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To John Greenleaf Whittier.

At dawn of manhood came a voice to me
That said to startled conscience, “Sleep no more!”
Like some loud cry that peals from door to door
It roused a generation; and I see,
Now looking back through years of memory,
That all of school or college, all the lore
Of worldly maxims, all the statesman's store,
Were nought beside that voice's mastery.
If any good to me or from me came
Through life, and if no influence less divine
Has quite usurped the place of duty's flame;
If aught rose worthy in this heart of mine,
Aught that, viewed backward, wears no shade of shame,
Bless thee, old friend! for that high call was thine.

Cambridge, Dec. 17, 1887.

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