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By Narragansett's sunny bay,
Beneath his green embowering wood,
To me it seems but yesterday
Since at his side I stood.
The slopes lay green with summer rains, The western wind blew fresh and free,
And glimmered down the orchard lanes The white surf of the sea.
With us was one, who, calm and true,
Life's highest purpose understood,
And like his blessed Master knew
The joy of doing good.
Unlearned, unknown to lettered fame,
Yet on the lips of England's poor
And toiling millions dwelt his name,
With blessings evermore.
Unknown to power or place, yet where
The sun looks o'er the Carib sea,
It blended with the freeman's prayer
And song of jubilee.
He told of England's sin and wrong—
The ills her suffering children know.—
The squalor of the city's throng—
The green field's want and woe.
O'er Channing's face the tenderness
Of sympathetic sorrow stole
Like a still shadow, passionless,
The sorrow of the soul.
But, when the generous Briton told
How hearts were answering to his own,
And Freedom's rising murmur rolled
Up to the dull-eared throne,
I saw, methought, a glad surprise
Thrill through that frail and pain-worn frame,
And kindling in those deep, calm eyes
A still and earnest flame.
His few, brief words were such as move
The human heart—the Faith-sown seeds
Which ripen in the soil of love
To high heroic deeds.
No bars of sect or clime were felt—
The Babel strife of tongues had ceased,—
And at one common altar knelt
The Quaker and the priest.
And not in vain: with strength renewed,
And zeal refreshed, and hope less dim,
For that brief meeting, each pursued
The path allotted him.
How echoes yet each Western hill
And vale with Channing's dying words
How are the hearts of freemen ji
By that great warning stirred!
The stranger treads his native soil,
And pleads with zeal unfelt before
The honest right of British toil,
The claim of England's poor.
Before him time-wrought barriers fall,
Old fears subside, old hatreds melt,
And, stretching o'er the sea's blue wall,
The Saxon greets the Celt.
The yeoman on the Scottish lines,
The Sheffield grinder, worn and grim,
The delver in the Cornwall mines,
Look up with hope to him.
Swart smiters of the glowing steel,
Dark feeders of the forge's flame,
Bale watchers at the loom and wheel,
Repeat his honored name.
And thus the influence of that hour
Of converse on Rhode Island's strand,
Lives in the calm, resistless power
Which moves our father-land.
God blesses still the generous thought,
And still the fitting word He speeds,
And Truth, at his requiring taught,
He quickens into deeds.
Where is the victory of the grave?
What dust upon the spirit lies 2
God keeps the sacred life he gave—
The prophet never diesl -
TO THE MEMORY OF CHARLES B. STORRS,
*ATE PRESIDENT OF WESTERN RESERVE COLLITGE.
THOU hast fallen in thine armor,
Thou martyr of the Lord l
With thy last breath crying—“Onward *
And thy hand upon the 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 2
And thy now unheeded message
Burn in the hearts of men 2
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, i
Where now beneath his burthen
The toiling slave is driven,
Where 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 be spoken, WOL. II. 5
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, brotherl
On every wind of heaven
The onward cheer and summons
Of FREEDOM’s voice is given
Glory to God forever!
Beyond the despot's will
The soul of Freedom liveth
The words which thou hast 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.