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The World's Best Poetry, Volume 8 by Various

Part 2 out of 9

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'Twas I that led the Highland host
Through wild Lochaber's snows,
What time the plaided clans came down
To battle with Montrose.
I've told thee how the Southrons fell
Beneath the broad claymore,
And how we smote the Campbell clan
By Inverlochy's shore.
I've told thee how we swept Dundee,
And tamed the Lindsays' pride;
But never have I told thee yet
How the great Marquis died.

A traitor sold him to his foes;--
O deed of deathless shame!
I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet
With one of Assynt's name--
Be it upon the mountain's side,
Or yet within the glen,
Stand he in martial gear alone,
Or backed by armed men--
Face him as thou wouldst face the man
Who wronged thy sire's renown;
Remember of what blood thou art,
And strike the caitiff down!

They brought him to the Watergate,
Hard bound with hempen span.
As though they held a lion there,
And not a 'fenceless man.
They set him high upon a cart--
The hangman rode below--
They drew his hands behind his back,
And bared his noble brow.
Then, as a hound is slipped from leash,
They cheered the common throng,
And blew the note with yell and shout,
And bade him pass along.

It would have made a brave man's heart
Grow sad and sick that day.
To watch the keen, malignant eyes
Bent down on that array.
There stood the Whig west-country lords
In balcony and bow;
There sat their gaunt and withered dames,
And their daughters all a-row.
And every open window
Was full as full might be
With black-robed Covenanting carles,
That goodly sport to see!

But when he came, though pale and wan,
He looked so great and high,
So noble was his manly front,
So calm his steadfast eye;--
The rabble rout forbore to shout,
And each man held his breath,
For well they knew the hero's soul
Was face to face with death.
And then a mournful shudder
Through all the people crept,
And some that came to scoff at him
Now turned aside and wept.

But onward--always onward,
In silence and in gloom,
The dreary pageant labored,
Till it reached the house of doom.
Then first a woman's voice was heard
In jeer and laughter loud,
And an angry cry and a hiss arose
From the heart of the tossing crowd:
Then, as the Graeme looked upward,
He saw the ugly smile
Of him who sold his king for gold--
The master-fiend Argyle!

The Marquis gazed a moment,
And nothing did he say,
But the cheek of Argyle grew ghastly pale,
And he turned his eyes away.
The painted harlot by his side,
She shook through every limb,
For a roar like thunder swept the street,
And hands were clenched at him;
And a Saxon soldier cried aloud,
"Back, coward, from thy place!
For seven long years thou hast not dared
To look him in the face."

Had I been there with sword in hand,
And fifty Camerons by,
That day through high Dunedin's streets
Had pealed the slogan-cry.
Not all their troops of trampling horse,
Nor might of mailed men--
Not all the rebels in the south
Had borne us backward then!
Once more his foot on Highland heath
Had trod as free as air,
Or I, and all who bore my name,
Been laid around him there!

It might not be. They placed him next
Within the solemn hall,
Where once the Scottish kings were throned
Amidst their nobles all.
But there was dust of vulgar feet
On that polluted floor,
And perjured traitors filled the place
Where good men sate before.
With savage glee came Warriston
To read the murderous doom;
And then uprose the great Montrose
In the middle of the room:

"Now, by my faith as belted knight
And by the name I bear,
And by the bright St. Andrew's cross
That waves above us there--
Yea, by a greater, mightier oath--
And O that such should be!--
By that dark stream of royal blood
That lies 'twixt you and me--
I have not sought in battle-field
A wreath of such renown,
Nor dared I hope on my dying day
To win the martyr's crown!

"There is a chamber far away
Where sleep the good and brave,
But a better place ye have named for me
Than by my father's grave.
For truth and right, 'gainst treason's might,
This hand has always striven,
And ye raise it up for a witness still
In the eye of earth and heaven.
Then nail my head on yonder tower--
Give every town a limb--
And God who made shall gather them:
I go from you to Him!"

The morning dawned full darkly,
The rain came flashing down,
And the jagged streak of the levin bolt
Lit up the gloomy town.
The thunder crashed across the heaven,
The fatal hour was come;
Yet aye broke in, with muffled beat,
The 'larum of the drum.
There was madness on the earth below
And anger in the sky,
And young and old, and rich and poor,
Came forth to see him die.

Ah God! that ghastly gibbet!
How dismal 'tis to see
The great tall spectral skeleton,
The ladder and the tree!
Hark! hark! it is the clash of arms,--
The bells begin to toll,--
"He is coming! he is coming!
God's mercy on his soul!"
One last long peal of thunder,--
The clouds are cleared away.
And the glorious sun once more looks down
Amidst the dazzling day.

