Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WENDELL PHILLIPS, by JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY



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WENDELL PHILLIPS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What shall we mourn? For the prostrate tree that sheltered the
Last Line: Union was traitor to right!
Subject(s): Emancipation Movement & Proclamation; Phillips, Wendell (1811-1884); Antislavery Movement - United States


WHAT shall we mourn? For the prostrate tree that sheltered
the young green wood?
For the fallen cliff that fronted the sea, and guarded the
fields from the flood?
For the eagle that died in the tempest, afar from its eyrie's brood?

Nay, not for these shall we weep; for the silver cord must be worn,
And the golden fillet shrink back at last, and the dust to
its earth return;
And tears are never for those who die with their face to
the duty done;
But we mourn for the fledglings left on the waste, and the
fields where the wild waves run.

From the midst of the flock he defended, the brave one has
gone to his rest;
And the tears of the poor he befriended their wealth of
affliction attest.
From the midst of the people is stricken a symbol they daily saw,
Set over against the law books, of a Higher than human Law;
For his life was a ceaseless protest, and his voice was a
prophet's cry
To be true to the Truth and faithful, though the world were
arrayed for the Lie.

From the hearing of those who hated, a threatening voice has past;
But the lives of those who believe and die are not blown
like a leaf on the blast.
A sower of infinite seed was he, a woodman that hewed
toward the light,
Who dared to be traitor to Union when
Union was traitor to Right!





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