Who shall receive him? Who, unblushing, speak1Who should receive him, indeed, if not those who had invited him? A prior question was, Who shall inform him truly of the state of affairs in the so-called land of freedom? An American who had known Kossuth at home, and likened him to Washington and Channing6 combined, told of having often observed Channing's works on his table—excellent aids (we will add) to Kossuth's theological development, but not calculated to make him shun the society or applause of slaveholders. Save him! save him! wrote Henry C. Wright to James Haughton7 of Dublin. Tell him of American slavery. ‘He is lost —lost to himself and the friends and cause of liberty in all coming time—if he lands on this slavery-cursed shore.’ ‘ “here lies Kossuth—the American ”’
Welcome to him who, while he strove to break
The Austrian yoke from Magyar necks, smote off2
At the same blow the fetters of the serf,—
Rearing the altar of his Fatherland
On the firm base of freedom, and thereby,
Lifting to Heaven a patriot's stainless hand,
Mocked not the God of Justice with a lie!
Who shall be Freedom's mouthpiece? Who shall give
Her welcoming cheer to the great fugitive?
Not he who, all her sacred trusts betraying,3
Is scourging back to slavery's hell of pain
The swarthy Kossuths of our land again!
Not he whose utterance now, from lips designed4
The bugle-march of Liberty to wind,
And call her hosts beneath the breaking light,—
The keen reveille of her morn of fight,—
Is but the hoarse note of the bloodhound's baying,
The wolf's long howl behind the bondman's flight!
O for the tongue of him who lies at rest5
In Quincy's shade of patrimonial trees,—
Last of the Puritan tribunes and the best,—
To lend a voice to Freedom's sympathies,
And hail the coming of the noblest guest
The Old World's wrong has given the New World of the West!
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.