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At Washington.

Suggested by a visit to the city of Washington, in the 12th month of 1845.

with a cold and wintry noon-light
     On its roofs and steeples shed,
Shadows weaving with the sunlight
     From the gray sky overhead,
Broadly, vaguely, all around me, lies the half-built
     town outspread.

Through this broad street, restless ever,
     Ebbs and flows a human tide,
Wave on wave a living river;
     Wealth and fashion side by side;
Toiler, idler, slave and master, in the same quick
     current glide.

Underneath yon dome, whose coping
     Springs above them, vast and tall,
Grave men in the dust are groping
     For the largess, base and small,
Which the hand of Power is scattering, crumbs
     which from its table fall.

Base of heart! They vilely barter
     Honor's wealth for party's place;
Step by step on Freedom's charter
     Leaving footprints of disgrace;
For to-day's poor pittance turning from the great
     hope of their race.

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