a rescued throng
The Lord had given me.
Nothing And Something
It is nothing to me, the beauty said,
With a careless toss of her pretty head;
The man is weak if he can't refrain
From the cup you say is fraught with pain.
It was something to her in after years;
When her eyes were drenched with burning tears,
And she watched in lonely grief and dread,
And startled to hear a staggering tread.
It is nothing to me, the mother said;
I have no fear that my boy will tread
In the downward path of sin and shame,
And crush my heart and darken his name.
It was something to her when that only son
From the path of right was early won,
And madly cast in the flowing bowl
A ruined body and sin-wrecked soul.
It is nothing to me, the young man cried:
In his eye was a flash of scorn and pride;
I heed not the dreadful things ye tell:
I can rule myself I know full well.
It was something to him when in prison he lay
The victim of drink, life ebbing away;
And thought of his wretched child and wife,
And the mournful wreck of his wasted life.
It is nothing to me, the merchant said,
As over his ledger he bent his head;
I'm busy to-day with tare and tret,
And I have no time to fume and fret.
It was something to him when over the wire
A message came from a funeral pyre -
A drunken conductor had wrecked a train,
And his wife and child were among the slain.
It is nothing to me, the voter said,
The party's loss is my greatest dread;
Then gave his vote for the liquor trade,
Though hearts were crushed and drunkards made.
It was something to him in after life,
When his daughter became a drunkard's wife
And her hungry children cried for bread,
And trembled to hear their father's tread.
Is it nothing for us to idly sleep
While the cohorts of death their vigils keep?
To gather the young and thoughtless in
And grind in our midst a grist of sin?
It is something, yes, all, for us to stand
Clasping by faith our Saviour's hand;
To learn to labor, live and fight
On the side of God and changeless light.
Like a fawn from the arrow, startled and wild,
A woman swept by us, bearing a child;
In her eye was the night of a settled despair,
And her brow was o'ershaded with anguish and care.
She was nearing the river—in reaching the brink,
She heeded no danger, she paused not to think!
For she is a mother—her child is a slave—
And she'll give him his freedom, or find him a grave!
'Twas a vision to haunt us, that innocent face—
So pale in its aspect, so fair in its grace;
As the tramp of the horse and the bay of the hound,
With the fetters that gall, were trailing the ground!
She was nerved by despair, and strengthen'd by woe,
As she leap'd o'er the chasms that yawn'd from below;
Death howl'd in the tempest, and rav'd in the blast,
But she heard not the sound till the danger was past.
Oh! how shall I speak of my proud country's shame?
Of the stains on her glory, how give them their name?
How say that her banner in mockery waves—
Her "star-spangled banner"—o'er millions of slaves?
How say that the lawless may torture and chase
A woman whose crime is the hue of her face?
How the depths of forest may echo around
With the shrieks of despair, and the bay of the hound?
With her step on the ice, and her arm on her child,
The danger was fearful, the pathway was wild;
But, aided by Heaven, she gained a free shore,
Where the friends of humanity open'd their door.
So fragile and lovely, so fearfully pale,
Like a lily that bends to the breath of the gale,
Save the heave of her breast, and the sway of her hair,
You'd have thought her a statue of fear and despair.
In agony close to her bosom she press'd
The life of her heart, the child of her breast:—
Oh! love from its tenderness gathering might,
Had strengthen'd her soul for the dangers of flight.
But she's free!—yes, free from the land where the slave
From the hand of oppression must rest in the grave;
Where bondage and torture, where scourges and chains
Have plac'd on our banner indelible stains.
The bloodhounds have miss'd the scent of her way;
The hunter is rifled and foil'd of his prey;
Fierce jargon and cursing, with clanking of chains,
Make sounds of strange discord on Liberty's plains.
With the rapture of love and fullness of bliss,
She plac'd on his brow a mother's fond kiss:—
Oh! poverty, danger and death she can brave,
For the child of her love is no longer a slave!
The Night Of Death
Twas a night of dreadful horror, --
Death was sweeping through the land;
And the wings of dark destruction
Were outstretched from strand to strand
Strong men's hearts grew faint with terror,
As the tempest and the waves
Wrecked their homes and swept them downward,
Suddenly to yawning graves.
'Mid the wastes of ruined households,
And the tempest's wild alarms,
Stood a terror-stricken mother
With a child within her arms.
Other children huddled 'round her,
Each one nestling in her heart;
Swift in thought and swift in action,
She at least from one must part.
Then she said unto her daughter,
"Strive to save one child from death."
"Which one?" said the anxious daughter,
As she stood with bated breath.
