Page images

And the sky was bright as ever,

And the moonlight slept as well,
On the palm trees by the hill-side,

And the streamlet of the dell;
And the glances of the Creole

Were still as archly deep,
And her smiles as full as ever

Of passion and of sleep.

But vain were bird and blossom,

The green earth and the sky,
And the smile of human faces,

To the slaver's darkened eye ;
At the breaking of the morning,

At the star-lit evening time,
O'er a world of light and beauty,

Fell the blackness of his crime.


["TaE despotism which our fathers could not bear in their native country is expiring, and the sword of justice in her reformed hands has applied its exterminating edge to slavery. Shall the United States — the free United States, which could not bear the bonds of a king, cradle the bondage which a king is abolishing ? Shall a Republic be less free than a Monarchy ? Shall we, in the vigor and buoyancy of our manhood, be less energetic in righteousness than a kingdom in its age ?" - Dr. Follen's Address.

“Genius of America!-- Spirit of our free institutions - where art thou ?-How art thou fallen, O Lucifer! son of the morning-how art thou fallen from Heaven! Hell from beneath is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming! The kings of the earth cry out to thee, Aha! Aha!-ART THOU BECOME LIKE UNTO us?” — Speech of Samuel J. May.)

Our fellow-countrymen in chains !

Slaves — in a land of light and law !
Slaves — crouching on the very plains

Where rolled the storm of Freedom's war !

A groan from Eutaw's haunted wood —

A wail where Camden's martyrs fell — By every shrine of patriot blood,

From Moultrie's wall and Jasper's well!

By storied hill and hallowed grot,

By mossy wood and marshy glen, Whence rang of old the rifle-shot,

And hurrying shout of Marion's men ! The groan of breaking hearts is there

The falling lash — the fetter's clank ! Slaves - SLAVES are breathing in that air,

Which old De Kalb and Sumter drank !

What, ho !- our countrymen in chains !

The whip on WOMAN's shrinking flesh ! Our soil yet reddening with the stains,

Caught from her scourging, warm and fresh ! What ! mothers from their children riven !

What ! God's own image bought and sold ! AMERICANS to market driven,

And bartered as the brute for gold !

Speak ! shall their agony of prayer

Come thrilling to our hearts in vain ? To us whose fathers scorned to bear

The paltry menace of a chain ;
To us, whose boast is loud and long

Of holy Liberty and Light —
Say, shall these writhing slaves of Wrong,

Plead vainly for their plundered Right ?

What ! shall we send, with lavish breath,

Our sympathies across the wave, Where Manhood, on the field of death,

Strikes for his freedom, or a grave ? Shall prayers go up, and hymns be sung

For Greece, the Moslem fetter spurning, And millions hail with pen and tongue

Our light on all her altars burning ?

Shall Belgium feel, and gallant France,

By Vendome's pile and Schoenbrun's wall,
And Poland, gasping on her lance,

The impulse of our cheering call ?
And shall the SLAVE, beneath our eye,

Clank o'er our fields* his hateful chain ?
And toss his fettered arms on high,

And groan for Freedom's gift, in vain ?

Oh, say, shall Prussia's banner be

A refuge for the stricken slave ?
And shall the Russian serf go free

By Baikal's lake and Neva's wave ?
And shall the wintry-bosomed Dane

Relax the iron hand of pride, And bid his bondmen cast the chain

From fettered soul and limb, aside ?

Shall every flap of England's flag

Proclaim that all around are free, From “farthest Ind” to each blue crag

That beetles o'er the Western Sea ? And shall we scoff at Europe's kings,

When Freedom's fire is dim with us, And round our country's altar clings

The damning shade of Slavery's curse ?

Go — let us ask of Constantine

To loose his grasp on Poland's throat ; · And beg the lord of Mahmoud's line

To spare the struggling SulioteWill not the scorching answer come

From turbaned Turk, and scornful Russ : “ Go, loose your fettered slaves at home,

Then turn, and ask the like of us !”

Just God! and shall we calmly rest,

The Christian's scorn -- the heathen's mirth Content to live the lingering jest

And by-word of a, mocking Earth ?

Shall our own glorious land retain

That curse which Europe scorns to bear ? Shall our own brethren drag the chain

Which not even Russia's menials wear ?

Up, then, in Freedom's manly part,

From gray-beard eld to fiery youth, And on the nation's naked heart

Scatter the living coals of Truth ! Up — while ye slumber, deeper yet

The shadow of our fame is growing ! Up - while ye pause, our sun may set

In blood, around our altars flowing !

Oh! rouse ye, ere the storm comes forth —

The gathered wrath of God and man — Like that which wasted Egypt's earth,

When hail and fire above it ran. Hear ye no warnings in the air ?

Feel ye no earthquake underneath ? Up — up — why will ye slumber where

The sleeper only wakes in death ?

Up now for Freedom ! — not in strise

Like that your sterner fathers saw -
The awful waste of human life —

The glory and the guilt of war :
But break the chain — the yoke remove,

And smite to earth oppression's rod,
With those mild arms of Truth and Love,

Made mighty through the living God ! Down let the shrine of Moloch sink,

And leave no traces where it stood ; Nor longer let its idol drink

His daily cup of human blood : But rear another altar there,

To Truth and Love and Mercy given, And Freedom's gift, and Freedom's prayer,

Shall call an answer down from Heaven !





+ SHE sings by her wheel, at that low cottage-door,

Which the long evening shadow is stretching before,
With a music as sweet as the music which seems
Breathed softly and faint in the ear of our dreams !

How brilliant and mirthful the light of her eye,
Like a star glancing out from the blue of the sky !
And lightly and freely her dark tresses play
O'er a brow and a bosom as lovely as they !

Who comes in his pride to that low cottage-door-
The haughty and rich to the humble and poor?
'T is the great Southern planter — the master who waves
His whip of dominion o'er hundreds of slaves.

“Nay, Ellen — for shame! Let those Yankee fools spin,
Who would pass for our slaves with a change of their skin;
Let them toil as they will at the loom or the wheel,
Too stupid for shame, and too vulgar to feel !

But thou art too lovely and precious a gem
To be bound to their burdens and sullied by them —
For shame, Ellen, shame! - cast thy bondage aside,
And away to the South, as my blessing and pride.

Oh, come where no winter thy footsteps can wrong,
But where flowers are blossoming all the year long,
Where the shade of the palm-tree is over my home,
And the lemon and orange are white in their bloom !

« PreviousContinue »