Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Appendix II. Poems Printed in the ‘Life of Whittier’
What State Street said to South Carolina, and what South Carolina said to State Street
   [Published in The National Era, May 22, 1851.]

MUTTERING “fine upland staple,” “prime Sea Island finer,”
With cotton bales pictured on either retina,
“Your pardon!” said State Street to South Carolina;
“We feel and acknowledge your laws are diviner
Than any promulgated by the thunders of Sinai!        5
Sorely pricked in the sensitive conscience of business
We own and repent of our sins of remissness:
Our honor we ’ve yielded, our words we have swallowed;
And quenching the lights which our forefathers followed,
And turning from graves by their memories hallowed,        10
With teeth on ball-cartridge, and finger on trigger,
Reversed Boston Notions, and sent back a nigger!”
“Get away!” cried the Chivalry, busy a-drumming,
And fifing and drilling, and such Quattle-bumming;
“With your April-fool slave hunt! Just wait till December        15
Shall see your new Senator stalk through the Chamber,
And Puritan heresy prove neither dumb nor
Blind in that pestilent Anakim, Sumner!”

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