Oh! the anguish of that mother;
What despair was in her eye!
All her little ones were precious;
Which one should she leave to die?
Then outspake the brother Bennie:
"I will take the little one."
"No," exclaimed the anxious mother;
"No, my child, it can't be done."
"See! my boy, the waves are rising,
Save yourself and leave the child!"
"I will trust in Christ," he answered;
Grasped the little one and smiled.
Through the roar of wind and waters
Ever and anon she cried;
But throughout the night of terror
Never Bennie's voice replied.
But above the waves' wild surging
He had found a safe retreat,
As if God had sent an angel,
Just to guide his wandering feet.
When the storm had spent its fury,
And the sea gave up its dead
She was mourning for her loved ones,
Lost amid that night of dread.
While her head was bowed in anguish,
On her ear there fell a voice,
Bringing surcease to her sorrow,
Bidding all her heart rejoice.
"Didn't I tell you true?" said Bennie,
And his eyes were full of light,
"When I told you God would help me
Through the dark and dreadful night?"
And he placed the little darling
Safe within his mother's arms,
Feeling Christ had been his guardian,
'Mid the dangers and alarms.
Oh! for faith so firm and precious,
In the darkest, saddest night,
Till life's gloom-encircled shadows
Fade in everlasting light.
And upon the mount of vision
We our loved and lost shall greet,
With earth's wildest storms behind us,
And its cares beneath our feet.
Moses: A Story Of The Nile (Extract)
Moses sought again the presence of the king:
And Pharaoh's brow grew dark with wrath,
And rising up in angry haste, he said
Defiantly, 'If thy God be great, show
Us some sign or token of his power.'
Then Moses threw his rod upon the floor,
And it trembled with a sign of life;
The dark wood glowed, then changed into a thing
Of glistening scales and golden rings, and green
And brown and purple stripes; a hissing, hateful
Thing, that glared its fiery eye, and darting forth
From Moses' side, lay coiled and panting
At the monarch's feet. With wonder open-eyed
The king gazed on the changed rod, then called
For his magicians — wily men, well versed
In sinful lore — and bade them do the same.
And they, leagued with the powers of night, did
Also change their rods to serpents; then Moses'
Serpent darted forth, and with a startling hiss
And angry gulp, he swallowed the living things
That coiled along his path. And thus did Moses
Show that Israel's God had greater power
Than those dark sons of night.
But not by this alone
Did God his mighty power reveal: He changed
Their waters; every fountain, well and pool
Was red with blood, and lips, all parched with thirst,
Shrank back in horror from the crimson draughts.
And then the worshiped Nile grew full of life:
Millions of frogs swarmed from the stream — they clogged
The pathway of the priests and filled the sacred
Fanes, and crowded into Pharaoh's bed, and hopped
Into his trays of bread, and slumbered in his
Ovens and his pans.
There came another plague, of loathsome vermin;
They were gray and creeping things, that made
Their very clothes alive with dark and sombre
Spots — things of loathsome in the land, they did
Suspend the service of the temple; for no priest
Dared to lift his hand to any god with one
Of those upon him. And then the sky grew
Dark, as if a cloud were passing o'er its
Changeless blue; a buzzing sound broke o'er
The city, and the land was swarmed with flies.
The Murrain laid their cattle low; the hail
Cut off the first fruits of the Nile; the locusts
With their hungry jaws, destroyed the later crops,
And left the ground as brown and bare as if a fire
Had scorched it through.
Then angry blains
And fiery boils did blur the flesh of man
And beast; and then for three long days, nor saffron
Tint, nor crimson flush, nor soft and silvery light
Divided day from morn, nor told the passage
Of the hours; men rose not from their seats, but sat
In silent awe. That lengthened night lay like a burden
On the air, — a darkness one might almost gather
In his hand, it was so gross and thick. Then came
The last dread plague — the death of the first born.
The Hermit's Sacrifice
From Rome's palaces and villas
Gaily issued forth a throng;
From her humbler habitations
Moved a human tide along.
Haughty dames and blooming maidens,
Men who knew not mercy's sway,
Thronged into the Coliseum
On that Roman holiday.
From the lonely wilds of Asia,
From her jungles far away,
From the distant torrid regions,
Rome had gathered beasts of prey.
Lions restless, roaring, rampant,
Tigers with their stealthy tread,
Leopards bright, and fierce, and fiery,
Met in conflict wild and dread.
Fierce and fearful was the carnage
Of the maddened beasts of prey,
As they fought and rent each other
Urged by men more fierce than they.
Till like muffled thunders breaking
On a vast and distant shore,
Fainter grew the yells of tigers,
And the lions' dreadful roar.
