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Till her outstretched hands smiled also,
Sending sun through her veins to me!
She had been with us scarce a twelvemonth, And it hardly seemed a day,
When a troop of wandering angels
Stole my little daughter away; Or perhaps those heavenly Zingari But loosed the hampering strings, And when they had opened her cage-door, My little bird used her wings.
But they left in her stead a changeling,
That seems like her bud in full blossom,
As weak, yet as trustful also;
All the wonders of faithful Nature
Still worked for the love of me; Winds wander, and dews drip earthward, Rain falls, suns rise and set, Earth whirls, and all but to prosper A poor little violet.
This child is not mine as the first was,
I cannot lift it up fatherly
And bliss it upon my breast; Yet it lies in my little one's cradle And sits in my little one's chair, And the light of the heaven she's gone to Transfigures its golden hair.
THE PRESENT CRISIS.
WHEN a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.
Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instantaneous throe,
When the travail of the Ages wrings earth's systems to and fro;
At the birth of each new Era, with a recognizing start,
Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart,
And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future's heart.
So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill,
Under continent to continent, the sense of coming
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God
In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod,
Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod.
For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along,
Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong;
Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame
Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame ;
In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.
Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,
And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.
Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand,
Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?
Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth alone is strong,
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.