Please read this poem written in the 1800’s and see if you don’t agree. The beginning poems in this book were written by Whittier and reference Anti-Slavery, Civil Rights and FREEDOM FOR ALL!
Taken from the “Poems by John G Whittier”
Title Page (Book)
‘There is a time to keep silence,’ saith Solomon; but when I proceeded to the first verse of the forth chapter of the Ecclesiastes, ‘and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun, and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on this side of the oppressorst here was power;’ I concluded this was not the time to keep silence; for Truth should be spoken at all times, but more especially at those times when to speak Truth is dangerous.”
Whittier titled this: “To William Lloyd Garrison”
Champion of those who groan beneath
Oppression’s iron hand:
In view of penury, hate and death,
I see thee fearless stand.
Still bearing up thy lofty brow,
In the steadfast strength of truth,
In manhood sealing well the vow
And promise of thy youth.
Go on !- for thou hast chosen well;
On, in the strength of God !
Long as one human heart shall swell
Beneath the tyrant’s rod.
Speak in slumbering nation’s ear,
As thou hast ever spoken,
Until the dead in sin shall hear-
The fetter’s link be broken !
I love thee with a brother’s love,
I feel my pulses thrill,
To mark thy spirit soar above
The cloud of human ill.
My heart hath leap’d to answer thine,
And echo back thy words,
As leaps the warrior’s at the shine
And flash of kindred swords!
They tell me thou art rash and vain-
A searcher after fame-
That thou art striving but to gain
A long enduring name-
That thou hast nerved the Afric’s hand,
And steel’d the Afric’s heart,
To shake aloft his vengeful brand,
And rend his chain apart.
Have I not known thee well, and read
Thy mighty purpose long !
And watch’d the trials which have made
Thy human spirit strong ?
And shall the slanderer’s demon breath
Avail with one like me,
To dim the sunshine of my faith
And earnest trust in thee ?
Go on-the dagger’s point may glare
Amid thy pathway’s gloom-
The fate which sternly threatens there
Is glorious martyrdom !
Then onward with a myrtyr’s zeal-
Press on to thy reward-
The hour when man shall only kneel
Before his Father-God.