« PreviousContinue »
Let us kneel;
Lord forgive us! What are we,
That our eyes this glory see, That our ears have heard the sound!
For the Lord On the whirlwind is abroad; In the earthquake He hath spoken;
He has smitten with his thunder
The iron wall asunder,
How they pale, Ancient myth, and song, and tale, In this wonder of our days,
When the cruel rod of war
Blossoms white with righteous law, And the wrath of man is praise !
Freer breathe the universe
As it rolls its heavy curso On the dead and buried sin !
It is done!
It shall bid the sad rejoice,
It shall give the dumb a voice, It shall belt with joy the earth!
Ring and swing,
With a sound of broken chains
Tell the nation that He reigns, Who alone is Lord and God!
THE DEATH OF SLAVERY.
THE DEATH OF SLAVERY.-WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
O THOU great Wrong, that, through the slow-paced years,
Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield
The scourge that drove the laborer to the field,
Thy cruel reign is o'er ;
Thy bondmen crouch no more
For He who marks the bounds of guilty power,
And touched his shackles at the appointed hour,
A shout of joy from the redeemed is sent;
Ten thousand hamlets swell the hymn of thanks;
Our rivers roll exulting, and their banks
Fields, where the bondman's toil
No more shall trench the soil,
The meadow-birds sing sweeter, and the airs
Welcoming man to liberty like theirs.
Great as thou wert, and feared from shore to shore,
The wrath of God o'ertook thee in thy pride;
Thou sitt'st a ghastly shadow; by thy side
And they who quailed but now
Before thy lowering brow
And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art.
Subdued, and standing sullenly apart,
Go, then, accursed of God, and take thy place
With baleful memories of the elder time,
With many a wasting pest, and nameless crime,
With the black death, whose way
Through wailing cities lay,
The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
Death at the stake to those that held them not.
I see the better years that hasten by,
Carry thee back into that shadowy past,
Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
The slave-pen through whose door
Thy victims pass no more,
At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet
Molder and rust by thine eternal seat.
THE ISSUES—BIGLOW PAPERS.-JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
It's war we're in, not politics;
It's systems wrastlin' now, not parties ;
Where longest will an' trnest heart is.
Tryin' to hope ther's nothin' doin',
Sunthin' pertickler wuz a brewin'.
Ther's critters yit thet talk an'act
Fer what they call Conciliation;
When they wuz madder than all Bashan
Conciliate? it jest means be kicked,
No metter how they phrase an' tone it; It means that we're to set down licked,
Thet we're poor shotes an' glad to own it!
More men ? More man! It's there we fail;
Weak plans grow weaker yit by lengthenin': Wut use in addin' to the tail,
When it's the head in need o' strengthenin'? We wanted one thet felt all Chief
From roots o' hair to sole o stockin', Square-sot with thousan'-ton belief
In him an' us, ef earth went rockin'!
Ole Hick'ry wouldn't ha's:ood see-saw
'Bout doin' things till they wuz done with, He'd smaslı the tables o' the Law
In time o' need to load his gun with; Ho couldn't see but jest one side,
Ef his, 'twuz God's, an' thet wuz plenty; An' so his “Forrards!" multiplied
An army's fightin' weight by twenty.
D'ye s’pose, ef Jeff giv him a lick,
Ole Hick’ry tried his head to sof'n So 's 't wouldn't hurt thet ebony stick
Thet's made our side see stars so of'n? “No!" he'd ha' thundered, “on your knees,
An' own one flag, one road to glory! Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
Shows sof'ness in the upper story !"
Set the tivo forces foot to foot,
An' every man knows who'll be winner, Whose faith in God hez ary root
Thet goes down deeper than his dinner: Then 'twill be felt from pole to pole,
Without no need of proclamation, Earth's Biggest Country's gut her soul
An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation!
THE NORMANS.--F. P. TRACY, 1858. IN 1066, the Normans invaded England, and the battle of Hastings broke, forever, the Saxon and Danish power. But years passed, and several monarchs filled and vacated the English throne before these Norinan pioneers had accomplished their work, and molded the nation to their will. They were warriors —not reformers. They were greedy of power, but impatient of its exercise upon themselves; greedy of wealth, but lavish in its expenditure. They were reckless alike of their own and the life of others. Turbulent, unruly-equally dangerous to the people whom they subdued, and to the princes who led them to conquest. Gallant men, full of deeds of knightly courtesy, yet reddening their hands with the blood of civil broil, and ever ready to maintain their right with their swords. Men of clear intellect and giant will, they acknowledged an uncertain allegiance to their king, and only bowed their necks to the yoke of God, when at the close of life they deemed it necessary to assume the monastic habit, or to do penance of their goods for the salvation of their souls. From these stern and bloody men, " who came in with the Conqueror,” or followed in the train of his successors, the noblest fainilies of England are proud to derive their descent; and even we republicans, upon this distant coast, and at this late period of time, do not refuse our admiration to these Norman pioneers, who, through the mists of the past, loom up like giants before us.
Yet our admiration of these old warriors, the admiration of the world for them, is not because they shed blood, or amassed or squandered wealth, or swore fealty to their kings, or broke their oaths in rebellion, or committed or abstained from the crimes that were common to their age. The Norman pioneers are enrolled in history among the most illustrious of men, because in the dark and troublous times in which they lived, in the midst of confusion and blood, with strong hands and undaunted hearts, they laid deep the first foundations of English liberty, and became the fathers, of that system of common law which, at the end of eight hundred years, is the protection and the glory of all who speak the English tongue. We forget the details of the battle of Hastings, and of an hundred other battles that followed it. We do not remember what castles were sub