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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 ?
The paltry menace of a chain ;
Of holy Liberty and Light -
Plead vainly for their plundered Right?
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?
Relax the iron hand of pride,
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 manLike 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 strife
Like that your sterner fathers saw -
The glory and the guilt of war :
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 !
UST God! - and these are they
Who minister at thine altar, God of Right! Men who their hands with prayer and blessing lay
On Israel's Ark of light!
What! preach and kidnap men ?
Bolt hard the captive's door ?
What! servants of thy own
The tasked and plundered slave!
Pilate and Herod, friends!
Strength to the spoiler, thine ?
Paid hypocrites, who turn
In warning and rebuke ;
Feed fat, ye locusts, feed !
Ye pile your own full board.
How long, O Lord! how long Shall such a priesthood barter truth away, And, in thy name, for robbery and wrong
At thy own altars pray ?
Is not thy hand stretched forth Visibly in the heavens, to awe and smite ? Shall not the living God of all the earth,
And heaven above, do right?
Woe, then, to all who grind
Its bright and glorious crown!
Woe to the priesthood ! woe
The searching truths of God!
Their glory and their might
Of a world's liberty.
Oh! speed the moment on When Wrong shall cease — and Liberty, and Love, And Truth, and Right, throughout the earth be known
As in their home above.