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Anti-Slavery Poems
___The Emancipation Group

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Moses Kimball, a citizen of Boston, presented to the city a duplicate
of the Freedman's Memorial statue erected in Lincoln Square, Washington.
The group, which stands in Park Square, represents the figure of a
slave, from whose limbs the broken fetters have fallen, kneeling in
gratitude at the feet of Lincoln. The group was designed by Thomas Ball,
and was unveiled December 9, 1879. These verses were written for the
occasion.

Amidst thy sacred effigies
Of old renown give place,
O city, Freedom-loved! to his
Whose hand unchained a race.

Take the worn frame, that rested not
Save in a martyr's grave;
The care-lined face, that none forgot,
Bent to the kneeling slave.

Let man be free! The mighty word
He spake was not his own;
An impulse from the Highest stirred
These chiselled lips alone.

The cloudy sign, the fiery guide,
Along his pathway ran,
And Nature, through his voice, denied
The ownership of man.

We rest in peace where these sad eyes
Saw peril, strife, and pain;
His was the nation's sacrifice,
And ours the priceless gain.

O symbol of God's will on earth
As it is done above!
Bear witness to the cost and worth
Of justice and of love.

Stand in thy place and testify
To coming ages long,
That truth is stronger than a lie,
And righteousness than wrong.
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