Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Ichabod!
By John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
 
[From Poetical Works. 1886.]

SO fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
    Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone
    Forevermore!
 
Revile him not,—the Tempter hath        5
    A snare for all;
And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath,
    Befit his fall!
 
O, dumb be passion’s stormy rage,
    When he who might        10
Have lighted up and led his age,
    Falls back in night.
 
Scorn! would the angels laugh, to mark
    A bright soul driven,
Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark,        15
    From hope and heaven!
 
Let not the land once proud of him
    Insult him now,
Nor brand with deeper shame his dim,
    Dishonored brow.        20
 
But let its humbled sons, instead,
    From sea to lake,
A long lament, as for the dead,
    In sadness make.
 
Of all we loved and honored, naught        25
    Save power remains,—
A fallen angel’s pride of thought,
    Still strong in chains.
 
All else is gone; from those great eyes
    The soul has fled:        30
When faith is lost, when honor dies,
    The man is dead!
 
Then, pay the reverence of old days
    To his dead fame;
Walk backward, with averted gaze,        35
    And hide the shame!

  1850.
 
 
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