To Massachusetts





WHAT though around thee blazes

No fiery rallying sign?

From all thy own high places,

Give heaven the light of thine!

What though unthrilled, unmoving,

The statesman stand apart,

And comes no warm approving

From Mammon's crowded mart?



Still, let the land be shaken

By a summons of thine own!

By all save truth forsaken,

Stand fast with that alone!

Shrink not from strife unequal!

With the best is always hope;

And ever in the sequel

God holds the right side up!



But when, with thine uniting,

Come voices long and loud,

And far-off hills are writing

Thy fire-words on the cloud;

When from Penobscot's fountains

A deep response is heard,

And across the Western mountains

Rolls back thy rallying word;



Shall thy line of battle falter,

With its allies just in view?

Oh, by hearth and holy altar,

My fatherland, be true!

Fling abroad thy scrolls of Freedom

Speed them onward far and fast

Over hill and valley speed them,

Like the sibyl's on the blast!



Lo! the Empire State is shaking

The shackles from her hand;

With the rugged North is waking

The level sunset land!

On they come, the free battalions

East and West and North they come,

And the heart-beat of the millions

Is the beat of Freedom's drum.



"To the tyrant's plot no favor

No heed to place-fed knaves!

Bar and bolt the door forever

Against the land of slaves!"

Hear it, mother Earth, and hear it,

The heavens above us spread!

The land is roused,--its spirit

Was sleeping, but not dead!

1844.





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