"He is coming! he is coming!"
Like a bridegroom from his room
Came the hero from his prison
To the scaffold and the doom.
There was glory on his forehead,
There was lustre in his eye,
And he never walked to battle
More proudly than to die.
There was color in his visage,
Though the cheeks of all were wan;
And they marvelled as they saw him pass,
That great and goodly man!

He mounted up the scaffold,
And he turned him to the crowd;
But they dared not trust the people,
So he might not speak aloud.
But he looked upon the heavens,
And they were clear and blue,
And in the liquid ether
The eye of God shone through:
Yet a black and murky battlement
Lay resting on the hill,
As though the thunder slept within,--
All else was calm and still.

The grim Geneva ministers
With anxious scowl drew near,
As you have seen the ravens flock
Around the dying deer.
He would not deign them word nor sign,
But alone he bent the knee;
And veiled his face for Christ's dear grace
Beneath the gallows-tree.
Then, radiant and serene, he rose,
And cast his cloak away;
For he had ta'en his latest look
Of earth and sun and day.

A beam of light fell o'er him,
Like a glory round the shriven,
And he climbed the lofty ladder
As it were the path to heaven.
Then came a flash from out the cloud,
And a stunning thunder-roll;
And no man dared to look aloft,--
Fear was on every soul.
There was another heavy sound,
A hush, and then a groan;
And darkness swept across the sky,--
The work of death was done!

WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE AYTOUN.

* * * * *

BORDER BALLAD.

March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale!
Why the de'il dinna ye march forward in order?
March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale!
All the Blue Bonnets are over the Border!
Many a banner spread
Flutters above your head,
Many a crest that is famous in story!--
Mount and make ready, then,
Sons of the mountain glen,
Fight for the queen and our old Scottish glory.

Come from the hills where your hirsels are grazing;
Come from the glen of the buck and the roe;
Come to the crag where the beacon is blazing;
Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow.
Trumpets are sounding;
War-steeds are bounding;
Stand to your arms, and march in good order,
England shall many a day
Tell of the bloody fray,
When the Blue Bonnets came over the Border.

SIR WALTER SCOTT.

* * * * *

THE EXILE'S SONG.

Oh! why left I my hame?
Why did I cross the deep?
Oh! why left I the land
Where my forefathers sleep?
I sigh for Scotia's shore,
And I gaze across the sea,
But I canna get a blink
O' my ain countrie.

The palm-tree waveth high,
And fair the myrtle springs;
And, to the Indian maid,
The bulbul sweetly sings.
But I dinna see the broom
Wi' its tassels on the lee,
Nor hear the lintie's sang
O' my ain countrie.

Oh! here no Sabbath bell
Awakes the Sabbath morn,
Nor song of reapers heard
Among the yellow corn:
For the tyrant's voice is here,
And the wail of slaverie;
But the sun of freedom shines
In my ain countrie.

There's a hope for every woe,
And a balm for every pain,
But the first joys o' our heart
Come never back again.
There's a track upon the deep,
And a path across the sea:
But the weary ne'er return
To their ain countrie.

ROBERT GILFILLAN.

* * * * *

THE IRISHMAN.

The savage loves his native shore,
Though rude the soil and chill the air;
Then well may Erin's sons adore
Their isle which nature formed so fair,
What flood reflects a shore so sweet
As Shannon great or pastoral Bann?
Or who a friend or foe can meet
So generous as an Irishman?

His hand is rash, his heart is warm,
But honesty is still his guide;
None more repents a deed of harm,
And none forgives with nobler pride;
He may be duped, but won't be dared--
More fit to practise than to plan;
He dearly earns his poor reward,
And spends it like an Irishman.

If strange or poor, for you he'll pay,
And guide to where you safe may be;
If you're his guest, while e'er you stay,
His cottage holds a jubilee.
His inmost soul he will unlock,
And if he may _your_ secrets scan,
Your confidence he scorns to mock,
For faithful is an Irishman.

By honor bound in woe or weal,
Whate'er she bids he dares to do;
Try him with bribes--they won't prevail;
Prove him in fire--you'll find him true.
He seeks not safety, let his post
Be where it ought in danger's van;
And if the field of fame be lost,
It won't be by an Irishman.

Erin! loved land! from age to age,
Be thou more great, more famed, and free,
May peace be thine, or shouldst thou wage
Defensive war, cheap victory.
May plenty bloom in every field
Which gentle breezes softly fan,
And cheerful smiles serenely gild
The home of every Irishman.

