Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Lines Addressed To Mrs. H. B. Stowe

Lady, to thee, to fortune, and to fame,
I, all unknown, would yet aspiring claim
A right to love thee, and admire from far
Thy pure and tender light. Benignant star,
Bright in Columbian heavens we see thee rise,
Herald of freedom's dawn in Southern skies.
Far on the dim horizon she appears
Struggling through blood, red clouds bedewed with tears,
The dews of anguish, wrung from hearts and eyes-
Crush'd, blasted, sever'd from all human ties.
Dark exhalations rise her form to shroud,
And wrathful demons glare from every cloud.
In vain shall Slavery's vile Draconian code
Of lawless laws, that flout the laws of God-
Her blood-hounds, scourges, chains-exclude the day.
No; things of darkness, hence! avaunt! away!
Day breaks. Aside the murky vapours roll'd,
Mid roseate draperies, rich with orient gold,
Appears the goddess, shouts the applauding world,
The striped and starry flag she holds unfurl'd.
From the proud blazonry wipes out the name-
The curse of slavery and the brand of shame.
Lady, my land breeds not nor barters slaves,
But she has ruined homes and drunkards' graves.
Here mad Intemperance clanks her Bedlam chain,
And plies her scourge of snakes, shame, ruin, pain-
The fangs of fell remorse, and fierce despair,
Sink in the victim's heart and quiver there.
O gifted lady! from mine island strand
I gaze far sea-ward, wave the beckoning hand.
Thou comest-Oh, welcome guest!-and worthless, I
Shall meet thee-not on earth; our goal's the sky.
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