John Brown of Ossawatomie spake on his dying day:
"I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in Slavery's
But let some poor slave mother whom I have striven to free,
With her children, from the gallows stair put up a prayer for
Brown of Ossawatomie, they led him out to die;
And lol a poor slave mother with her little child pressed nigh.
Then the bold, blue eye grew tender, and the old harsh face
As he stooped between the jeering ranks and kissed the negro's
shadows of his stormy life that moment fell apart;
And they who blamed the bloody hand forgave the loving heart.
kiss from all its guilty means redeemed the good intent, And
round the grisly fighter's hair the martyr's aureole bent!
with him the folly that seeks through evil good! Long live the
generous purpose unstained with human blood! Not the raid of
midnight terror, but the thought which underlies; Nat the borderer's
pride of daring, but the Christian's sacrifice.
may yon Blue Ridges the Northern rifle hear, Nor see the light
of blazing homes flash on the negro's spear. But let the free
winged angel Truth their guarded passes scale,
To teach that right is more than might, and justice more than
vainly shall Virginia set her battle in array; In vain her trampling
squadrons knead the winter snow with clay.
She may strike the pouncing eagle, but she dares not harm the
dove; And every gate she bars to Hate shall open wide to Love!