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TO THE REFORMERS OF ENGLAND*
God bless ye, brothers ! — in the fight
For better is your sense of right
Than tyrant's law, or bigot's ban
More mighty is your simplest word;
The free heart of an honest man
Go — let your bloated Church rehearse
It moves not with its prayer or curse
Let the State scaffold rise again —
Forget ye how the blood of Vane
The great hearts of your olden time
All holy memories and sublime
* It can scarcely be necessary to say that the author refers to those who are seeking the reform of political evils in Great Britain, by peaceful and Christian means.
The bluff, bold men of Runnymede
The shades of England's mighty dead,
The truths ye urge are borne abroad
By every wind and every tide; The voice of Nature and of God
Speaks out upon your side.
The weapons which your hands have found Are those which Heaven itself has wrought,
Light, Truth, and Love ;— your battle ground The free, broad field of Thought.
No partial, selfish purpose breaks
The simple beauty of your plan, Nor lie from throne or altar shakes
Your steady faith in man.
The languid pulse of England starts
The beating of her million hearts
Oh, ye who, with undoubting eyes,
Through present cloud and gathering storm,
Behold the span of Freedom's skies,
Press bravely onward ! — not in vain
The good which bloodshed could not gain
Press on ! — the triumph shall be won
The glorious dream of Harrington,
Blessing the cotter and the crown,
And, plucking not the highest down,
Press on ! — and we who may not share
May ask, at least, in earnest prayer,
THE QUAKER OF THE OLDEN TIME.
The Quaker of the olden time !—
How calm and firm and true,
He walked the dark earth through!
The thousand lures of sin
The purity within.
With that deep insight which detects
All great things in the small,
The spiritual life of all,
By love and not by law;
He rather felt than saw.
He felt that wrong with wrong partakes,
That nothing stands alone,
His brother's sin his own.
And, pausing not for doubtful choice
Of evils great or small,
Which called away from all.
Oh! Spirit of that early day,
So pure and strong and true,
Our faithful fathers knew.
The cross of Truth to bear,
Our daily lives a prayer!
All grim and soiled and brown with tan,
I saw a Strong One, in his wrath, Smiting the godless shrines of man Along his path.
The Church beneath her trembling dome
Essayed in vain her ghostly charm: Wealth shook within his gilded homo With strange alarm.
Fraud from his secret chambers fled
Before the sunlight bursting in: Sloth drew her pillow o'er her head To drown the din.
"Spare," Art implored, "yon holy pile;
That grand, old, time-worn turret spare ;"
Grey-bearded Use, who, deaf and blind,
Toung Romance raised his dreamy eyes,
O'erhung with paly locks of gold: "Why smite," he asked in sad surprise, "The fair, the old?"