Ohio History Journal




The Great Republic bred her free-born sons

To smother conscience in the coward's hush,

And had to have a freedom-champion's

Blood sprinkled in her face to make her blush.


One will become a passion to avenge

Her shame-a fury consecrate and weird,

As if the old religion of Stonehenge

Amid our weakling worships reappeared.


It was a drawn sword of Jehovah's wrath,

Two-edged and flaming, waved back to a host

Of mighty shadows gathering on its path,

Soon to emerge as soldiers, when the ghost


Of John Brown should the lines of battle form.

When John Brown crossed the Nation's Rubicon,

Him freedom followed in the battle-storm,

And John Brown's soul in song went marching on.


Though John Brown's body lay beneath the sod,

His soul released the winds and loosed the flood;

The Nation wrought his will as hest of God,

And her blood-guiltiness atoned with blood.


The world may censure and the world regret;

The present wrath becomes the future ruth;

For stern old History does not forget

The man who flings his life away for truth.


In the far time to come, when it shall irk

The schoolboy to recite our Presidents

Dull line of memorabilia, John Brown's work

Shall thrill him through from all the elements.

- Coates Kinney.

July, 1897.