JAMES ORR.

* * * * *

TURLOUGH MACSWEENEY.

_A health to you, Piper,
And your pipes silver-tongued, clear and sweet in their crooning_!

Full of the music they gathered at morn
On your high heather hills from the lark on the wing,
From the blackbird at eve on the blossoming thorn,
From the little green linnet whose plaining they sing,
And the joy and the hope in the heart of the Spring,
O, Turlough MacSweeney!

Play us our Eire's most sorrowful songs,
As she sits by her reeds near the wash of the wave,
That the coldest may thrill at the count of her wrongs,
That the sword may flash forth from the scabbard to save,
And the wide land awake at the wrath of the brave,
O, Turlough MacSweeney!

Play as the bards played in days long ago,
When O'Donnell, arrayed for the foray or feast,
With your kinsmen from Bannat and Fannat and Doe,
With piping and harping, and blessing of priest,
Rode out in the blaze of the sun from the East,
O, Turlough MacSweeney!

Play as they played in that rapturous hour
When the clans heard in gladness his young fiery call
Who burst from the gloom of the Sassenach tower,
And sped to the welcome in dear Donegal,
Then on to his hailing as chieftain of all--
O, Turlough MacSweeney!

Play as they played, when, a trumpet of war,
His voice for the rally, pealed up to the blue,
And the kerns from the hills and the glens and the scaur
Marched after the banner of conquering Hugh--
Led into the fray by a piper like you,
O, Turlough MacSweeney!

And surely no note of such music shall fail,
Wherever the speech of our Eire is heard,
To foster the hope of the passionate Gael,
To fan the old hatred, relentless when stirred,
To strengthen our souls for the strife to be dared,
O, Turlough MacSweeney!

_May your pipes, silver-tongued, clear and sweet in their crooning,
Keep the magic they captured at dawning and even
From the blackbird at home, and the lark on its journey,
From the thrush on its spray, and the little green linnet.
A health to you, Piper!_

ANNA MACMANUS (_Ethna Carbery_).

* * * * *

A SPINNING SONG.

My love to fight the Saxon goes,
And bravely shines his sword of steel;
A heron's feather decks his brows,
And a spur on either heel;
His steed is blacker than the sloe,
And fleeter than the falling star;
Amid the surging ranks he'll go
And shout for joy of war.
Twinkle, twinkle, pretty spindle; let the white wool drift and dwindle.
Oh! we weave a damask doublet for my love's coat of steel.
Hark! the timid, turning treadle crooning soft, old-fashioned ditties
To the low, slow murmur of the brown round wheel.

My love is pledged to Ireland's fight;
My love would die for Ireland's weal,
To win her back her ancient right,
And make her foemen reel.
Oh! close I'll clasp him to my breast
When homeward from the war he comes;
The fires shall light the mountain's crest,
The valley peal with drums.
Twinkle, twinkle, pretty spindle; let the white wool drift and dwindle.
Oh! we weave a damask doublet for my love's coat of steel.
Hark! the timid, turning treadle crooning soft old-fashioned ditties
To the low, slow murmur of the brown round wheel.

JOHN FRANCIS O'DONNELL.

* * * * *

THE WEARING OF THE GREEN.[A]

[Footnote A: Variation of an old street song of about 1798. Sung in Dion
Boucicault's play "The Shan Van Voght."]

O Paddy dear, an' did you hear the news that's goin' round?
The shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground;
St. Patrick's Day no more we'll keep; his colors can't be seen:
For there's a cruel law agin' the wearin' of the green.
I met with Napper Tandy, and he tuk me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor ould Ireland, and how does she stand?"
She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen:
They are hangin' men and women there for wearin' of the green.

An' if the color we must wear is England's cruel red,
Sure Ireland's sons will ne'er forget the blood that they have shed.
Then pull the shamrock from your hat and cast it on the sod,
And never fear, 'twill take root there, though under foot 'tis trod.
When law can stop the blades of grass from growin' as they grow,
And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show,
Then I will change the color, too, I wear in my caubeen;
But till that day, please God, I'll stick to wearin' of the green.

But if at last our color should be torn from Ireland's heart,
Her sons with shame and sorrow from the dear old isle will part:
I've heard a whisper of a land that lies beyond the sea,
Where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom's day.
O Erin, must we leave you, driven by a tyrant's hand?
Must we ask a mother's blessin' from a strange and distant land?
Where the cruel cross of England shall nevermore be seen,
And where, please God, we'll live and die still wearin' of the green.

