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 If it be true that things like these
To heart and eye bright visions bring,
Shall not far holier memories
To this memorial cling?
Which needs no mellowing mist of time
To hide the crimson stains of crime!
Wreck of a temple, unprofaned;
Of courts where Peace with Freedom trod,
Lifting on high, with hands unstained,
Thanksgiving unto God;
Where Mercy's voice of love was pleading
For human hearts in bondage bleeding!
Where, midst the sound of rushing feet
And curses on the night-air flung,
That pleading voice rose calm and sweet
From woman's earnest tongue;
And Riot turned his scowling glance,
Awed, from her tranquil countenance!
That temple now in ruin lies!
The fire-stain on its shattered wall,
And open to the changing skies
Its black and roofless hall,
It stands before a nation's sight,
A gravestone over buried Right!
But from that ruin, as of old,
The fire-scorched stones themselves are crying,
And from their ashes white and cold
Its timbers are replying!
A voice which slavery cannot kill
Speaks from the crumbling arches still!
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