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The Proclamation Post by :ycyor Category :Poems Author :John Greenleaf Whittier Date :November 2010 Read :2300

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The Proclamation

President Lincoln's proclamation of emancipation was issued
January 1, 1863.

SAINT PATRICK, slave to Milcho of the herds
Of Ballymena, wakened with these words
"Arise, and flee
Out from the land of bondage, and be free!"

Glad as a soul in pain, who hears from heaven
The angels singing of his sins forgiven,
And, wondering, sees
His prison opening to their golden keys,

He rose a man who laid him down a slave,
Shook from his locks the ashes of the grave,
And outward trod
Into the glorious liberty of God.

He cast the symbols of his shame away;
And, passing where the sleeping Milcho lay,
Though back and limb
Smarted with wrong, he prayed, "God pardon

So went he forth; but in God's time he came
To light on Uilline's hills a holy flame;
And, dying, gave
The land a saint that lost him as a slave.

O dark, sad millions, patiently and dumb
Waiting for God, your hour at last has come,
And freedom's song
Breaks the long silence of your night of wrong!

Arise and flee! shake off the vile restraint
Of ages; but, like Ballymena's saint,
The oppressor spare,
Heap only on his head the coals of prayer.

Go forth, like him! like him return again,
To bless the land whereon in bitter pain
Ye toiled at first,
And heal with freedom what your slavery cursed.

(The end)
John Greenleaf Whittier's poem: Proclamation

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OH, none in all the world beforeWere ever glad as we!We're free on Carolina's shore,We're all at home and free.Thou Friend and Helper of the poor,Who suffered for our sake,To open every prison door,And every yoke to break!Bend low Thy pitying face and mild,And help us sing and pray;The hand that blessed the little child,Upon our foreheads lay.We hear no more the driver's horn,No more the whip we fear,This holy day that saw Thee bornWas never half so dear.The very oaks are greener clad,The waters brighter smile;Oh, never shone a day so gladOn sweet St. Helen's Isle.We praise Thee in our