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The Magnet and the Iron: John Brown and George L. Stearns The Stories Behind the Busts

"John Brown and the Colored Child" by Lydia Maria Child, 1860

Date:
1860
Exhibit Description:
"John Brown and the Colored Child," a poem by Lydia Maria Child, published in Freedmen's Book (Boston: Fields, Osgood, & Co., 1869), page 241-242. It had originally been published in The Liberator as "The Hero's Heart" (1860). The text is as follows: "A winter sunshine, still and bright, / The Blue Hills bathed with golden light, / And earth was smiling to the sky, / When calmly he went forth to die. / Infernal passions festered there, / Where peaceful Nature looked so fair; / [5] And fiercely, in the morning sun, / Flashed glitt'ring bayonet and gun. / The old man met no friendly eye, / When last he looked on earth and sky; / [10] But one small child, with timid air, / Was gazing on his hoary hair. / As that dark brow to his upturned, / The tender heart within him yearned; / And, fondly stooping o'er her face, / [15] He kissed her for her injured race. / The little one she knew not why / That kind old man went forth to die; / Nor why, 'mid all that pomp and stir, / He stooped to give a kiss to her. / [20] But Jesus smiled that sight to see, / And said, "He did it unto me." / The golden harps then sweetly rung, / And this the song the angels sung: / 'Who loves the poor doth love the Lord; / [25] Earth cannot dim thy bright reward: / We hover o'er yon gallows high, / And wait to bear thee to the sky.'"
Source:
Freedmen's Book
Attribution:
Child, Lydia Maria
Exhibit Tags:
Lydia Maria Child, publications, and John Brown