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And hark! the deep voices replying,
From graves where your fathers are lying-

'Swear! oh, swear !'” To add to the solemnity of the occasion, General Robert McCook's brother, George, was present, and was much affected by the unexpected mention of his murdered brother's name. "The Oath,” rehearsed by Murdoch, is a drama in itself. Those present when, at the request of the lamented Lincoln, he repeated it in the House of Representatives during the war, can vividly recall its effect. I have on more than one occasion witnessed the involuntary answer of thousands to this electric invocation. It is easy to imagine how it must have been received by the soldiers in the field when the enthusiastic histrion visited their camps. Identified with the war, he was particularly attached to Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Lincoln to him, so it happened that many of his productions had reference to the Martyr. One of the most prophetic of these were the allusions in "The New Pastoral," a poem written by Buchanan Read in 1850, which Murdoch read for the first time in the Hall of the House of Representatives, 1864, at a benefit for the sick and wounded soldiers. Just as he uttered the following prophecy concerning the future, Lincoln entered the chamber and took a seat on the right of the Speaker's stand :

"Let Contemplation view the future scene :
Afar the woods before the vision fly,
Swift as the shadow o'er the meadow grass
Chased by the sunshine, and a realm of farms
O’erspread the country wide, where many a spire
Springs in the valleys, and on distant hills,
The watch-towers of the land. Here quiet herds
Shall crop the ample pasture, and on slopes
Doze through the summer noon; while every beast
Which prowls a terror to the frontier fold,
Shall only live in some remembered tale,
Told by tradition in the lighted hall,
Where the red grate usurps the wooded hearth.

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Here shall the city spread its noisy streets,
And groaning steamers chafe along the wharves;
While hourly o'er the plain, with streaming plume,
Like a swift herald bringing news of peace,
The rattling train shall fly; and from the east-
E’en from the Atlantic to the new-found shores
Where far Pacific rolls in storm or rest,
Washing his sands of gold—the arrowy track
Shall stretch its iron band through all the land.
Then these interior plains shall be as they
Which hear the ocean roar; and Northern lakes
Shall bear their produce, and return them wealth,
And Mississippi, father of the floods,
Perform their errands to Mexico Gulf,
And send them back the tropic bales and fruits.
Then shall the generation musing here
Dream of the troublous days before their time,
And antiquaries point the very spot
Where rose the first rude cabin, and the space
Where stood the forest chapel with its graves,
And where the earliest marriage rites were said.
Here, in the middle of the nation's arms,
Perchance the mightiest inland mart shall spring;
Here the great statesman from the ranks of toil
May rise, with judgment clear, as strong, as wise,
And, with a well-directed, patriot blow,
Reclinch the rivets in our Union bands
Which tinkering knaves have striven to set ajar !
Here shall, perchance, the mighty bard be born,
With voice to sweep and thrill the nation's heart,
Like his own hand upon the corded harp.
His songs shall be as precious girths of gold,
Reaching through all the quarters of the land,
Inlaid so deep within the country's weal
That they shall hold when heavier bands shall fail,
Eaten by rust or broke by traitor blows.
Heaven speed his coming! He is needed now!
O thou my country! may the future see
Thy shape majestic stand supreme as now,
And every stain which mars thy starry robe
In the white sun of truth be bleach'd away!

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Hold thy grand posture with unswerving mien,
Firm as a statue proud of its bright form,
Whose purity would daunt the vandal hand
In fury raised to shatter! From thine eye
Let the clear light of freedom still dispread
The broad, unclouded, stationary noon!
Still with thy right hand on the fasces lean,
And with the other point the living source
Whence all thy glory comes; and where, unseen,
But still all-seeing, the great patriot souls
Whose swords and wisdom left us thus enrich'd,
Look down and note how we fulfill our trust!
Still hold beneath thy fixed and sandaled foot
The broken sceptre and the tyrant's gyves,
And let thy stature shine above the world,
A form of terror and of loveliness !"

