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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807—1892) American poet and abolitionist


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Poem by Whittier, published in 1850. In quatrains of alternate four- and two-stress lines, the work, whose Hebrew title means “inglorious,” expresses the disappointment of the antislavery factions when Webster supported the compromise of 1850 in his “Seventh of March Speech.” In “The Lost Occasion” (1880), Whittier, praising Webster's “nobler self,” condones his “sad concessions” in this episode.

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