Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, JOHN CHARLES FREMONT, by JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

JOHN CHARLES FREMONT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thy error, fremont, simply was to act
Last Line: But the full time to harden into things.
Variant Title(s): To John C. Fremont
Subject(s): Emancipation Movement & Proclamation; Freedom; Fremont, John Charles (1813-1890); Missouri; Antislavery Movement - United States; Liberty

THY error, Fremont, simply was to act
A brave man's part, without the statesman's tact,
And, taking counsel but of common sense,
To strike at cause as well as consequence.
O, never yet since Roland wound his horn
At Roncesvalles has a blast been blown
Far-heard, wide-echoed, startling as thine own,
Heard from the van of freedom's hope forlorn!
It had been safer, doubtless, for the time,
To flatter treason, and avoid offence
To that Dark Power whose underlying crime
Heaves upward its perpetual turbulence.
But, if thine be the fate of all who break
The ground for truth's seed, or forerun their
Till lost in distance, or with stout hearts make
A lane for freedom through the level spears,
Still take thou courage! God has spoken through
Irrevocable, the mighty words, Be free!
The land shakes with them, and the slave's dull ear
Turns from the rice-swamp stealthily to hear.
Who would recall them now must first arrest
The winds that blow down from the free North-
Ruffling the Gulf; or like a scroll roll back
The Mississippi to its upper springs.
Such words fulfil their prophecy, and lack
But the full time to harden into things.

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net