To Massachusetts

WHAT though around thee blazes
No fiery rallying sign?
From all thy own high places,
Give heaven the light of thine!
What though unthrilled, unmoving,
The statesman stand apart,
And comes no warm approving
From Mammon's crowded mart?
Still, let the land be shaken
By a summons of thine own!
By all save truth forsaken,
Stand fast with that alone!
Shrink not from strife unequal!
With the best is always hope;
And ever in the sequel
God holds the right side up!
But when, with thine uniting,
Come voices long and loud,
And far-off hills are writing
Thy fire-words on the cloud;
When from Penobscot's fountains
A deep response is heard,
And across the Western mountains
Rolls back thy rallying word;
Shall thy line of battle falter,
With its allies just in view?
Oh, by hearth and holy altar,
My fatherland, be true!
Fling abroad thy scrolls of freedom!
Speed them onward far and fast!
Over hill and valley speed them,
Like the sibyl's on the blast!
Lo! The Empire State is shaking
The shackles from her hand;
With the rugged North is waking
The level sunset land!
On they come, the free battalions!
East and West and North they come,
And the heart-beat of the millions
Is the beat of Freedom's drum.
'To the tyrant's plot no favor!
No heed to place-fed knaves!
Bar and bolt the door forever
Against the land of slaves!'
Hear it, mother Earth, and hear it,
The heavens above us spread!
The land is roused, — its spirit
Was sleeping, but not dead!

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John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. more…

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"To Massachusetts" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/23255/to-massachusetts>.

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