Daniel Neall

A poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

I.

Friend of the Slave, and yet the friend of all;
Lover of peace, yet ever foremost when
The need of battling Freedom called for men
To plant the banner on the outer wall;
Gentle and kindly, ever at distress
Melted to more than woman's tenderness,
Yet firm and steadfast, at his duty's post
Fronting the violence of a maddened host,
Like some-gray rock from which the waves are tossed!
Knowing his deeds of love, men questioned not
The faith of one whose walk and word were right;
Who tranquilly in Life's great task-field wrought,
And, side by side with evil, scarcely caught
A stain upon his pilgrim garb of white:
Prompt to redress another's wrong, his own
Leaving to Time and Truth and Penitence alone.

II.

Such was our friend. Formed on the good old plan,
A true and brave and downright honest man!
He blew no trumpet in the market-place,
Nor in the church with hypocritic face
Supplied with cant the lack of Christian grace;
Loathing pretence, he did with cheerful will
What others talked of while their hands were still;
And, while "Lord, Lord!" the pious tyrants cried,
Who, in the poor, their Master crucified,
His daily prayer, far better understood.
In acts than words, was simply doing good.
So calm, so constant was his rectitude,
That by his loss alone we know its worth,
And feel how true a man has walked with us on earth.

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