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HE proudest now is but my peer,

The highest not more high ;
To-day, of all the weary year,

A king of men am I.
To-day, alike are great and small,

The nameless and the known;

My palace is the people's hall,

The ballot-box my throne! Who serves to-day upon the list

Beside the served shall stand; Alike the brown and wrinkled fist,

The gloved and dainty hand ! The rich is level with the poor,

The weak is strong to-day; And sleekest broadcloth counts no more

Than homespun frock of gray.
To-day let pomp and vain pretence

My stubborn right abide ;
I set a plain man's common sense

Against the pedant's pride.
To-day shall simple manhood try

The strength of gold and land ;
The wide world has not wealth to buy

The power in my right hand !
While there's a grief to seek redress,

Or balance to adjust,
Where weighs our living manhood less

Than Mammon's vilest dust,
While there 's a right to need my vote,

A wrong to sweep away,
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!

A man 's a man to-day!



FROM gold to gray

Our mild sweet day Of Indian Summer fades too soon;

But tenderly

Above the sea Hangs, white and calm, the Hunter's moon. In its pale fire

The village spire
Shows like the zodiac's spectral lance;

The painted walls

Whereon it falls
Transfigured stand in marble trance !

O'er fallen leaves

The west wind grieves,
Yet comes a seed-time round again ;

And morn shall see

The State sown free
With baleful tares or healthful grain.

Along the street

The shadows meet
Of Destiny, whose hands conceal

The moulds of fate

That shape the State,
And make or mar the common weal.

Around I see

The powers that be;
I stand by Empire's primal springs ;

And princes meet

In every street, And hear the tread of uncrowned kings!

Hark! through the crowd

The laugh runs loud, Beneath the sad, rebuking moon.

God save the land

A careless hand May shake or swerve ere morrow's noon!

No jest is this ;

One cast amiss
May blast the hope of Freedom's year.

0, take me where

Are hearts of prayer,
And foreheads bowed in reverent fear!

Not lightly fall

Beyond recall
The written scrolls a breath can float;

The crowning fact,

The kingliest act
Of Freedom, is the freeman's vote!

For pearls that gem

A diadem
The diver in the deep sea dies;

The regal right

We boast to-night
Is ours through costlier sacrifice :

The blood of Vane,

His prison pain
Who traced the path the Pilgrim trod,

And hers whose faith

Drew strength from death, And prayed her Russell up to God !

Our hearts grow cold,

We lightly hold
A right which brave men died to gain ;

The stake, the cord,

The axe, the sword, Grim nurses at its birth of pain.

The shadow rend,

And o'er us bend,
O martyrs, with your crowns and palms, –

Breathe through these throngs

Your battle songs, Your scaffold prayers, and dungeon psalms !

Look from the sky,

Like God's great eye,
Thou solemn moon, with searching beam;

Till in the sight

Of thy pure light
Our mean self-seekings meaner seem.

Shame from our hearts

Unworthy arts, The fraud designed, the purpose dark ;

And smite away

The hands we lay Profanely on the sacred ark.

To party claims,

And private aims,
Reveal that august face of Truth,

Whereto are given

The age of heaven,
The beauty of immortal youth.

So shall our voice

Of sovereign choice
Swell the deep bass of duty done,

And strike the key

Of time to be, When God and man shall speak as one!



BLUSH as of roses

Where rose never grew!
Great drops on the bunch-grass,

But not of the dew !
A taint in the sweet air

For wild bees to shun!
A stain that shall never

Bleach out in the sun!

Back, steed of the prairies !

Sweet song-bird, fly back!
Wheel hither, bald vulture !

Gray wolf, call thy pack !

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