Open main menu

To A StrangerEdit

I know thee not, young maiden, yet I know that there must be
Around that heart of thine, sweet ties of clinging sympathy;
Dwell'st thou not ‘midst thy childhood's hours, a loved and loving one,
Around whose path affection's light hath ever sunshine thrown?

A sister's arm is round thee twined, perchance, oh deeply blest!
A parent's fond and holy kiss upon thy brow is prest;
A brother's love—is that, too, thine?—a gem of priceless worth,
To guard thee, like a talisman, amid the storms of earth.

Then blame me not, that I should seek, although I know not thee,
To waken in thy heart its chords of holiest sympathy;
It is for woman's bleeding heart, for woman's humbled form,
O'er which the reeking lash is swung, with life's red current warm.

It is for those who wildly mourn o'er many a broken tie,
As sweet as those which swell thy heart with happiness so high;
For those whose hearts are rent and crush'd by foul oppression's hand,
The wrong'd, the wretched, the enslaved, in freedom's chosen land.

Oh, lady! when a sister's cry is ringing on the air,
When woman's pleading eye is raised in agonized despair,
When woman's limbs are scourged and sold ‘midst rude and brutal mirth,
And all affection's holiest ties are trampled to the earth,

May female hearts be still unstirr'd, and ‘midst their wretched lot,
The victims of unmeasured wrongs be carelessly forgot?
Or shall the prayer be pour'd for them, the tear be freely given,
Until the chains, that bind them now, from every limb be riven?