O river winding to the sea!
We call the old time back to thee;
From forest paths and water-ways
The century-woven veil we raise.
The voices of to-day are dumb,
Unheard its sounds that go and come;
We listen, through long-lapsing years,
To footsteps of the pioneers.
Gone steepled town and cultured plain,
The wilderness returns again,
The drear, untrodden solitude,
The gloom and mystery of the wood!
Once more the bear and panther prowl,
The wolf repeats his hungry howl,
And, peering through his leafy screen,
The Indian's copper face is seen.
We see, their rude-built huts beside,
Grave men and women anxious-eyed,
And wistful youth remembering still
Dear homes in England's Haverhill.
We summon forth to mortal view
Dark Passaquo and Saggahew,--
Wild chiefs, who owned the mighty sway
Of wizard Passaconaway.
Weird memories of the border town,
By old tradition handed down,
In chance and change before us pass
Like pictures in a magic glass,--
The terrors of the midnight raid,
The winter march, through deserts wild,
Of captive mother, wife, and child.
Ah! bleeding hands alone subdued
And tamed the savage habitude
Of forests hiding beasts of prey,
And human shapes as fierce as they.
Slow from the plough the woods withdrew,
Slowly each year the corn-lands grew;
Nor fire, nor frost, nor foe could kill
The Saxon energy of will.
And never in the hamlet's bound
Was lack of sturdy manhood found,
And never failed the kindred good
Of brave and helpful womanhood.
That hamlet now a city is,
Its log-built huts are palaces;
The wood-path of the settler's cow
Is Traffic's crowded highway now.
And far and wide it stretches still,
Along its southward sloping hill,
And overlooks on either hand
A rich and many-watered land.
And, gladdening all the landscape, fair
As Pison was to Eden's pair,
Our river to its valley brings
The blessing of its mountain springs.
And Nature holds with narrowing space,
From mart and crowd, her old-time grace,
And guards with fondly jealous arms
The wild growths of outlying farms.
Her sunsets on Kenoza fall,
Her autumn leaves by Saltonstall;
No lavished gold can richer make
Her opulence of hill and lake.
Wise was the choice which led out sires
To kindle here their household fires,
And share the large content of all
Whose lines in pleasant places fall.
More dear, as years on years advance,
We prize the old inheritance,
And feel, as far and wide we roam,
That all we seek we leave at home.
Our palms are pines, our oranges
Are apples on our orchard trees;
Our thrushes are our nightingales,
Our larks the blackbirds of our vales.
No incense which the Orient burns
Is sweeter than our hillside ferns;
What tropic splendor can outvie
Our autumn woods, our sunset sky?
If, where the slow years came and went,
And left not affluence, but content,
Now flashes in our dazzled eyes
The electric light of enterprise;
And if the old idyllic ease
Seems lost in keen activities,
And crowded workshops now replace
The hearth's and farm-field's rustic grace;
No dull, mechanic round of toil
Life's morning charm can quite despoil;
And youth and beauty, hand in hand,
Will always find enchanted land.
No task is ill where hand and brain
And skill and strength have equal gain,
And each shall each in honor hold,
And simple manhood outweigh gold.
Earth shall be near to Heaven when all
That severs man from man shall fall,
For, here or there, salvation's plan
Alone is love of God and man.
O dwellers by the Merrimac,
The heirs of centuries at your back,
Still reaping where you have not sown,
A broader field is now your own.
Hold fast your Puritan heritage,
But let the free thought of the age
Its light and hope and sweetness add
To the stern faith the fathers had.
Adrift on Time's returnless tide,
As waves that follow waves, we glide.
God grant we leave upon the shore
Some waif of good it lacked before;
Some seed, or flower, or plant of worth,
Some added beauty to the earth;
Some larger hope, some thought to make
The sad world happier for its sake.
As tenants of uncertain stay,
So may we live our little day
That only grateful hearts shall fill
The homes we leave in Haverhill.
The singer of a farewell rhyme,
Upon whose outmost verge of time
The shades of night are falling down,
I pray, God bless the good old town!
NIGHT on the city of the Moor!
On mosque and tomb, and white-walled shore,
On sea-waves, to whose ceaseless knock
The narrow harbor gates unlock,
On corsair's galley, carack tall,
And plundered Christian caraval!
