Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHAT STATE STREET SAID TO SOUTH CAROLINA ..., by JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER



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WHAT STATE STREET SAID TO SOUTH CAROLINA ..., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Muttering 'fine upland staple,' 'prime sea island finer,'
Last Line: "blind in that pestilent anakim, sumner!"
Subject(s): Abolitionists; Boston; Slavery; South Carolina; Sumner, Charles (1811-1874); Anti-slavery; Serfs


MUTTERING "fine upland staple," "prime
Sea Island finer,"
With cotton bales pictured on either retina,
"Your pardon!" said State Street to South Carolina;
"We feel and acknowledge your laws are diviner
Than any promulgated by the thunders of Sinai!
Sorely pricked in the sensitive conscience of business
We own and repent of our sins of remissness:
Our honor we've yielded, our words we have swallowed;
And quenching the lights which our forefathers followed,
And turning from graves by their memories hallowed,
With teeth on ball-cartridge, and finger on trigger,
Reserved Boston Notions, and sent back a nigger!"

"Get away!" cried the Chivalry, busy a-drumming,
And fifing and drilling, and such Quattle-bumming;
"With your April-fool slave hunt! Just wait till December
Shall see your new Senator stalk through the Chamber,
And Puritan heresy prove neither dumb nor
Blind in that pestilent Anakim, Sumner!"





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