* * * * *

MY NATIVE LAND.

It chanced to me upon a time to sail
Across the Southern ocean to and fro;
And, landing at fair isles, by stream and vale
Of sensuous blessing did we ofttimes go.
And months of dreamy joys, like joys in sleep,
Or like a clear, calm stream o'er mossy stone,
Unnoted passed our hearts with voiceless sweep,
And left us yearning still for lands unknown.

And when we found one,--for 'tis soon to find
In thousand-isled Cathay another isle,--
For one short noon its treasures filled the mind,
And then again we yearned, and ceased to smile.
And so it was from isle to isle we passed,
Like wanton bees or boys on flowers or lips;
And when that all was tasted, then at last
We thirsted still for draughts instead of sips.

I learned from this there is no Southern land
Can fill with love the hearts of Northern men.
Sick minds need change; but, when in health they stand
'Neath foreign skies, their love flies home agen.
And thus with me it was: the yearning turned
From laden airs of cinnamon away,
And stretched far westward, while the full heart burned
With love for Ireland, looking on Cathay!

My first dear love, all dearer for thy grief!
My land, that has no peer in all the sea
For verdure, vale, or river, flower or leaf,--
If first to no man else, thou'rt first to me.
New loves may come with duties, but the first
Is deepest yet,--the mother's breath and smiles;
Like that kind face and breast where I was nursed
Is my poor land, the Niobe of isles.

JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY.

* * * * *

BLESS THE DEAR OLD VERDANT LAND.

Bless the dear old verdant land!
Brother, wert thou born of it?
As thy shadow life doth stand
Twining round its rosy band.
Did an Irish mother's hand
Guide thee in the morn of it?
Did a father's first command
Teach thee love or scorn of it?

Thou who tread'st its fertile breast,
Dost thou feel a glow for it?
Thou of all its charms possest.
Living on its first and best,
Art thou but a thankless guest
Or a traitor foe for it,
If thou lovest, where's the test?
Wilt thou strike a blow for it?

Has the past no goading sting
That can make thee rouse for it?
Does thy land's reviving spring,
Full of buds and blossoming,
Fail to make thy cold heart cling,
Breathing lover's vows for it?
With the circling ocean's ring
Thou wert made a spouse for it.

Hast thou kept as thou shouldst keep
Thy affections warm for it,
Letting no cold feeling creep
Like an ice-breath o'er the deep,
Freezing to a stony sleep
Hopes the heart would form for it,
Glories that like rainbows peep
Through the darkening storm for it?

Son of this down-trodden land,
Aid us in the fight for it.
We seek to make it great and grand,
Its shipless bays, its naked strand,
By canvas-swelling breezes fanned:
Oh, what a glorious sight for it,
The past expiring like a brand
In morning's rosy light for it!

Think, this dear old land is thine,
And thou a traitor slave of it:
Think how the Switzer leads his kine,
When pale the evening star doth shine;
His song has home in every line,
Freedom in every stave of it;
Think how the German loves his Rhine
And worships every wave of it!

Our own dear land is bright as theirs,
But oh! our hearts are cold for it;
Awake! we are not slaves, but heirs.
Our fatherland requires our cares,
Our speech with men, with God our prayers;
Spurn blood-stained Judas gold for it:
Let us do all that honor dares--
Be earnest, faithful, bold for it!

DENIS FLORENCE MAC CARTHY.

* * * * *

IRELAND.

[1847.]

They are dying! they are dying! where the golden corn is growing;
They are dying! they are dying! where the crowded herds are lowing:
They are gasping for existence where the streams of life are flowing,
And they perish of the plague where the breeze of health is blowing!

God of justice! God of power!
Do we dream? Can it be,
In this land, at this hour,
With the blossom on the tree,
In the gladsome month of May,
When the young lambs play,
When Nature looks around
On her waking children now,
The seed within the ground,
The bud upon the bough?
Is it right, is it fair,
That we perish of despair
In this land, on this soil,
Where our destiny is set,
Which we cultured with our toil,
And watered with our sweat?
We have ploughed, we have sown
But the crop was not our own;
We have reaped, but harpy hands
Swept the harvest from our lands;
We were perishing for food,
When lo! in pitying mood,
Our kindly rulers gave
The fat fluid of the slave,
While our corn filled the manger
Of the war-horse of the stranger!

God of mercy! must this last?
Is this land preordained,
For the present and the past
And the future, to be chained,--
To be ravaged, to be drained,
To be robbed, to be spoiled,
To be hushed, to be whipt,
Its soaring pinions clipt,
And its every effort foiled?

