Poems Written During the Progress of the Abolition Question In the United States/To the Memory of Chas. B. Storrs


'He fell a martyr to the interests of his colored brethren. For many months did that mighty man of God apply his discriminating and gigantic mind to the subject of Slavery and its remedy: and, when his soul could no longer contain his holy indignation against the upholders and apologists of this unrighteous system, he gave vent to his aching heart, and poured forth his clear thoughts and holy feelings in such deep and soul-entrancing eloquence, that other men, whom he would fain in his humble modesty acknowledge his superiors, sat at his feet and looked up as children to a parent.'—Correspondent of the 'Liberator,' 16th of 11th mo. 1833.

Thou hast fallen in thine armor—
Thou martyr of the Lord!—
With thy last breath crying—'Onward'!
And thy hand upon thy sword.
The haughty heart derideth,
And the sinful lip reviles,
But the blessing of the perishing
Around thy pillow smiles!

When to our cup of trembling
The added drop is given—
And the long-suspended thunder
Falls terribly from Heaven,—
When a new and fearful freedom
Is proffered of the Lord
To the slow-consuming famine—
The Pestilence and Sword!—

When the refuges of Falsehood
Shall be swept away in wrath,
And the temple shall be shaken
With its idol to the earth,—
Shall not thy words of warning
Be all remembered then?
And thy now unheeded message
Burn in the hearts of men?

Oppression's hand may scatter
Its nettles on thy tomb,
And even Christian bosoms
Deny thy memory room—
For lying lips shall torture
Thy mercy into crime,
And the slanderer shall flourish
As the bay-tree for a time.

But, where the South-wind lingers
On Carolina's pines—
Or, falls the careless sunbeam
Down Georgia's golden mines—
Where now beneath his burthen
The toiling slave is driven,—
When now a tyrant's mockery
Is offered unto Heaven,—

Where Mammon hath its altars
Wet o'er with human blood,
And Pride and Lust debases
The workmanship of God—
There shall thy praise by spoken,
Redeemed from falsehood's ban,
When the fetters shall be broken,
And the slave shall be a man!

Joy to thy spirit, brother!—
A thousand hearts are warm—
A thousand kindred bosoms
Are baring to the storm.
What though red-handed Violence
With secret Fraud combine,
The wall of fire is round us—
Our present Help was thine!

Lo—the waking up of nations,
From Slavery's fatal sleep—
The murmur of a universe—
Deep calling unto deep!—
Joy to thy spirit, brother!—
On every wind of Heaven
The onward cheer and summons
Of Freedom's soul is given!

Glory to God forever!—
Beyond the despot's will
The soul of Freedom liveth
Imperishable still.
The words which thou has uttered
Are of that soul a part,
And the good seed thou hast scattered
Is springing from the heart.

In the evil days before us,
And the trials yet to come—
In the shadow of the prison,
Or the cruel martyrdom—
We will think of thee, O Brother!
And thy sainted name shall be
In the blessing of the captive,
And the anthem of the free.

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