The sounds of Moslem life are still;
No mule-bell tinkles down the hill;
Stretched in the broad court of the khan,
The dusty Bornou caravan
Lies heaped in slumber, beast and man;
The Sheik is dreaming in his tent,
His noisy Arab tongue o'erspent;
The kiosk's glimmering lights are gone,
The merchant with his wares withdrawn;
Rough pillowed on some pirate breast,
The dancing-girl has sunk to rest;
And, save where measured footsteps fall
Along the Bashaw's guarded wall,
Or where, like some bad dream, the Jew
Creeps stealthily his quarter through,
Or counts with fear his golden heaps,
The City of the Corsair sleeps!
But where yon prison long and low
Stands black against the pale star-glow,
Chafed by the ceaseless wash of waves,
There watch and pine the Christian slaves;
Rough-bearded men, whose far-off wives
Wear out with grief their lonely lives;
And youth, still flashing from his eyes
The clear blue of New England skies,
A treasured lock of whose soft hair
Now wakes some sorrowing mother's prayer;
Or, worn upon some maiden breast,
Stirs with the loving heart's unrest!
A bitter cup each life must drain,
The groaning earth is cursed with pain,
And, like the scroll the angel bore
The shuddering Hebrew seer before,
O'erwrit alike, without, within,
With all the woes which follow sin;
But, bitterest of the ills beneath
Whose load man totters down to death,
Is that which plucks the regal crown
Of Freedom from his forehead down,
And snatches from his powerless hand
The sceptred sign of self-command,
Effacing with the chain and rod
The image and the seal of God;
Till from his nature, day by day,
The manly virtues fall away,
And leave him naked, blind and mute,
The godlike merging in the brute!
Why mourn the quiet ones who die
Beneath affection's tender eye,
Unto their household and their kin
Like ripened corn-sheaves gathered in?
O weeper, from that tranquil sod,
That holy harvest-home of God,
Turn to the quick and suffering, shed
Thy tears upon the living dead!
Thank God above thy dear ones' graves,
They sleep with Him, they are not slaves.
What dark mass, down the mountain-sides
Swift-pouring, like a stream divides?
A long, loose, straggling caravan,
Camel and horse and armëd man.
The moon's low crescent, glimmering o'er
Its grave of waters to the shore,
Lights up that mountain cavalcade,
And gleams from gun and spear and blade
Near and more near! now o'er them falls
The shadow of the city walls.
Hark to the sentry's challenge, drowned
In the fierce trumpet's charging sound!
The rush of men, the musket's peal,
The short, sharp clang of meeting steel!
Vain, Moslem, vain thy lifeblood poured
So freely on thy foeman's sword!
Not to the swift nor to the strong
The battles of the right belong;
For he who strikes for Freedom wears
The armor of the captive's prayers,
And Nature proffers to his cause
The strength of her eternal laws;
While he whose arm essays to bind
And herd with common brutes his kind
Strives evermore at fearful odds
With Nature and the jealous gods,
And dares the dread recoil which late
Or soon their right shall vindicate.
'T is done, the hornëd crescent falls!
The star-flag flouts the broken walls!
Joy to the captive husband! joy
To thy sick heart, O brown-locked boy!
In sullen wrath the conquered Moor
Wide open flings your dungeon-door,
And leaves ye free from cell and chain,
The owners of yourselves again.
Dark as his allies desert-born,
Soiled with the battle's stain, and worn
With the long marches of his band
Through hottest wastes of rock and sand,
Scorched by the sun and furnace-breath
Of the red desert's wind of death,
With welcome words and grasping hands,
The victor and deliverer stands!
The tale is one of distant skies;
The dust of half a century lies
Upon it; yet its hero's name
Still lingers on the lips of Fame.
Men speak the praise of him who gave
Deliverance to the Moorman's slave,
Yet dare to brand with shame and crime
The heroes of our land and time, —
The self-forgetful ones, who stake
Home, name, and life for Freedom's sake.
God mend his heart who cannot feel
The impulse of a holy zeal,
And sees not, with his sordid eyes,
The beauty of self-sacrifice!
Though in the sacred place he stands,
Uplifting consecrated hands,
Unworthy are his lips to tell
Of Jesus' martyr-miracle,
Or name aright that dread embrace
Of suffering for a fallen race!
Immortal Love, forever full,
Forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never-ebbing sea!
Our outward lips confess the name
All other names above;
Love only knoweth whence it came
And comprehendeth love.
Blow, winds of God, awake and blow
The mists of earth away!
Shine out, O Light Divine, and show
How wide and far we stray!
Hush every lip, close every book,
The strife of tongues forbear;
Why forward reach, or backward look,
For love that clasps like air?
