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Awoke one night down by the old Belize,
And saw, outside the comfort of his room,
Making it warmer for the gathering gloom,
A black man shivering in the winter's cold.
Exceeding courage made Ben Butler bold,
And to the presence in the dark he said:
“What wantest thou?” The figure raised its head,
And with a look made of all sad accord
Answered: “The men who'll serve the purpose of the Lord.”
“And am! one?” said Butler. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the black man. Butler spoke more low,
But cheerily still, and said: “As I am Ben,
You'll not have cause to tell me that again.”
The figure bowed and vanished. The next night
It came once more, environed strong in light,
And showed the names whom love of freedom blessed,
And lo! Ben Butler's name led all the rest.
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