My Philip! thou who knowest best
All that is passing in this breast;
The spiritual agonies,
The inward deaths, the inward hell,
And the divine new births as well,
That surely follow after these,
As after winter follows spring;
My Philip, in the night-time sing
This song of the Lord I send to thee;
And I will sing it for thy sake,
Until our answering voices make
A glorious antiphony,
And choral chant of victory!
THE NEW ENGLAND TRAGEDIES
JOHN ENDICOTT Governor.
JOHN ENDICOTT His son.
RICHARD BELLINGHAM Deputy Governor.
JOHN NORTON Minister of the Gospel.
EDWARD BUTTER Treasurer.
WALTER MERRY Tithing-man.
NICHOLAS UPSALL An old citizen.
SAMUEL COLE Landlord of the Three Mariners.
RALPH GOLDSMITH Sea-Captains.
EDITH, his daughter
EDWARD WHARTON Quakers
Assistants, Halberdiers, Marshal, etc.
The Scene is in Boston in the year 1665.
To-night we strive to read, as we may best,
This city, like an ancient palimpsest;
And bring to light, upon the blotted page,
The mournful record of an earlier age,
That, pale and half effaced, lies hidden away
Beneath the fresher writing of to-day.
Rise, then, O buried city that hast been;
Rise up, rebuilded in the painted scene,
And let our curious eyes behold once more
The pointed gable and the pent-house door,
The Meeting-house with leaden-latticed panes,
The narrow thoroughfares, the crooked lanes!
Rise, too, ye shapes and shadows of the Past,
Rise from your long-forgotten graves at last;
Let us behold your faces, let us hear
The words ye uttered in those days of fear
Revisit your familiar haunts again,—
The scenes of triumph, and the scenes of pain
And leave the footprints of your bleeding feet
Once more upon the pavement of the street!
Nor let the Historian blame the Poet here,
If he perchance misdate the day or year,
And group events together, by his art,
That in the Chronicles lie far apart;
For as the double stars, though sundered far,
Seem to the naked eye a single star,
So facts of history, at a distance seen,
Into one common point of light convene.
“Why touch upon such themes?” perhaps
May ask, incredulous; “and to what good end?
Why drag again into the light of day
The errors of an age long passed away?”
I answer: “For the lessons that they teach:
The tolerance of opinion and of speech.
Hope, Faith, and Charity remain,—these three;
And greatest of them all is Charity.”