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For, as that saved of bird and beast

A pair for propagation,
So has the seed of these increased

And furnished half the nation.

Kings sit, they say, in slippery seats;

But those slant precipices
Of ice the northern voyager meets

Less slippery are than this is ;
To cling therein would pass the wit

Of royal man or woman,
And whatsoe'er can stay in it

Is more or less than human.

I offer to all bores this perch,

Dear well-intentioned people With heads as void as week-day church,

Tongues longer than the steeple;
To folks with missions, whose gaunt eyes

See golden ages rising,--
Salt of the earth! in what queer Guys

Thou’rt fond of crystallizing!
My wonder, then, was not unmixed

With merciful suggestion,
When, as my roving eyes grew fixed

Upon the chair in question,
I saw its trembling arms enclose

A figure grim and rusty,
Whose doublet plain and plainer hose

Were something worn and dusty.
Now even such men as Nature forms

Merely to fill the street with, Once turned to ghosts by hungry worms,

Are serious things to meet with;
Your penitent spirits are no jokes,

And, though I'm not averse to
A quiet shade, even they are folks

One cares not to speak first to.
Who knows, thought I, but he has come,

By Charon kindly ferried, To tell me of a mighty sum

Behind my wainscot buried ?


There is a buccaneerish air

About that garb outlandish
Just then the ghost drew up his chair

And said “My name is Standish.
“I come from Plymouth, deadly bored

With toasts, and songs, and speeches, As long and flat as my old sword,

As threadbare as my breeches : They understand us Pilgrims! they,

Smooth men with rosy faces, Strength's knots and gnarls all pared away,

And varnish in their places !
“ We had some toughness in our grain,

The eye to rightly see us is
Not just the one that lights the brain

Of drawing-room Tyrtæuses:
They talk about their Pilgrim blood,

Their birthright high and holy ! -
A mountain-stream that ends in mud

Methinks is melancholy. “ He had stiff knees, the Puritan,

That were not good at bending; The homespun dignity of man

He thought was worth defending; He did not, with his pinchbeck ore,

His country's shame forgotten, Gild Freedom's coffin o'er and o’er,

When all within was rotten. “ These loud ancestral boasts of yours,

How can they else than vex us ? Where were your dinner orators

When slavery grasped at Texas ? Dumb on his knees was every one

That now is bold as Cæsar, Mere pegs to hang an office on

Such stalwart men as these are." Good Sir,” I said, “you seem much stirred

The sacred compromises --" “Now God confound the dastard word!

My gall thereat arises :

Northward it hath this sense alone,

That you, your conscience blinding, Shall bow your fool's nose to the stone,

When slavery feels like grinding. “'T is shame to see such painted sticks

In Vane’s and Winthrop's places,
To see your spirit of Seventy-six

Drag humbly in the traces,
With slavery's lash upon her back,

And herds of office-holders
To shout applause, as, with a crack,

It peels her patient shoulders. 66 We forefathers to such a rout!

No, by my faith in God's word ! " Half rose the ghost, and half drew out

The ghost of his old broadsword, Then thrust it slowly back again,

And said, with reverent gesture, “No, Freedom, no! blood should not stain

The hem of thy white vesture. "I feel the soul in me draw near

The mount of prophesying; In this bleak wilderness I hear

A John the Baptist crying; Far in the east I see upleap

The streaks of first forewarning, And they who sowed the light shall reap

The golden sheaves of morning. 6 Child of our travail and our woe,

Light in our day of sorrow, Through my rapt 'spirit I foreknow

The glory of thy morrow;
I hear great steps, that through the shade

Draw nigher still and nigher,
And voices call like that which bade

The prophet come up higher.”
I looked, no form mine eyes could find,

I heard the red cock crowing,
And through my window-chinks the wind

A dismal tune was blowing ;

Thought I, My neighbor Buckingham

Hath somewhat in him gritty,
Some Pilgrim-stuff that hates all sham,

And he will print my ditty.



Look on who will in apathy, and stifle they who can, The sympathies, the hopes, the words, that make man

truly man; Let those whose hearts are dungeoned up with interest

or with ease Consent to hear with quiet pulse of loathsome deeds

like these !

I first drew in New England's air, and from her hardy

breast Sucked in the tyrant-hating milk that will not let me

rest; And if my words seem treason to the dullard and the

tame, 'T is but my Bay-State dialect, - our fathers spake the


Shame on the costly mockery of piling stone on stone
To those who won our liberty, the heroes dead and gone,
While we look coldly on, and see law-shielded ruffians

slay The men who fain would win their own, the heroes of

to-day! Are we pledged to craven silence ? O fling it to the

wind, The parchment wall that bars us from the least of

human kind, - That makes us cringe and temporize, and dumbly stand

at rest, While Pity's burning flood of words is red-hot in the

breast! Though we break our fathers' promise, we have nobler

duties first;

The traitor to Humanity is the traitor most accursed; Man is more than Constitutions; better rot beneath the

sod, Than be true to Church and State while we are doubly

false to God!


We owe allegiance to the State; but deeper, truer, more, To the sympathies that God hath set within our spirit's

core; Our country claims our fealty; we grant it so, but then Before Man made us citizens, great Nature made us

. He's true to God who's true to man; wherever wrong is

done, To the humblest and the weakest, neath the all-behold

ing sun, That wrong is also done to us; and they are slaves most

base, Whose love of right is for themselves, and not for all

their race.

God works for all. Ye cannot hem the hope of being

free With parallels of latitude, with mountain-range or sea. Put golden padlocks on Truth's lips, be callous as ye

will, From soul to soul o'er all the world, leaps one electric


Chain down your slaves with ignorance, ye cannot keep

apart, With all your craft of tyranny, the human heart from

heart: When first the Pilgrims landed on the Bay-State's iron

shore, The word went forth that slavery should one day be no


Out from the land of bondage 't is decreed our slaves

shall go,

And signs to us are offered, as erst to Pharaoh;
If we are blind, their exodus, like Israel's of yore,
Through a Red Sea is doomed to be, whose surges are of


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