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RECITATIONS AND DIALOGUES.
ADDRESS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE
CEMETERY AT GETTYSBURG.
FOURSCORE and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that
We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Up from the South at break of day,
Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door,
The terrible grumble and rumble and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Sheridan twenty miles away.
And wider still those billows of war
Thundered along the horizon's bar,
And louder yet into Winchester rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled,
Making the blood of the listener cold
As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray,
With Sheridan twenty miles away.
But there is a road from Winchester town,
A good, broad highway leading down ;
And there through the flash of the morning light,
A steed as black as the steeds of night,
Was seen to pass as with eagle flight-
As if he knew the terrible need,
He stretched away with the utmost speed;
Hills rose and fell-but his heart was gay,
With Sheridan fifteen miles away.
Still sprung from those swift hoofs thundering south,
The dust, like the smoke from the cannon's mouth,
Or the trail of a comet sweeping faster and faster,
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster;
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls,
Impatient to be where the battle-field calls ;
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Sheridan only ten miles away.
BUT ONE PAIR OF STOCKINGS TO MEND.
Under his spurning feet the road
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying before the wind ;
And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace ire,
Swept on with his wild eyes full of fire;
But, lo ! he is nearing his heart's desire,
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Sheridan only five miles away.
The first that the General saw were the groups
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops ;
What was done—what to do—a glance told him both,
And striking his spurs with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line 'mid a storm of huzzahs,
And the wave of retreat checked its course there because
The sight of the master compelled it to pause.
With foam and with dust the black charger was gray,
By the flash of his eye, and his nostril's play
He seemed to the whole great army to say,
“I have brought you Sheridan all the way
From Winchester, down to save the day!"
Hurrah, hurrah for Sheridan!
Hurrah, hurrah for horse and man!
And when their statues are placed on high,
Under the dome of the Union sky,–
The American soldier's Temple of Fame,-
There with the glorious General's name
Be it said in letters both bold and bright:
“Here is the steed that saved the day
By carrying Sheridan into the fight,
From Winchester-twenty miles away!”
THERE'S BUT ONE PAIR OF STOCKINGS TO
An old wife sat by her bright fireside,
Swaying thoughtfully to and fro
In an easy chair, whose creaky craw
Told a tale of long ago ;
While down by her side, on the kitchen floor,
Stood a basket of worsted balls-a score.
The good man dozed o'er the latest news,
Till the light in his pipe went out ;
And, unheeded, the kitten with cunning paws
Rolled and tangled the balls about;
Yet still sat the wife in the ancient chair,
$waying to and fro in the fire-light glare.
But anon, a misty tear drop came
In her eyes of faded blue,
Then trickled down in a furrow deep
Like a single drop of dew;
So deep was the channel--so silent the stream,
That the good man saw nought but the dimmed eye beam
Yet marvelled he much that the cheerful light
Of her eye had heavy grown,
And marvelled he more at the tangled balls,
So he said in a gentle tone-
"I have shared thy joys since our marriage vow,
Conceal not from me thy sorrows now.”
Then she spoke of the time when the basket there
Was filled to the very brim;
And now, there remained of the goodly pile
But a single pair--for him ;
" Then wonder not at the dimmed eye-light,
There's but one pair of stockings to mend to-night.
I cannot but think of the busy feet,
Whose wrappings were wont to lay
In the basket, awaiting the needle's time
Now wandering so far away;
BUT ONE PAIR OF STOCKINGS TO MEND.
How the sprightly steps to a mother dear,
Unbeeded fell on the careless ear.
“For each empty nook in the basket old
By the hearth there's a vacant seat; And I miss the shadows from off the wall,
And the patter of many feet; 'Tis for this that a tear gathered over my sight, At the one pair of stockings to mend to-night.
“ 'Twas said that far through the forest wild,
And over the mountains bold,
Was a land whose rivers and darkening caves
Were gemmed with the rarest gold ;
Then my first-born turned from the oaken door-
And I knew the shadows were only four.
" Another went forth on the foaming wave,
And diminished the basket's store;
But his feet grew cold-so weary and cold-
They'll never be warm any morem
And this nook, in its emptiness, seemeth to me
To give forth no voice but the moan of the sea.
Two others have gone toward the setting sun,
And made them a home in its light,
And fairy fingers have taken their share
To mend by the fire-side bright;
Some other basket their garments will fill-
But mine, mine is emptier still.
Another-the dearest, the fairest, the best
Was taken by angels away,
And clad in a ga"ment that waxeth not old,
In a land of com'nual day;
Oh! wonder no more at the dimmed eye-light,
When I mend the one pair of stockings to-night.”