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Personal Poems II Part 2, from Volume IV., the Works of Whittier: Personal Poems   By: (1807-1892)

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This eBook was produced by David Widger [widger@cecomet.net]

PERSONAL POEMS

BY

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

CONTENTS:

THE CROSS THE HERO RANTOUL WILLIAM FORSTER TO CHARLES SUMNER BURNS TO GEORGE B. CHEEVER TO JAMES T. FIELDS THE MEMORY OF BURNS IN REMEMBRANCE OF JOSEPH STURGER BROWN OF OSSAWATOMIE NAPLES A MEMORIAL BRYANT ON HIS BIRTHDAY THOMAS STARR KING LINES ON A FLY LEAF GEORGE L. STEARNS GARIBALDI TO LYDIA MARIA CHILD THE SINGER HOW MARY GREW SUMNER THIERS FITZ GREENE HALLECK WILLIAM FRANCIS BARTLETT BAYARD TAYLOR OUR AUTOCRAT WITHIN THE GATE IN MEMORY: JAMES T. FIELDS WILSON THE POET AND THE CHILDREN A WELCOME TO LOWELL AN ARTIST OF THE BEAUTIFUL MULFORD TO A CAPE ANN SCHOONER SAMUEL J. TILDEN

THE CROSS.

Richard Dillingham, a young member of the Society of Friends, died in the Nashville penitentiary, where he was confined for the act of aiding the escape of fugitive slaves.

"The cross, if rightly borne, shall be No burden, but support to thee;" So, moved of old time for our sake, The holy monk of Kempen spake.

Thou brave and true one! upon whom Was laid the cross of martyrdom, How didst thou, in thy generous youth, Bear witness to this blessed truth!

Thy cross of suffering and of shame A staff within thy hands became, In paths where faith alone could see The Master's steps supporting thee.

Thine was the seed time; God alone Beholds the end of what is sown; Beyond our vision, weak and dim, The harvest time is hid with Him.

Yet, unforgotten where it lies, That seed of generous sacrifice, Though seeming on the desert cast, Shall rise with bloom and fruit at last. 1852.

THE HERO.

The hero of the incident related in this poem was Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, the well known philanthropist, who when a young man volunteered his aid in the Greek struggle for independence.

"Oh for a knight like Bayard, Without reproach or fear; My light glove on his casque of steel, My love knot on his spear!

"Oh for the white plume floating Sad Zutphen's field above, The lion heart in battle, The woman's heart in love!

"Oh that man once more were manly, Woman's pride, and not her scorn: That once more the pale young mother Dared to boast `a man is born'!

"But, now life's slumberous current No sun bowed cascade wakes; No tall, heroic manhood The level dulness breaks.

"Oh for a knight like Bayard, Without reproach or fear! My light glove on his casque of steel, My love knot on his spear!"

Then I said, my own heart throbbing To the time her proud pulse beat, "Life hath its regal natures yet, True, tender, brave, and sweet!

"Smile not, fair unbeliever! One man, at least, I know, Who might wear the crest of Bayard Or Sidney's plume of snow.

"Once, when over purple mountains Died away the Grecian sun, And the far Cyllenian ranges Paled and darkened, one by one,

"Fell the Turk, a bolt of thunder, Cleaving all the quiet sky, And against his sharp steel lightnings Stood the Suliote but to die.

"Woe for the weak and halting! The crescent blazed behind A curving line of sabres, Like fire before the wind!

"Last to fly, and first to rally, Rode he of whom I speak, When, groaning in his bridle path, Sank down a wounded Greek.

"With the rich Albanian costume Wet with many a ghastly stain, Gazing on earth and sky as one Who might not gaze again.

"He looked forward to the mountains, Back on foes that never spare, Then flung him from his saddle, And placed the stranger there.

"'Allah! hu!' Through flashing sabres, Through a stormy hail of lead, The good Thessalian charger Up the slopes of olives sped.

"Hot spurred the turbaned riders; He almost felt their breath, Where a mountain stream rolled darkly down Between the hills and death.

"One brave and manful struggle, He gained the solid land, And the cover of the mountains, And the carbines of his band!"

"It was very great and noble," Said the moist eyed listener then, "But one brave deed makes no hero; Tell me what he since hath been!"

"Still a brave and generous manhood, Still an honor without stain, In the prison of the Kaiser, By the barricades of Seine... Continue reading book >>




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