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[44] O'er Channing's face the tenderness
     Of sympathetic sorrow stole,
Like a still shadow, passionless,
     The sorrow of the soul.

But when the generous Briton told
     How hearts were answering to his own,
And Freedom's rising murmur rolled
     Up to the dull-eared throne,

I saw, methought, a glad surprise
     Thrill through that frail and pain-worn frame,
And, kindling in those deep, calm eyes,
     A still and earnest flame.

His few, brief words were such as move
     The human heart,—the Faith-sown seeds
Which ripen in the soil of love
     To high heroic deeds.

No bars of sect or clime were felt,
     The Babel strife of tongues had ceased,
And at one common altar knelt
     The Quaker and the priest.

And not in vain: with strength renewed,
     And zeal refreshed, and hope less dim,
For that brief meeting, each pursued
     The path allotted him.

How echoes yet each Western hill
     And vale with Channing's dying word!
How are the hearts of freemen still
     By that great warning stirred!

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Channing (2)
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