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“On either side my foe they own: One guards through love his ghastly throne, And one through fear to reverence grown.
“ Why wait we longer, mocked, betrayed, By open foes, or those afraid To speed thy coming through my aid ?
“ Why watch to see who win or fall ? —
“Nay,” Peace implored : “yet longer wait; The doom is near, the stake is great: God knoweth if it be too late.
“ Still wait and watch ; the way prepare Where I with folded wings of prayer May follow, weaponless and bare.”
“ Too late!” the stern, sad voice replied, “ Too late!” its mournful echo sighed, In low lament the answer died.
A rustling as of wings in flight,
But round me, like a silver bell
“Still hope and trust,” it sang; “the rod Must fall, the wine-press must be trod, But all is possible with God!”
V OU flung your taunt across the wave;
We bore it as became us, Well knowing that the fettered slave Left friendly lips no option save
To pity or to blame us.
You scoffed our plea. “Mere lack of will,
Not lack of power,” you told us :
Slave-haters and slaveholders.
We struck at Slavery; to the verge
Of power and means we checked it;
Lo!— presto, change! its claims you urge, Send greetings to it o'er the surge,
And comfort and protect it.
But yesterday you scarce could shake,
In slave-abhorring rigor, Our Northern palms, for conscience' sake: To-day you clasp the hands that ache
With “walloping the nigger!” *
O Englishmen! – in hope and creed,
In blood and tongue our brothers ! We too are heirs of Runnymede ; And Shakespeare's fame and Cromwell's deed
Are not alone our mother's.
“ Thicker than water,'' in one rill
Through centuries of story
* See English caricatures of America: Slaveholder and cowhide, with the motto, “ Have n't I a right to wallop my nigger ? "
Our Saxon blood has flowed, and still
The shadow and the glory.
Joint heirs and kinfolk, leagues of wave
Nor length of years can part us: Your right is ours to shrine and grave, The common freehold of the brave,
The gift of saints and martyrs.
Our very sins and follies teach
Our kindred frail and human : We carp at faults with bitter speech, The while for one unshared by each
We have a score in common.
We bowed the heart, if not the knee,
To England's Queen, God bless her! We praised you when your slaves went free: We seek to unchain ours. Will ye
Join hands with the oppressor ?