Lincoln was not observed at first. Gradually his presence was felt and applauded, which quickly became general, as the application to him of the poet's language was made apparent. This poem, written eleven years before the rebellion, was remarkable. Recalling it as a portrait of the coming man, Read wrote during the war the following, on the occasion of the presentation to Mr. Lincoln of three ancient relics, consisting of a piece of Penn's Treaty Elm, of the old frigate Alliance, and of the halyards of the sloop-of-war Cumberland, nobly apostrophized by Boker in his great poem :

“THE APOSTROPHE.
“Great ruler, these are simple gifts to bring thee-

Thee, doubly great, the land's embodied will ;
And simpler still the song I fain would sing thee;
In higher towers let greater poets ring thee

Heroic chimes on Fame's immortal hill.
“A decade of the years its flight has taken,

Since I beheld and pictured with my pen
How yet the land on ruin's brink might waken
To find her temples rudely seized and shaken

By traitorous demons in the forms of men.

“And I foresaw thy coming-even pointed

The region where the day would find its man
To reconstruct what treason had disjointed.
I saw thy brow by Honesty anointed,

While Wisdom taught thee all her noblest plan.
“Thy natal stars, by angels' hands suspended,

A holy trine, were Faith and Hope and Love-
By these celestial guides art thou attended,
Shedding perpetual lustre, calm and splendid,

Around thy path, wherever thou dost move.
“No earthly lore of any art or science

Can fill the places of these heavenly three;
Faith gives thy soul serene and fixed reliance,
Hope to the darkest trial bids defiance,

Love tempers all with her sublime decree.
" 'Tis fitting, then, these relics full of story,

Telling ancestral tales of land and sea-
Each fragment a sublime memento mori
Of heroes mantled in immortal glory-

Should be consigned, great patriot, unto thee.” I could fill a volume with reminiscences of Thomas Buchanan Read. One of the giants of American literature said, “His poetry is the embodiment of nature's fanciful creation, of the exquisitely bright and the delicately beautiful, as expressed in the loves of the fairies and the poetry of the stars, in maiden purity and youthful heroism. His pictures are poems, and his poems are pictures.”

[May 19, 1872.]

LXXII.

MORE than fifty colored delegates in the Republican National Convention at Philadelphia, June 5, 1872! Shades of John C. Calhoun, Barnwell Rhett, Dixon H. Lewis, John Slidell, and

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W. L. Yancey, is this to be permitted? Little did the lords of slavery twenty years ago think that such an offense would ever be dared. When I recall Dawson, of Louisiana, with his curls and jewels and gold-headed cane; Ashe, of North Carolina, with his jolly yet imperious style; John S. Barbour, of Virginia, with his plantation manners; Governor Manning, of South Carolina, as handsome as Mrs. Stowe's best picture of the old Southern school in “Uncle Tom's Cabin ;" Pierre Soulé, with his handsome, haughty face, true types and apostles of the peculiar institution, I wonder how they would feel to see the South represented in a National Convention by their former slaves. A little more than ten years have sufficed to disprove all the predictions against the colored race, but in nothing so much as in the intelligence of their representative leaders, and in their own general improvement. If you were to compare the chiefs of the freedmen with the chief slaveholders, knowing them as I knew them, you would soon realize that John M. Langston, professor of the Law Department of the Howard University, is as thorough a lawyer as Pierre Soulé in his best days; that Robert Brown Elliott is a better scholar and speaker than Laurence M. Keitt, who, having helped to create the rebellion, died in fighting for it; and that Benjamin Sterling Turner, of Selma, Alabama, a self-educated slave, and now a freedman in Congress, is as practical a business man as John Forsyth or George S. Houston.

Frederick Douglass was famous as an orator before the war. With the fall of slavery, however, he rose to the highest position. His eloquence is formed on the best models. Captivating, persuasive, and often profound, he wields an increasing influence in both races.

But among the colored delegates in the Republican National Convention none will attract more attention than Robert Purvis, of Philadelphia. I hope some day to relate the romance of his life. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he left it fifty

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