Ohio History Journal

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178 Ohio Arch

178        Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.




A poetical tribute by John Milburn Harding, New Philadel-

phia, Ohio, November 17, 1908.



[One hundred years after he died.]

There are tombs of the high, there are graves of the low,

There are sepulchers sacred in story

But the grave hollowed here just a century ago

Has a halo of unselfish glory.

'Mid the scenes of thy triumphs and direst defeat,

Near the spring rich in savage tradition.

Here you gave up the ghost and at Jesus' feet

You implored but a Christian transition.


Sixty years of your life you had headed the strife

To upbuild in the Indian nation

The Moravian faith in the heavenly life,

And a prosperous civilization.

Whether "vagabond" preacher, or pris'ner in jail,

Or advisor in savage commotion.

Or guest in the lodge, or a guide on the trail,

You possessed the sincerest devotion.


Though your labors were vain as to saving the race,

Yet the souls that were saved numbered many.

The success of your work on our fair valleys' face

Has scarcely been equaled by any.

Could you now, brave Zeisberger, return to this vale

When the church bells on Sabbath are pealing,

With thy "Brown Brethren" gone, and the faces all pale,

Would it bring you a sad hearted feeling?


Still the stars twinkle down, and the river still flows,

And the flowers bloom in springtime at Goshen,

Still the sunshine still falls, and the rains and the snows,

But our life has a greater commotion.

'Twas the strength of the race--the invincible one-

That o'ercame your high hopes and ambition,

And that forced the brave Red Man to follow the sun

Would this be to you now true fruition?