"Posterity will owe everlasting thanks to John Brown for lifting up once more to the gaze of a nation grown fat and flabby on the garbage of lust and oppression, a true standard of heroic philanthropy, and each coming generation will pay its installment of the debt. . . . John Brown saw slavery through no mist or cloud, but in a light of infinite brightness, which left no one of its ten thousand horrors concealed." Frederick Douglass

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Monday, May 08, 2017

John Brown at 217 (Born May 9, 1800)


Had he been made of such poor clay as we,
Who, when we feel a little fire aglow
'Gainst wrong within us, dare not let it grow,
But crouch and hide it, lest the scorner see
And sneer, yet bask our self‑‑complacency
In that faint warmth‑‑had he been fashioned so,
The nation n'er had come to that birth‑throe
That gave the world a new humanity.
He was no vain professor of the word‑‑
His life a mockery of the creed;‑‑he made
No discount on the Golden Rule, but heard
Above the Senate's brawls and din of trade
Ever the clank of chains, until he stirred
The nation's heart on that immortal raid.

William Herbert Carruth (1916)


Source: Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems.  Edited by Willard Wattles.

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