Poems Written During the Progress of the Abolition Question In the United States/To George Bancroft, Esq.


Friend of the poor!—go on—
Speak for the Truth and Right!
Onward—though hate and scorn
Gloom round thee as the night.
Speak—at each word of thine,
Some ancient Fraud is riven—
And through its rents of ruin shine
The sunbeams and the heaven!

Speak—for thy voice will be
Welcome in each abode,
Where manhood's heart and knee
Are bended but to God—
Where honest bosoms hold
Their holy birthright well—
Where Freedom spurns at Mammon's gold—
Where Man is not to sell!

Speak—for the poor man's cause—
For Labor's just reward—
For violated laws
Of nature and of God!
Speak—let the Debtor hear
Within his living grave!
Speak—thunder in Oppression's ear,
Deliverance to the slave!

Ay—speak—while there is time,
For all a freeman's claim,
Ere thought becomes a crime,
And Freedom but a name!
While yet the Tongue and Pen
And Press are unforbid,
And we dare to feel and act as men—
Speak—as our fathers did!

The land we love ere long
Shall kindle at thy call—
Falsehood and chartered Wrong,
And legal Robbery, fall:
The proud shall not combine—
The secret council cease—
And underneath the sheltering vine
Shall Labor dwell in peace!

Old Massachusetts yet
Retains her earliest fires—
Still on her hills are set
The altars of her sires:
Her 'fierce Democracies'
Have yet their strength unshorn,
And pampered Power ere long shall see
Its Gaza-gates uptorn.

Perish shall all which takes
From Labor's board and can—
Perish shall all which makes
A Spaniel of the Man!
With freshened courage then,
On to the glorious end—
Ever the same as thou hast been—
The poor man's fastest friend!

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