To My Father
A leaf from Freedom's golden chaplet fair,
We bring to thee, dear father! Near her shrine
None came with holier purpose, nor was thine
Alone the soul's mute sanction; every prayer
Thy captive brother uttered found a share
In thy wide sympathy; to ever'y sign
That told the bondman's need thou didst incline.
No thought of guerdon hadst thou but to bear
A loving part in Freedom's strife. To see
Sad lives illumined, fetters rent in twain,
Tears dried in eyes that wept for length of days--
Ah! was not that a recompense for thee?
And now where all life's mystery is plain,
Divine approval is thy sweetest praise.