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Beneath it rung the battle shout
And burst the cannon's roar:
the clouds no more.
Her deck, once red with hero's blood,
Where knelt the vanquish'd foe,
And waves were white below,
Or know the conquer'd knee:
The eagle of the sea !
Should sink beneath the wave
And there should be her grave.
Set every threadbare sail,
The lightning, and the gale!
The Shreds of the flag-Halliards of tye Cumberland.
We now turn to an event whose sudden and astounding results caused the European rulers to pause in their survey of maps and charts, of diagrams, budgets, and estimates, the artisans and workmen to stand and listen while the iron cooled upon the anvil, and generals and admirals, bewildered and confounded, to see their former plans of strategy and their magazines of material vanishing into thin air.
On a bright Sunday morning, in Chesapeake Bay, the roll of drums is heard, and cannon belch forth their thunders. Then a pause, followed by the jar of iron, the crashing of timbers, the rushing of waters, the shriek and the yell of drowning men, mingling with the rattle of musketry and the roar of tremendous guns; and, behold! the pride of our ship-yard, the stately Cumberland, flashing forth her defiant death-notes even beneath the surging billows, is slowly plunging through the waters of the bay to find a resting-place on the sandy bottom.
But where is the rebel foe? Dimly seen through the battle-shroud floats the iron monster, exulting in its newborn power, and seeking another victim. But now appears upon the scene an object whose dark and moving outlines are more inexplicable still.
Swift as when the sword-fish strikes the huge leviathan of the deep, are its movements. Darting through the startled waters, it lunges its prow of iron against the armored sides of its wondering foe. Fires flash from out its bowels, bolts of steel hurtle in the air. The smoke rolls up, and, lo! the dark and wallowing monster whose grinding beak of polished metal had swept the walls of wood from its pathway, is now painfully toiling, wounded and disabled, towards the shelter of less dangerous waters.
The iron Merrimac had met her match. Desperate craft had been met by deliberate art. Labor and science and mechanical skill triumphed, and laid their trophies at the feet of their guardians and protectors,-the enterprising spirits of the North, whose genius first encouraged and developed artistic invention and willing toil, and blazoned on its banners the forge and the foundry, the lathe and the workshop
In the same hour, republican valor vindicated the honor and integrity of free institutions, and taught the Old World
that North America had the nerve and the means, the science, the muscle and the might, to maintain the position she has assumed as the standard-bearer of human progress on the Western Continent.
The determined spirit of the defence made by the Cumberland is fully illustrated in the following incident.
As the ship careened, the waves poured through her shattered side, soon overflowing the deck. In this position, the men, knee-deep in water, fired the last broadside, which, as the guns were depressed by the position of the deck, poured out their shot beneath the gushing billows; while her brave defenders, their defiant shouts mingling with the sullen roar of the cannon, their old flag flying at the peak, sank to a glorious death, leaving to their traitorous foes a damning record, that shall flush the cheek of rebellion's posterity with eternal shame.
Such deeds are the embodiment of the nation's glory. This is the sublime spirit of noble enthusiasm and patriotic devotion which shuns no danger, counts no loss, but sternly and steadfastly faces the foe wherever found in attitude to strike
The “Don't give up the ship!” of 1812 has found its echo, and now thunders forth, in these the ever-memorable days of the Republic. That legacy of our fathers, that same unflinching spirit, shines out in the obstinate and fiery courage of our soldiers and sailors in the present struggle against treason. The ever-to-be-United States of America may challenge the annals of the ancient and the modern past, to produce more soul-stirring examples of patriotic sacrifice at the shrine of national honor than these which our loyal defenders in the field have inscribed on the roll of fame. While the glorious achievements of Farragut, Dupont, Foote, Porter, and a host of other gallant
spirits, tell in tones of thunder that American sailors will brook no attempt to tarnish our glory, or to tear one star from the bright galaxy that floats at the mast-head of the good ship “The Union.” Woe! woe! to the fratricidal traitors who are leagued against our flag! Shame, eternal shame and discomfiture to all who encourage or protect them in their thrice-accursed treason! The intent and meaning of the war the North is waging, is written in unmistakable characters; and the sooner the rebels, and their aiders and abettors at home and their sympathizers abroad, read and learn, the sooner will the peace of America be restored and that of Europe secured.
INSCRIBED TO PRESIDENT LINCOLN.
BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
Some relics, consisting of a piece of Penn's “Treaty Elm," of the old frigate “ Alliance," and the halliards of the sloop-of-war“Cumberland,” wrought into appropriate form, were presented to President Lincoln by James E. Murdoch, Esq.; and this poem was written to accom
The Treaty Elm.
ERE to the honor'd patriot's mansion yonder
These charm’d and emblematic relics pass,
Withdraws the veil, as in a magian’s glass.
I see the “Treaty Elm," and hear the rustle
Of autumn leaves, where come the dusky troops
Stands central, and controls the untamed groups.
These are the boughs the forest eagle lit on,
Long ere he perch'd upon our nation's banner;
And worded in the plain old scriptural manner.
Across the Delaware the sound comes faintly,
And fainter still across the tide of time,
Speaking of love, the only true sublime.