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The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/An Appeal for the Oppressed

An Appeal for the OppressedEdit

Daughters of the Pilgrim sires,
Dwellers by their mouldering graves,
Watchers of their altar fires,
Look upon your country's slaves!

Look! 't is woman's streaming eye,
These are woman's fetter'd hands,
That to you so mournfully
Lift sad glance, and iron bands.

Mute, yet strong appeal of woe!
Wakes it not your starting tears?
Though your hearts may never know,
Half the bitter doom of hers.

Scars are on her fetter'd limbs,
Where the savage scourge hath been;
But the grief, her eye that dims,
Flows for deeper wounds within.

For the children of her love,
For the brothers of her race,
Sisters, like vine branches wove,
In one early dwelling place.

For the parent forms, that hung
Fondly o'er her infant sleep,
And for him, to whom she clung
With affection true and deep—

By her sad forsaken hearth,
'T is for these she wildly grieves!
Now all scatter'd o'er the earth,
Like the wind-strewn autumn leaves!

E'en her babes, so dear, so young,
And so treasured in her heart,
That the chords which round them clung
Seem'd its life, its dearest part—

These, ev'n these, were torn away!
These, that when all else were gone,
Cheer'd her heart with one bright ray,
That still bade its pulse beat on.

Then, to still her frantic woe,
The inhuman scourge was tried,
Till the tears that ceased to flow,
Were with redder drops supplied!

And can you behold unmoved,
All the crushing weight of grief,
That her aching heart has proved,
Seeking not to yield relief?

Are not woman's pulses warm,
Beating in this anguish'd breast?
Is it not a sister's form,
On whose limbs these fetters rest?

Oh then, save her from a doom,
Worse than all that ye may bear;
Let her pass not to the tomb
'Midst her bondage and despair.