Alice Cary

April 26, 1820 - 1871


To The Hopeful

by Alice Cary

Hark! for the multitude cry out,
Oh, watchman, tell us of the night;
And hear the joyous answering shout,
The hills are red with light!

Lo! where the followers of the meek,
Like Johns, are crying in the wild,
The leopard lays its spotted cheek
Close to the new-born child.

The gallows-tree with tremor thrills --
The North to mercy's plea inclines;
And round about the Southern hills
Maidens are planting vines.

The star that trembled softly bright,
Where Mary and the young child lay,
Through ages of unbroken night
Hath tracked his luminous way.

From the dim shadow of the palm
The tattooed islander has leant,
Helping to swell the wondrous psalm
Of love's great armament!

And the wild Arab, swart and grave,
Looks startled from his tent, and scans
Advancing truth, with shining wave,
Washing the desert sands.

Forth from the slaver's deadly crypt
The Ethiop like an Athlete springs,
And from her long-worn fetters stript,
The dark Liberian sings.

But sorrow to and fro must keep
Its heavings until evil cease,
Like the great cradle of the deep,
Rocking a storm to peace.


Copyright 1855
Boston: Ticknor And Fields