The Poems of Henry Kendall

Extempore Lines

Suggested by one of John Bright’s speeches on Electoral Reform.

Henry Kendall

A MORNING crowns the Western hill,
    A day begins to reign,
A sun awakes o’er distant seas—
    Shall never sleep again.
The world is growing old,
    And men are waxing wise;
A mist has cleared—a something falls
    Like scales from off their eyes.

Too long the “Dark of Ignorance”
    Has brooded on their way;
Too long Oppression ’s stood before,
    Excluding light of day.
But now they’ve found the track
    And now they’ve seen the dawn,
A “beacon lamp” is pointing on,
    Where stronger glows the morn.

Since Adam lived, the mighty ones
    Have ever ruled the weak;
Since Noah’s flood, the fettered slave
    Has seldom dared to speak.
’Tis time a voice was heard,
    ’Tis time a voice was spoken
So in the chain of tyranny
    A link or two be broken.

A tiny rill will swell a stream,
    A spark will cause a flame,
And one man’s burning eloquence
    Has help’d to do the same.
And he will persevere,
    And soon that blaze must spread,
Till to the corners of the earth
    Reflecting beams are shed.

The “few” will try to beat it down,
    But can they stop the flood—
Bind up the pinions of the light,
    Or check the will of God?
And is it not His will
    That deeply injured Right
Should overthrow the iron rule
    And reign instead of Might?

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