To William Lloyd Garrison





CHAMPION of those who groan beneath

Oppression's iron hand

In view of penury, hate, and death,

I see thee fearless stand.

Still bearing up thy lofty brow,

In the steadfast strength of truth,

In manhood sealing well the vow

And promise of thy youth.



Go on, for thou hast chosen well;

On in the strength of God!

Long as one human heart shall swell

Beneath the tyrant's rod.

Speak in a slumbering nation's ear,

As thou hast ever spoken,

Until the dead in sin shall hear,

The fetter's link be broken!



I love thee with a brother's love,

I feel my pulses thrill,

To mark thy spirit soar above

The cloud of human ill.

My heart hath leaped to answer thine,

And echo back thy words,

As leaps the warrior's at the shine

And flash of kindred swords!



They tell me thou art rash and vain,

A searcher after fame;

That thou art striving but to gain

A long-enduring name;

That thou hast nerved the Afric's hand

And steeled the Afric's heart,

To shake aloft his vengeful brand,

And rend his chain apart.



Have I not known thee well, and read

Thy mighty purpose long?

And watched the trials which have made

Thy human spirit strong?

And shall the slanderer's demon breath

Avail with one like me,

To dim the sunshine of my faith

And earnest trust in thee?



Go on, the dagger's point may glare

Amid thy pathway's gloom;

The fate which sternly threatens there

Is glorious martyrdom

Then onward with a martyr's zeal;

And wait thy sure reward

When man to man no more shall kneel,

And God alone be Lord!

1832.





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