Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

"Up, men!" he cried, "yon rocky cone,
To-day, please God, we 'H pass,
And look from Winter's frozen throne
On Summer's flowers and grass!"

They set their faces to the blast,
They trod th' eternal snow,
And faint, worn, bleeding, hailed at last
The promised land below.

THE BATTLE AUTUMN OF 1862.

Behind, they saw the snow-cloud tossed
By many an icy horn;
Before, warm valleys, wood-embossed,
And green with vines and corn.

They left the Winter at their backs
To flap his baffled wing,
And downward, with the cataracts,
Leaped to the lap of Spring.

Strong leader of that mountain band
Another task remains,

To break from Slavery's desert land
A path to Freedom's plains.

The winds are wild, the way is drear
Yet, flashing through the night,
Lo! icy ridge and rocky spear

Blaze out in morning light!
Rise up, FREMONT! and go before;
The Hour must have its Man;
Put on the hunting-shirt once more,
And lead in Freedom's van!

8th mo., 1856.

THE BATTLE AUTUMN OF 1862.

Τ'

HE flags of war like storm-birds fly,
The charging trumpets blow;
Yet rolls no thunder in the sky,
No earthquake strives below.

And, calm and patient, Nature keeps
Her ancient promise well,

Though o'er her bloom and greenness sweeps
The battle's breath of hell.

69

And still she walks in golden hours
Through harvest-happy farms,
And still she wears her fruits and flowers
Like jewels on her arms.

What mean the gladness of the plain,
This joy of eve and morn,
The mirth that shakes the beard of grain
And yellow locks of corn?

Ah! eyes may well be full of tears,
And hearts with hate are hot;
But even-paced come round the years,
And Nature changes not.

She meets with smiles our bitter grief,
With songs our groans of pain;
She mocks with tint of flower and leaf
The war-field's crimson stain.

Still, in the cannon's pause, we hear
Her sweet thanksgiving-psalm;
Too near to God for doubt or fear,
She shares th' eternal calm.

She knows the seed lies safe below
The fires that blast and burn;
For all the tears of blood we sow
She waits the rich return.

She sees with clearer eye than ours
The good of suffering born,
The hearts that blossom like her flowers,
And ripen like her corn.

O, give to us, in times like these,
The vision of her eyes;

And make her fields and fruited trees
Our golden prophecies!

MITHRIDATES AT CHIOS.

O, give to us her finer ear!
Above this stormy din,

We too would hear the bells of cheer
Ring peace and freedom in!

MITHRIDATES AT CHIOS.

NOW'ST thou, O slave-cursed land!

cup

Was full to overflow, there came God's justice in the sword of flame That, red with slaughter to its hilt, Blazed in the Cappadocian victor's hand?

The heavens are still and far; But, not unheard of awful Jove,

The sighing of the island slave

Was answered, when the Ægean wave
The keels of Mithridates clove,
And the vines shrivelled in the breath of war.

"Robbers of Chios! hark,"

The victor cried, "to Heaven's decree! Pluck your last cluster from the vine, Drain your last cup of Chian wine; Slaves of your slaves, your doom shall be, In Colchian mines by Phasis rolling dark."

Then rose the long lament

From the hoar sea-god's duşky caves:

The priestess rent her hair and cried,

"Woe! woe! The gods are sleepless-eyed!" And, chained and scourged, the slaves of slaves, The lords of Chios into exile went.

71

"The gods at last pay well," So Hellas sang her taunting song, "The fisher in his net is caught, The Chian hath his master bought "; And isle from isle, with laughter long, Took up and sped the mocking parable.

Once more the slow, dumb years
Bring their avenging cycle round,

And, more than Hellas taught of old,
Our wiser lesson shall be told,

[ocr errors]

Of slaves uprising, freedom-crowned,

To break, not wield, the scourge wet with their blood and tears.

THE PROCLAMATION.

SA

AINT PATRICK, slave to Milcho of the herds
Of Ballymena, wakened with these words:
"6 Arise, and flee

Out from the land of bondage, and be free!"

Glad as a soul in pain, who hears from heaven
The angels singing of his sins forgiven,
And, wondering, sees

His prison opening to their golden keys,

He rose a man who laid him down a slave,
Shook from his locks the ashes of the grave,
And outward trod
Into the glorious liberty of God.

He cast the symbols of his shame away;
And, passing where the sleeping Milcho lay,
Though back and limb

Smarted with wrong, he prayed, "God pardon him!"

« PreviousContinue »