Achsa White Sprague

Nov. 17, 1827 - Jul. 6, 1862

 

Wendell Phillips

by Achsa White Sprague

He speaks beneath his country's flag to-night, --
Lover of Freedom, champion of right!
For years he stood outside that country's laws,
Yet struggled bravely in a noble cause;
But now he's seen where'er that banner waves,
Ere long to lose its stain, -- the blood of slaves.
His heart of fire, and tongue of living flame,
Have burned the veil from off the nation's shame;
Those scorching words have lit a fire for thee, --
A beacon fire, O Goddess, Liberty!
Beneath them has old Tyranny awoke,
And shook and trembled at the truths he spoke,
Until she rose in wrath, and stands to-day,
To block the car of Freedom on its way.
It shall not be; true hearts like his stand strong,
And send their shafts to pierce the heart of wrong.

His was the heart unflinching in the storm;
His was the noble, almost godlike form
That walked the streets of Boston, in the day
When Freedom's sceptre half had lost its sway.
Then Liberty's proud cradle rocked her child
But roughly; Tyranny looked on, and smiled.
His was the escort that the great man wins,
Who dares to speak against time-worshipped sins!
The mob by thousands followed in his train,
And, but for law, that fearless form had slain;
Yet calm, erect, with Jove-like front he met
Those waves of men, till backward they were set.
Like some firm rock that still defies the sea,
Though years the waves have dashed most angrily;
Above the strife, its proud, defiant form
Stands all the same, alike in calm or storm.
But when our Northern blood had stained the street
Of Baltimore -- foul Treason's work complete;
When Massachusetts sprang to avenge the stain,
Then WENDELL PHILLIPS could be heard again!
They pressed to hear, -- the mob of weeks ago, --
Their hearts with patriot fire at last aglow;
At Freedom's shrine, they, gathering, bowed with thee,
Brave heart and strong! -- then came thy victory!

We give thee welcome to our midst to-day!
Pour forth thy words till Freedom bears the sway
O'er all our land; until no slave shall be;
But all shall bear the seal of Liberty!
Launch thy Phillipics through the hearts of those
Who dare not meet the cause of all our woes!
Hold up the flag, until all hearts shall say
Its stars shall chase old Error's night away!
Let still the cry be, Woe, forever woe
To all, until they LET MY PEOPLE GO!

Source:

The Poet And Other Poems.
Copyright 1864
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.
 
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