We may not climb the heavenly steeps
To bring the Lord Christ down
In vain we search the lowest deeps,
For Him no depths can drown.
Nor holy bread, nor blood of grape,
The lineaments restore
Of Him we know in outward shape
And in the flesh no more.
He cometh not a king to reign;
The world's long hope is dim;
The weary centuries watch in vain
The clouds of heaven for Him.
Death comes, life goes; the asking eye
And ear are answerless;
The grave is dumb, the hollow sky
Is sad with silentness.
The letter fails, and systems fall,
And every symbol wanes;
The Spirit over-brooding all
Eternal Love remains.
And not for signs in heaven above
Or earth below they look,
Who know with John His smile of love,
With Peter His rebuke.
In joy of inward peace, or sense
Of sorrow over sin,
He is His own best evidence,
His witness is within.
No fable old, nor mythic lore,
Nor dream of bards and seers,
No dead fact stranded on the shore
Of the oblivious years;--
But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
A present help is He;
And faith has still its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.
The healing of His seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life's throng and press,
And we are whole again.
Through Him the first fond prayers are said
Our lips of childhood frame,
The last low whispers of our dead
Are burdened with His name.
Our Lord and Master of us all!
Whate'er our name or sign,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine.
Thou judgest us; Thy purity
Doth all our lusts condemn;
The love that draws us nearer Thee
Is hot with wrath to them.
Our thoughts lie open to Thy sight;
And, naked to Thy glance,
Our secret sins are in the light
Of Thy pure countenance.
Thy healing pains, a keen distress
Thy tender light shines in;
Thy sweetness is the bitterness,
Thy grace the pang of sin.
Yet, weak and blinded though we be,
Thou dost our service own;
We bring our varying gifts to Thee,
And Thou rejectest none.
To Thee our full humanity,
Its joys and pains, belong;
The wrong of man to man on Thee
Inflicts a deeper wrong.
Who hates, hates Thee, who loves becomes
Therein to Thee allied;
All sweet accords of hearts and homes
In Thee are multiplied.
Deep strike Thy roots, O heavenly Vine,
Within our earthly sod,
Most human and yet most divine,
The flower of man and God!
O Love! O Life! Our faith and sight
Thy presence maketh one
As through transfigured clouds of white
We trace the noon-day sun.
So, to our mortal eyes subdued,
Flesh-veiled, but not concealed,
We know in Thee the fatherhood
And heart of God revealed.
We faintly hear, we dimly see,
In differing phrase we pray;
But, dim or clear, we own in Thee
The Light, the Truth, the Way!
The homage that we render Thee
Is still our Father's own;
No jealous claim or rivalry
Divides the Cross and Throne.
To do Thy will is more than praise,
As words are less than deeds,
And simple trust can find Thy ways
We miss with chart of creeds.
No pride of self Thy service hath,
No place for me and mine;
Our human strength is weakness, death
Our life, apart from Thine.
Apart from Thee all gain is loss,
All labor vainly done;
The solemn shadow of Thy Cross
Is better than the sun.
Alone, O Love ineffable!
Thy saving name is given;
To turn aside from Thee is hell,
To walk with Thee is heaven!
How vain, secure in all Thou art,
Our noisy championship
The sighing of the contrite heart
Is more than flattering lip.
Not Thine the bigot's partial plea,
Nor Thine the zealot's ban;
Thou well canst spare a love of Thee
Which ends in hate of man.
Our Friend, our Brother, and our Lord,
What may Thy service be?--
Nor name, nor form, nor ritual word,
But simply following Thee.
We bring no ghastly holocaust,
We pile no graven stone;
He serves thee best who loveth most
His brothers and Thy own.
Thy litanies, sweet offices
Of love and gratitude;
Thy sacramental liturgies,
The joy of doing good.
In vain shall waves of incense drift
The vaulted nave around,
In vain the minster turret lift
Its brazen weights of sound.
The heart must ring Thy Christmas bells,
Thy inward altars raise;
Its faith and hope Thy canticles,
And its obedience praise!
The Bay Of Seven Islands
FROM the green Amesbury hill which bears the name
Of that half mythic ancestor of mine
Who trod its slopes two hundred years ago,
Down the long valley of the Merrimac,
Midway between me and the river's mouth,
I see thy home, set like an eagle's nest
Among Deer Island's immemorial pines,
Crowning the crag on which the sunset breaks
Its last red arrow. Many a tale and song,
Which thou bast told or sung, I call to mind,
Softening with silvery mist the woods and hills,
The out-thrust headlands and inreaching bays
Of our northeastern coast-line, trending where
The Gulf, midsummer, feels the chill blockade
Of icebergs stranded at its northern gate.
