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The foul human vultures
Have feasted and fled ; The wolves of the Border
Have crept from the dead.
From the hearths of their cabins,
The fields of their corn,
The victims were torn,
Swooped up and swept on
The Marsh of the Swan.
With a vain plea for mercy
No stout knee was crooked ; In the mouths of the rifles
Right manly they looked.
O Marais du Cygne!
On red grass for green !
Yet warm with their lives,
Poor children and wives ! Put out the red forge-fire,
The smith shall not come; Unyoke the brown oxen,
The ploughman lies dumb.
O dreary death-train,
As lips of the slain !
Smooth down the gray hairs;
That burn through your prayers.
Strong man of the prairies,
Mourn bitter and wild ! Wail, desolate woman !
Weep, fatherless child!
From ashes beneath,
Is life out of death.
Not in vain on the dial
The shade moves along, To point the great contrasts
Of right and of wrong: Free homes and free altars,
Free prairie and flood, The reeds of the Swan's Marsh,
Whose bloom is of blood !
On the lintels of Kansas
That blood shall not dry; Henceforth the Bad Angel
Shall harmless go by; Henceforth to the sunset,
Unchecked on her way, Shall Liberty follow
The march of the day.
P from the meadows rich with corn,
U crear in the cool September morn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Over the mountains winding down,
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Flapped in the morning wind : the sun
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
In her attic-window the staff she set,
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Under his slouched hat left and right
the dust-brown ranks stood fast. out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
Honor to her! and let a tear