Round the earth’s electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong; Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity’s vast frame, Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame;—. New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;          They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;      Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! Significant quotes in James Russell Lowell's The Present Crisis with explanations We’ve discounted annual subscriptions by 50% for our End-of-Year sale—Join Now! They were men of present valor, stalwart old iconoclasts. In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod. Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right. When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth’s aching breastRuns a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,And the slave, where’er he cowers, feels the soul within him climbTo the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublimeOf a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time. Â. 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Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word; Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,— Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, The Present Crisis. Educated at Harvard College, he tried the law, but soon gave it up for literature. James Russell Lowell - 1819-1891. © Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038, When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breastÂ, Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,        Â, And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climbÂ, To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime       Â, Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.              Â. For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along. It was published in 1844, and concerns the growing tensions between North and South over – ‘Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood’. When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast. The Present Crisis By James Russell Lowell James was born on February 22, 1819 in Massachusetts, and died on August 12, 1891 The Present Crisis The End The Author of this poem, James Russell Lowell, was a fireside poet of the … In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; line 2. James Russell Lowell. James Russell Lowell is our chief poetical moralist . Sons of brutish Force and Darkness, who have drenched the earth with blood. And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied. Under the Willows [May is a pious fraud of the almanac]. JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project. Shall we, in our haste to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away. Of those Crises, God’s stern winnowers, from whose feet earth’s chaff must fly; Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by. When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast  Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,          And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb  To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime         Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.              Â, Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instantaneous throe, When the travail of the Ages wrings earth's systems to and fro;       At the birth of each new Era, with a recognizing start,          Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips apart,            And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath the Future's heart.   Â, So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill,         Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill,           And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies with God   In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by the sod,         Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler clod.       Â, For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along,    Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong;   Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame         Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame;—            In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.  Â, Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,            In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;        Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,   Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right,       And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.   Â, Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand,    Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land?        Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth alone is strong,       And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng            Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.       Â, Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments see,           That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through Oblivion's sea;            Not an ear in court or market for the low, foreboding cry     Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet earth's chaff must fly;     Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment hath passed by.         Â, Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record           One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;            Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—         Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,   Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.     Â, We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great,            Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm of fate,        But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din,  List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave within,—      "They enslave their children's children who make compromise with sin. Â, Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes,—they were souls that stood alone,    Â, While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious stone,   Â, Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline     Â. Nor attempt the Future’s portal with the Past’s blood-rusted key. The Present Crisis. Shall we, in our haste to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps away   Â, To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day? He is not a melodist, like Poe; nor a politician, like Whittier; nor a somber lover of nature, like Bryant. Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west, And the slave, where’er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb, To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime. The Past ’ s portal with the Past 's blood-rusted key comes the moment to decide prophets of to-day discounted. Of James Russell Lowell ( 1819–1891 ) W HEN a deed is done for,... God 's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight, 1! 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