To thee the echoes of the Island Sound
Answer not vainly, nor in vain the moan
Of the South Breaker prophesying storm.
And thou hast listened, like myself, to men
Sea-periled oft where Anticosti lies
Like a fell spider in its web of fog,
Or where the Grand Bank shallows with the wrecks
Of sunken fishers, and to whom strange isles
And frost-rimmed bays and trading stations seem
Familiar as Great Neck and Kettle Cove,
Nubble and Boon, the common names of home.
So let me offer thee this lay of mine,
Simple and homely, lacking much thy play
Of color and of fancy. If its theme
And treatment seem to thee befitting youth
Rather than age, let this be my excuse
It has beguiled some heavy hours and called
Some pleasant memories up; and, better still,
Occasion lent me for a kindly word
To one who is my neighbor and my friend.
. . . . . . . . . .
The skipper sailed out of the harbor mouth,
Leaving the apple-bloom of the South
For the ice of the Eastern seas,
In his fishing schooner Breeze.
Handsome and brave and young was he,
And the maids of Newbury sighed to see
His lessening white sail fall
Under the sea's blue wall.
Through the Northern Gulf and the misty screen
Of the isles of Mingan and Madeleine,
St. Paul's and Blanc Sablon,
The little Breeze sailed on,
Backward and forward, along the shore
Of lorn and desolate Labrador,
And found at last her way
To the Seven Islands Bay.
The little hamlet, nestling below
Great hills white with lingering snow,
With its tin-roofed chapel stood
Half hid in the dwarf spruce wood;
Green-turfed, flower-sown, the last outpost
Of summer upon the dreary coast,
With its gardens small and spare,
Sad in the frosty air.
Hard by where the skipper's schooner lay,
A fisherman's cottage looked away
Over isle and bay, and. behind
On mountains dim-defined.
And there twin sisters, fair and young,
Laughed with their stranger guest, and sung
In their native tongue the lays
Of the old Provencal days.
Alike were they, save the faint outline
Of a scar on Suzette's forehead fine;
And both, it so befell,
Loved the heretic stranger well.
Both were pleasant to look upon,
But the heart of the skipper clave to one;
Though less by his eye than heart
He knew the twain apart.
Despite of alien race and creed,
Well did his wooing of Marguerite speed;
And the mother's wrath was vain
As the sister's jealous pain.
The shrill-tongued mistress her house forbade,
And solemn warning was sternly said
By the black-robed priest, whose word
As law the hamlet heard.
But half by voice and half by signs
The skipper said, 'A warm sun shines
On the green-banked Merrimac;
Wait, watch, till I come back.
'And when you see, from my mast head,
The signal fly of a kerchief red,
My boat on the shore shall wait;
Come, when the night is late.'
Ah! weighed with childhood's haunts and friends,
And all that the home sky overbends,
Did ever young love fail
To turn the trembling scale?
Under the night, on the wet sea sands,
Slowly unclasped their plighted hands
One to the cottage hearth,
And one to his sailor's berth.
What was it the parting lovers heard?
Nor leaf, nor ripple, nor wing of bird,
But a listener's stealthy tread
On the rock-moss, crisp and dead.
He weighed his anchor, and fished once more
By the black coast-line of Labrador;
And by love and the north wind driven,
Sailed back to the Islands Seven.
In the sunset's glow the sisters twain
Saw the Breeze come sailing in again;
Said Suzette, 'Mother dear,
The heretic's sail is here.'
'Go, Marguerite, to your room, and hide;
Your door shall be bolted!' the mother cried:
While Suzette, ill at ease,
Watched the red sign of the Breeze.
At midnight, down to the waiting skiff
She stole in the shadow of the cliff;
And out of the Bay's mouth ran
The schooner with maid and man.
And all night long, on a restless bed,
Her prayers to the Virgin Marguerite said
And thought of her lover's pain
Waiting for her in vain.
Did he pace the sands? Did he pause to hear
The sound of her light step drawing near?
And, as the slow hours passed,
Would he doubt her faith at last?
But when she saw through the misty pane,
The morning break on a sea of rain,
Could even her love avail
To follow his vanished sail?
Meantime the Breeze, with favoring wind,
Left the rugged Moisic hills behind,
And heard from an unseen shore
The falls of Manitou roar.
