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     Has gathered, drop by drop, its flood,—
Why strikes he not, the foremost one,
     Where, murder's sternest deeds are done?

He stood the aged palms beneath,
     That shadowed o'er his humble door,
Listening, with half-suspended breath,
     To the wild sounds of fear and death,
Toussaint L'Ouverture!
     What marvel that his heart beat high!
The blow for freedom had been given,
     And blood had answered to the cry
Which Earth sent up to Heaven!
     What marvel that a fierce delight
Smiled grimly o'er his brow of night,
     As groan and shout and bursting flame
Told where the midnight tempest came,
     With blood and fire along its van,
And death behind! he was a Man!

Yes, dark-souled chieftain! if the light
     Of mild Religion's heavenly ray
Unveiled not to thy mental sight
     The lowlier and the purer way,
In which the Holy Sufferer trod,
     Meekly amidst the sons of crime;
That calm reliance upon God
     For justice in His own good time;
That gentleness to which belongs
     Forgiveness for its many wrongs,
Even as the primal martyr, kneeling
     For mercy on the evil-dealing;
Let not the favored white man name
     Thy stern appeal, with words of blame.

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Toussaint L'Ouverture (1)
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