« PreviousContinue »
Wherever a rebel flag floated
Was a target for his shot.
All burning and sinking around him
Lay five of the foe; but he, The victor, seem'd doom'd with the vanquish'd,
When along dash'd gallant Lee.
And he took up the bloody conflict,
And so well his part he bore, That the river ran fire behind him,
And glimmer'd from shore to shore.
But while powder would burn in a cannon,
Till the water drown'd his deck, Boggs pounded away with his pivots
From his slowly-settling wreck.
I think our old captains in heaven,
As they look'd upon those deeds, Wore proud of the flower of that navy
Of which they planted the seeds.
Paul Jones, the knight-errant of ocean,
Decatur, the lord of the seas, Hull, Lawrence, and Bainbridge, and Biddle,
And Perry, the peer of all these.
If Porter beheld his descendant
With some human pride on his lip,
His soul was forgiven that slip.
And thou, living veteran, “Old Ironsides,"
The last of the splendid line,
I know what feelings were thine.
When the sun look'd over the tree-tops,
We found ourselves—Heaven knows how Above the grim forts; and that instant
A smoke broke from Farragut's bow;
And over the river came floating
The sound of the morning gun, And the Stars and Stripes danced up the halliards,
And glitter'd against the sun.
Oh! then what a shout from the squadrons,
As flag follow'd flag, till the day
And wild with the victors' huzza !
But three ships were missing; the others
Had pass’d through that current of flame; And each-scar on their shatter'd bulwarks
Was touch'd by the finger of Fame.
Below us the forts of the rebels
Lay in the trance of despair; Above us, uncover'd and helpless,
New Orleans clouded the air.
Again in long lines we went steaming
Away towards the city's smoke; And works were deserted before us,
And columns of soldiers broke.
In vain the town clamor'd and struggled,
The flag at our peak ruled the hour; And under its shade, like a lion,
Were resting the will and the power.
Coming Events cast their Shadows before.
(EXTRACT FROM MR. MURDOCH'S LECTURES.)
The truly national lyric of “The Union," written by J'rancis De Haes Janvier, was first read by me in Cincinnati at the anniversary celebration of well-known literary institution in that city. This was before the insurgents had struck the blow which left no doubt, if any had before existed in the minds of the people, of the hellish intentions of our “wayward sisters.”, I suggested the reading of this poem on the occasion, and referred it to the committee. Some of the members objected, not on the ground of impropriety of sentiment, but of inopportunity of occasion. The institution, it was argued, was not of a political but of a literary character, and therefore it was not expedient for it to put forth such strong sentiments at a time in which every thing should be left to the influence of conciliation and compromise. On the other hand, it was decided that the sentiment was noble and just; and as the question before the American people was not one of politics, but of right and wrong, there was no good reason to object to the assertion of right at any time and anywhere. The poem was read to at least two thousand people; and I can safely say that never before or since were my ears greeted with more hearty and rapturous applause than that which búrst forth from an audience composed of the citizens of as loyal a city as the loyal States contain.
Mr. Janvier had the words set to music and printed on a neat enamelled card, and distributed gratuitously to the soldiers and friends of the Army of the Potomac in Washington, in the camps and the hospitals. Many and many a brave fellow, perchance, cheered the march to “Bull's Run," chanting the inspiring words of this song, and, it may be, died with its burden faintly but fervently breathed with his parting breath. All honor to such poets as Mr. Janvier, and to all who have, like him, devoted time and talents without stint to cheer and sustain the brave and devoted soldiers of the Republic, from the very hour in which the flag was first unfurled to the breeze in defiance to traitors, -the old flag of thirty-four stars, which, under the providence of God, shall yet wave in triumph over every State represented on its azure field, in spite of the desperate valor of the misguided men who must fall beneath the mighty power invoked by justice and legitimate authority to punish or to crush them. I will pause here to include the names of Mr. Janvier's friends and fellow-poets, Mr. Boker and Mr. Read, whose generous efforts in the same holy cause have won for them the meed of praise and honor due to patriotic acts and deeds. These gentlemen, I am proud to say, are all citizens of Philadelphia.
In lauding the patriotic efforts of the above-named gentlemen, I do not wish to be understood as speaking as one having authority in literary matters, and more especially in the poetic form, but simply as desiring to impress upon the public mind the extent and value of the services rendered to the good cause" by the many and glorious lines they have written and placed at my disposal, so nobly calculated to keep alive the public interest in the labors I am engaged in, and to swell the current of generous and loyal sympathy in favor of the brave men who have left their homes and firesides to fight the battles of the nation.
A NATIONAL SONG.
BY FRANCIS DE HAES JANVIER.
“Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!”—WEBSTER.
The Union! The Union! The hope of the free!
The Union! The Union! 'Twas purchased with blood !
The Union! The Union! At Lexington first,
The Union! The Union! Its heavenly light