On the morrow's morn, in the thick, gray weather
They sat on the reeling deck together,
Lover and counterfeit,
Of hapless Marguerite.
With a lover's hand, from her forehead fair
He smoothed away her jet-black hair.
What was it his fond eyes met?
The scar of the false Suzette!
Fiercely he shouted: 'Bear away
East by north for Seven Isles Bay!'
The maiden wept and prayed,
But the ship her helm obeyed.
Once more the Bay of the Isles they found
They heard the bell of the chapel sound,
And the chant of the dying sung
In the harsh, wild Indian tongue.
A feeling of mystery, change, and awe
Was in all they heard and all they saw
Spell-bound the hamlet lay
In the hush of its lonely bay.
And when they came to the cottage door,
The mother rose up from her weeping sore,
And with angry gestures met
The scared look of Suzette.
'Here is your daughter,' the skipper said;
'Give me the one I love instead.'
But the woman sternly spake;
'Go, see if the dead will wake!'
He looked. Her sweet face still and white
And strange in the noonday taper light,
She lay on her little bed,
With the cross at her feet and head.
In a passion of grief the strong man bent
Down to her face, and, kissing it, went
Back to the waiting Breeze,
Back to the mournful seas.
Never again to the Merrimac
And Newbury's homes that bark came back.
Whether her fate she met
On the shores of Carraquette,
Miscou, or Tracadie, who can say?
But even yet at Seven Isles Bay
Is told the ghostly tale
Of a weird, unspoken sail,
In the pale, sad light of the Northern day
Seen by the blanketed Montagnais,
Or squaw, in her small kyack,
Crossing the spectre's track.
On the deck a maiden wrings her hands;
Her likeness kneels on the gray coast sands;
One in her wild despair,
And one in the trance of prayer.
She flits before no earthly blast,
The red sign fluttering from her mast,
Over the solemn seas,
The ghost of the schooner Breeze!
O Mother State! the winds of March
Blew chill o'er Auburn's Field of God,
Where, slow, beneath a leaden arch
Of sky, thy mourning children trod.
And now, with all thy woods in leaf,
Thy fields in flower, beside thy dead
Thou sittest, in thy robes of grief,
A Rachel yet uncomforted!
And once again the organ swells,
Once more the flag is half-way hung,
And yet again the mournful bells
In all thy steeple-towers are rung.
And I, obedient to thy will,
Have come a simple wreath to lay,
Superfluous, on a grave that still
Is sweet with all the flowers of May.
I take, with awe, the task assigned;
It may be that my friend might miss,
In his new sphere of heart and mind,
Some token from my band in this.
By many a tender memory moved,
Along the past my thought I send;
The record of the cause he loved
Is the best record of its friend.
No trumpet sounded in his ear,
He saw not Sinai's cloud and flame,
But never yet to Hebrew seer
A clearer voice of duty came.
God said: 'Break thou these yokes; undo
These heavy burdens. I ordain
A work to last thy whole life through,
A ministry of strife and pain.
'Forego thy dreams of lettered ease,
Put thou the scholar's promise by,
The rights of man are more than these.'
He heard, and answered: 'Here am I!'
He set his face against the blast,
His feet against the flinty shard,
Till the hard service grew, at last,
Its own exceeding great reward.
Lifted like Saul's above the crowd,
Upon his kingly forehead fell
The first sharp bolt of Slavery's cloud,
Launched at the truth he urged so well.
Ah! never yet, at rack or stake,
Was sorer loss made Freedom's gain,
Than his, who suffered for her sake
The beak-torn Titan's lingering pain!
The fixed star of his faith, through all
Loss, doubt, and peril, shone the same;
As through a night of storm, some tall,
Strong lighthouse lifts its steady flame.
Beyond the dust and smoke he saw
The sheaves of Freedom's large increase,
The holy fanes of equal law,
The New Jerusalem of peace.
The weak might fear, the worldling mock,
The faint and blind of heart regret;
All knew at last th' eternal rock
On which his forward feet were set.
The subtlest scheme of compromise
Was folly to his purpose bold;
The strongest mesh of party lies
Weak to the simplest truth he told.
One language held his heart and lip,
Straight onward to his goal he trod,
And proved the highest statesmanship
Obedience to the voice of God.
No wail was in his voice,--none heard,
When treason's storm-cloud blackest grew,
The weakness of a doubtful word;
His duty, and the end, he knew.
The first to smite, the first to spare;
When once the hostile ensigns fell,
He stretched out hands of generous care
To lift the foe he fought so well.
