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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 3. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Anti-Slavery Poems (search)
aiting crowd, Dark and still, like winter's cloud; King and council, lord and knight, Squire and yeoman, stood in sight; Stood to hear the priest rehearse, In God's name, the Church's curse, By the tapers round them lit, Slowly, sternly uttering it. “Right of voice in framing laws, Right of peers to try each cause; Peasant homestead, mean and small, Sacred as the monarch's hall,— Whoso lays his hand on these, England's ancient liberties; Whoso breaks, by word or deed, England's vow at Runnymede; Be he Prince or belted knight, Whatsoe'er his rank or might, If the highest, then the worst, Let him live and die accursed. Thou, who to Thy Church hast given Keys alike, of hell and heaven, Make our word and witness sure, Let the curse we speak endure! “ Silent, while that curse was said, Every bare and listening head Bowed in reverent awe, and then All the people said, Amen! Seven times the bells have tolled, For the centuries gray and old, Since that stoled and mitred band Cursed t<
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 3. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Songs of Labour and Reform (search)
The free heart of an honest man Than crosier or the sword. Go, let your blinded Church rehearse The lesson it has learned so well; It moves not with its prayer or curse The gates of heaven or hell. Let the State scaffold rise again; Did Freedom die when Russell died? Forget ye how the blood of Vane From earth's green bosom cried? The great hearts of your olden time Are beating with you, full and strong; All holy memories and sublime And glorious round ye throng. The bluff, bold men of Runnymede Are with ye still in times like these; The shades of England's mighty dead, Your cloud of witnesses! The truths ye urge are borne abroad By every wind and every tide; The voice of Nature and of God Speaks out upon your side. The weapons which your hands have found Are those which Heaven itself has wrought, Light, Truth, and Love; your battle-ground The free, broad field of Thought. No partial, selfish purpose breaks The simple beauty of your plan, Nor lie from throne or altar shakes You