Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Introductory to Southern States


By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)

The Voice of New England

UP the hillside, down the glen,

Rouse the sleeping citizen;

Summon out the might of men!

Like a lion growling low,—

Like a night-storm rising slow,—

Like the tread of unseen foe,—

It is coming,—it is nigh!

Stand your homes and altars by;

On your own free thresholds die.

Clang the bells in all your spires;

On the gray hills of your sires

Fling to heaven your signal-fires.

From Wachusett, lone and bleak,

Unto Berkshire’s tallest peak,

Let the flame-tongued heralds speak.

Oh, for God and duty stand,

Heart to heart and hand to hand,

Round the old graves of the land.

Whoso shrinks or falters now,

Whoso to the yoke would bow,

Brand the craven on his brow!

Freedom’s soil hath only place

For a free and fearless race,—

None for traitors false and base.

Perish party,—perish clan;

Strike together while ye can,

Like the arm of one strong man.

Like that angel’s voice sublime,

Heard above a world of crime,

Crying of the end of time,—

With one heart and with one mouth,

Let the North unto the South

Speak the word befitting both:

“What though Issachar be strong!

Ye may load his back with wrong

Overmuch and over long;

“Patience with her cup o’errun,

With her weary thread outspun,

Murmurs that her work is done.

“Make our Union-bond a chain,

Weak as tow in Freedom’s strain

Link by link shall snap in twain.

“Vainly shall your sand-wrought rope

Bind the starry cluster up,

Shattered over heaven’s blue cope!

“Give us bright though broken rays,

Rather than eternal haze,

Clouding o’er the full-orbed blaze.

“Take your land of sun and bloom;

Only leave to Freedom room

For her plough and forge and loom;

“Take your slavery-blackened vales;

Leave us but our own free gales,

Blowing on our thousand sails.

“Boldly, or with treacherous art,

Strike the blood-wrought chain apart;

Break the Union’s mighty heart;

“Work the ruin, if ye will;

Pluck upon your heads an ill

Which shall grow and deepen still.

“With your bondman’s right arm bare,

With his heart of black despair,

Stand alone, if stand ye dare!

“Onward with your fell design;

Dig the gulf and draw the line:

Fire beneath your feet the mine:

“Deeply, when the wide abyss

Yawns between your land and this,

Shall ye feel your helplessness.

“By the hearth, and in the bed

Shaken by a look or tread,

Ye shall own a guilty dread.

“And the curse of unpaid toil,

Downward through your generous soil

Like a fire shall burn and spoil.

“Our bleak hills shall bud and blow,

Vines our rocks shall overgrow,

Plenty in our valleys flow;—

“And when vengeance clouds your skies,

Hither shall ye turn your eyes,

As the lost on Paradise!

“We but ask our rocky strand,

Freedom’s true and brother band,

Freedom’s strong and honest hand,—

“Valleys by the slave untrod,

And the Pilgrim’s mountain sod,

Blessed of our fathers’ God!”