For there was nothing base or small
Or craven in his soul's broad plan;
Forgiving all things personal,
He hated only wrong to man.
The old traditions of his State,
The memories of her great and good,
Took from his life a fresher date,
And in himself embodied stood.
How felt the greed of gold and place,
The venal crew that schemed and planned,
The fine scorn of that haughty face,
The spurning of that bribeless hand!
If than Rome's tribunes statelier
He wore his senatorial robe,
His lofty port was all for her,
The one dear spot on all the globe.
If to the master's plea he gave
The vast contempt his manhood felt,
He saw a brother in the slave,--
With man as equal man he dealt.
Proud was he? If his presence kept
Its grandeur wheresoe'er he trod,
As if from Plutarch's gallery stepped
The hero and the demigod,
None failed, at least, to reach his ear,
Nor want nor woe appealed in vain;
The homesick soldier knew his cheer,
And blessed him from his ward of pain.
Safely his dearest friends may own
The slight defects he never hid,
The surface-blemish in the stone
Of the tall, stately pyramid.
Suffice it that he never brought
His conscience to the public mart;
But lived himself the truth he taught,
White-souled, clean-handed, pure of heart.
What if he felt the natural pride
Of power in noble use, too true
With thin humilities to hide
The work he did, the lore he knew?
Was he not just? Was any wronged
By that assured self-estimate?
He took but what to him belonged,
Unenvious of another's state.
Well might he heed the words he spake,
And scan with care the written page
Through which he still shall warm and wake
The hearts of men from age to age.
Ah! who shall blame him now because
He solaced thus his hours of pain!
Should not the o'erworn thresher pause,
And hold to light his golden grain?
No sense of humor dropped its oil
On the hard ways his purpose went;
Small play of fancy lightened toil;
He spake alone the thing he meant.
He loved his books, the Art that hints
A beauty veiled behind its own,
The graver's line, the pencil's tints,
The chisel's shape evoked from stone.
He cherished, void of selfish ends,
The social courtesies that bless
And sweeten life, and loved his friends
With most unworldly tenderness.
But still his tired eyes rarely learned
The glad relief by Nature brought;
Her mountain ranges never turned
His current of persistent thought.
The sea rolled chorus to his speech
Three-banked like Latium's' tall trireme,
With laboring oars; the grove and beach
Were Forum and the Academe.
The sensuous joy from all things fair
His strenuous bent of soul repressed,
And left from youth to silvered hair
Few hours for pleasure, none for rest.
For all his life was poor without,
O Nature, make the last amends
Train all thy flowers his grave about,
And make thy singing-birds his friends!
Revive again, thou summer rain,
The broken turf upon his bed
Breathe, summer wind, thy tenderest strain
Of low, sweet music overhead!
With calm and beauty symbolize
The peace which follows long annoy,
And lend our earth-bent, mourning eyes,
Some hint of his diviner joy.
For safe with right and truth he is,
As God lives he must live alway;
There is no end for souls like his,
No night for children of the day!
Nor cant nor poor solicitudes
Made weak his life's great argument;
Small leisure his for frames and moods
Who followed Duty where she went.
The broad, fair fields of God he saw
Beyond the bigot's narrow bound;
The truths he moulded into law
In Christ's beatitudes he found.
His state-craft was the Golden Rule,
His right of vote a sacred trust;
Clear, over threat and ridicule,
All heard his challenge: 'Is it just?'
And when the hour supreme had come,
Not for himself a thought he gave;
In that last pang of martyrdom,
His care was for the half-freed slave.
Not vainly dusky hands upbore,
In prayer, the passing soul to heaven
Whose mercy to His suffering poor
Was service to the Master given.
Long shall the good State's annals tell,
Her children's children long be taught,
How, praised or blamed, he guarded well
The trust he neither shunned nor sought.
If for one moment turned thy face,
O Mother, from thy son, not long
He waited calmly in his place
The sure remorse which follows wrong.
Forgiven be the State he loved
The one brief lapse, the single blot;
Forgotten be the stain removed,
Her righted record shows it not!
The lifted sword above her shield
With jealous care shall guard his fame;
The pine-tree on her ancient field
To all the winds shall speak his name.
The marble image of her son
Her loving hands shall yearly crown,
And from her pictured Pantheon
His grand, majestic face look down.
O State so passing rich before,
Who now shall doubt thy highest claim?
The world that counts thy jewels o'er
Shall longest pause at Sumner's name!