James Monroe Whitfield

The North Star

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Star of the north! whose steadfast ray
Pierces the sable pall of night,
Forever pointing out the way
That leads to freedom's hallowed light:
The fugitive lifts up his eye
To where thy rays illume the sky.


That steady, calm, unchanging light,
Through dreary wilds and trackless dells,
Directs his weary steps aright
To the bright land where freedom dwells;
And spreads, with sympathizing breast,
Her ægis over the oppressed.


Though other stars may round thee burn,
With larger disk and brighter ray,
And fiery comets round thee turn,
While millions mark their blazing way;
And the pale moon and planets bright
Reflect on us their silvery light.


Not like that moon, now dark, now bright,
In phase and place forever changing;
Or planets with reflected light,
Or comets through the heavens ranging;
They all seem varying to our view,
While thou art ever fixed and true.


So may that other bright North Star,
Beaming with truth and freedom's light,
Pierce with its cheering ray afar,
The shades of slavery's gloomy night;
And may it never cease to be
The guard of truth and liberty.

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James Monroe Whitfield