On the crimson-stained arena
Lay the victims of the fight;
Eyes which once had glared with anguish,
Lost in death their baleful light.
Then uprose the gladiators
Armed for conflict unto death,
Waiting for the prefect's signal,
Cold and stern with bated breath.
"Ave Caesar, morituri,
Te, salutant," rose the cry
From the lips of men ill-fated,
Doomed to suffer and to die.
Then began the dreadful contest,
Lives like chaff were thrown away,
Rome with all her pride and power
Butchered for a holiday.
Eagerly the crowd were waiting,
Loud the clashing sabres rang;
When between the gladiators
All unarmed a hermit sprang.
"Cease your bloodshed," cried the hermit,
"On this carnage place your ban;"
But with flashing swords they answered,
"Back unto your place, old man."
From their path the gladiators
Thrust the strange intruder back,
Who between their hosts advancing
Calmly parried their attack.
All undaunted by their weapons,
Stood the old heroic man;
While a maddened cry of anger
Through the vast assembly ran.
"Down with him," cried out the people,
As with thumbs unbent they glared,
Till the prefect gave the signal
That his life should not be spared.
Men grew wild with wrathful passion,
When his fearless words were said
Cruelly they fiercely showered
Stones on his devoted head.
Bruised and bleeding fell the hermit,
Victor in that hour of strife;
Gaining in his death a triumph
That he could not win in life.
Had he uttered on the forum
Struggling thoughts within him born,
Men had jeered his words as madness,
But his deed they could not scorn.
Not in vain had been his courage,
Nor for naught his daring deed;
From his grave his mangled body
Did for wretched captives plead.
From that hour Rome, grown more thoughtful,
Ceased her sport in human gore;
And into her Coliseum
Gladiators came no more.
The Martyr Of Alabama
"Tim Thompson, a little negro boy, was asked to dance for the amusement of some white toughs. He refused, saying he was a church member. One of the men knocked him down with a club and then danced upon his prostrate form. He then shot the boy in the hip. The boy is dead; his murderer is still at large." -- News Item.
He lifted up his pleading eyes,
And scanned each cruel face,
Where cold and brutal cowardice
Had left its evil trace.
It was when tender memories
Round Beth'lem's manger lay,
And mothers told their little ones
Of Jesu's natal day.
And of the Magi from the East
Who came their gifts to bring,
And bow in rev'rence at the feet
Of Salem's new-born King.
And how the herald angels sang
The choral song of peace,
That war should close his wrathful lips,
And strife and carnage cease.
At such an hour men well may hush
Their discord and their strife,
And o'er that manger clasp their hands
With gifts to brighten life.
Alas! that in our favored land,
That cruelty and crime
Should cast their shadows o'er a day.
The fairest pearl of time.
A dark-browed boy had drawn anear
A band of savage men,
Just as a hapless lamb might stray
Into a tiger's den.
Cruel and dull, they saw in him
For sport an evil chance,
And then demanded of the child
To give to them a dance.
"Come dance for us," the rough men said;
"I can't," the child replied,
"I cannot for the dear Lord's sake,
Who for my sins once died."
Tho' they were strong and he was weak,
He wouldn't his Lord deny.
His life lay in their cruel hands,
But he for Christ could die.
Heard they aright? Did that brave child
Their mandates dare resist?
Did he against their stern commands
Have courage to insist?
Then recklessly a man arose,
And dealt a fearful blow.
He crushed the portals of that life,
And laid the brave child low.
And trampled on his prostrate form,
As on a broken toy;
Then danced with careless, brutal feet,
Upon the murdered boy.
Christians! behold that martyred child!
His blood cries from the ground;
Before the sleepless eye of God,
He shows each gaping wound.
Oh! Church of Christ arise! arise!
Lest crimson stain thy hand,
When God shall inquisition make
For blood shed in the land.
Take sackcloth of the darkest hue,
And shroud the pulpits round;
Servants of him who cannot lie
Sit mourning on the ground.
Let holy horror blanch each brow,
Pale every cheek with fears,
And rocks and stones, if ye could speak,
Ye well might melt to tears.
Through every fane send forth a cry,
Of sorrow and regret,
Nor in an hour of careless ease
Thy brother's wrongs forget.
Veil not thine eyes, nor close thy lips,
Nor speak with bated breath;
This evil shall not always last,
The end of it is death.
Avert the doom that crime must bring
Upon a guilty land;
Strong in the strength that God supplies,
For truth and justice stand.
For Christless men, with reckless hands,
Are sowing round thy path
The tempests wild that yet shall break
In whirlwinds of God's wrath.