Page images

Let us kneel;
God's own voice is in that peal,
And this spot is holy ground.

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,
And the gates of brass are broken!

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 !

Blotted out!
All within and all about
Shall a fresher life begin:

Freer breathe the universe

As it rolls its heavy curso On the dead and buried sin !

It is done!
In the circuit of the sun
Shall the sound thereof go forth,

It shall bid the sad rejoice,

It shall give the dumb a voice, It shall belt with joy the earth!

Ring and swing,
Bells of joy! on morning's wing
Send the song of praise abroad;

With a sound of broken chains

Tell the nation that He reigns, Who alone is Lord and God!




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,
And look with stony eye on human tears,

Thy cruel reign is o'er ;

Thy bondmen crouch no more
In terror at the menace of thino eyo;

For He who marks the bounds of guilty power,
Long suffering, hath heard the captive's cry,

And touched his shackles at the appointed hour,
And lo! they fall, and he whose limbs they galled
Stands in his native manhood, disenthralled.

A shout of joy from the redeemed is sent;

Ten thousand hamlets swell the hymn of thanks;

Our rivers roll exulting, and their banks
Send up hosannas to the firmament.

Fields, where the bondman's toil

No more shall trench the soil,
Seem now to bask in a serener day;

The meadow-birds sing sweeter, and the airs
Of Heaven with more caressing softness play,

Welcoming man to liberty like theirs.
A glory clothes the land from sea to sea,
For the great land and all its coasts are free.

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
Thy once strong arms hang nerveless evermore.

And they who quailed but now

Before thy lowering brow
Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,

And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art.
And they who ruled in thine imperial name,

Subdued, and standing sullenly apart,
Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy reign
And shattered at a blow the prisoner's chain. -

Go, then, accursed of God, and take thy place

With baleful memories of the elder time,

With many a wasting pest, and nameless crime,
And bloody war that thinned the human race;

With the black death, whose way

Through wailing cities lay,
Worship of Moloch, tyrannies that built

The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
To avenge a fancied guilt by deeper guilt-

Death at the stake to those that held them not.
Lol the foul phantoms, silent in the gloom
of the flown ages, part to yield thee room.

I see the better years that hasten by,

Carry thee back into that shadowy past,

Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.

The slave-pen through whose door

Thy victims pass no more,
Is there, and there shall the grim block remain

At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet
Scourges and engines of restraint and pain

Molder and rust by thine eternal seat.
There, mid the symbols that proclaim thy crimes,
Dwell thou, a warning to the coming times.


It's war we're in, not politics;

It's systems wrastlin' now, not parties ;
An' victory in the eend 'll fix

Where longest will an' trnest heart is.
An' wut's the Guv'ment folks about?

Tryin' to hope ther's nothin' doin',
Au' look ez though they didn't doubt

Sunthin' pertickler wuz a brewin'.

Ther's critters yit thet talk an'act

Fer what they call Conciliation;
They'd hand a buff'lo-drove a tract

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

« PreviousContinue »