Do our numbers multiply
But to perish and to die?
Is this all our destiny below,--
That our bodies, as they rot,
May fertilize the spot
Where the harvests of the stranger grow?
If this be, indeed, our fate,
Far, far better now, though late,
That we seek some other land and try some other zone;
The coldest, bleakest shore
Will surely yield us more
Than the storehouse of the stranger that we dare not call our own.

Kindly brothers of the West,
Who from Liberty's full breast
Have fed us, who are orphans beneath a step-dame's frown,
Behold our happy state,
And weep your wretched fate
That you share not in the splendors of our empire and our crown!

Kindly brothers of the East,--
Thou great tiaraed priest,
Thou sanctified Rienzi of Rome and of the earth,--
Or thou who bear'st control
Over golden Istambol,
Who felt for our misfortunes and helped us in our dearth,--

Turn here your wondering eyes,
Call your wisest of the wise,
Your muftis and your ministers, your men of deepest lore;
Let the sagest of your sages
Ope our island's mystic pages,
And explain unto your highness the wonders of our shore.

A fruitful, teeming soil,
Where the patient peasants toil
Beneath the summer's sun and the watery winter sky;
Where they tend the golden grain
Till it bends upon the plain,
Then reap it for the stranger, and turn aside to die;

Where they watch their flocks increase,
And store the snowy fleece
Till they send it to their masters to be woven o'er the waves;
Where, having sent their meat
For the foreigner to eat,
Their mission is fulfilled, and they creep into their graves.

'Tis for this they are dying where the golden corn is growing,
'Tis for this they are dying where the crowded herds are lowing,
'Tis for this they are dying where the streams of life are flowing,
And they perish of the plague where the breeze of health is blowing!

DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY.

* * * * *

IRELAND.

A SEASIDE PORTRAIT.

A great, still Shape, alone,
She sits (her harp has fallen) on the sand,
And sees her children, one by one, depart:--
Her cloak (that hides what sins beside her own!)
Wrapped fold on fold about her. Lo,
She comforts her fierce heart,
As wailing some, and some gay-singing go,
With the far vision of that Greater Land
Deep in the Atlantic skies,
Saint Brandan's Paradise!
Another Woman there,
Mighty and wondrous fair,
Stands on her shore-rock:--one uplifted hand
Holds a quick-piercing light
That keeps long sea-ways bright;
She beckons with the other, saying "Come,
O landless, shelterless,
Sharp-faced with hunger, worn with long distress:--
Come hither, finding home!
Lo, my new fields of harvest, open, free,
By winds of blessing blown,
Whose golden corn-blades shake from sea to sea--
Fields without walls that all the people own!"

JOHN JAMES PIATT

* * * * *

EXILE OF ERIN.

There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill;
For his country he sighed, when at twilight repairing
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill.
But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion,
For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean,
Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion,
He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh.

Sad is my fate! said the heart-broken stranger;
The wild deer and wolf to a covert can flee,
But I have no refuge from famine and danger,
A home and a country remain not to me.
Never again in the green sunny bowers
Where my forefathers lived shall I spend the sweet hours,
Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin go bragh!

Erin, my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore;
But, alas! in a far foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more!
O cruel fate! wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me?
Never again shall my brothers embrace me?
They died to defend me, or live to deplore!

Where is my cabin door, fast by the wildwood?
Sisters and sire, did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood?
And where is the bosom-friend, dearer than all?
O my sad heart! long abandoned by pleasure,
Why did it dote on a fast-fading treasure?
Tears, like the rain-drop, may fall without measure,
But rapture and beauty they cannot recall.

Yet, all its sad recollections suppressing,
One dying wish my lone bosom can draw,--
Erin, an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers, Erin go bragh!
Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion,
Green be thy fields, sweetest isle of the ocean!
And thy harp-striking bards sing aloud with devotion,--
Erin mavourneen, Erin go bragh![A]

[Footnote A: Ireland my darling, Ireland forever!]

THOMAS CAMPBELL.

* * * * *

AFTER DEATH.

Shall mine eyes behold thy glory, O my country?
Shall mine eyes behold thy glory?
Or shall the darkness close around them, ere the
sun-blaze breaks at last upon thy story?
When the nations ope for thee their queenly circle,
as a sweet new sister hail thee,

Shall these lips be sealed in callous death and
silence, that have known but to bewail thee?
Shall the ear be deaf that only loved thy praises,
when all men their tribute bring thee?
Shall the mouth be clay that sang thee in thy
squalor, when all poets' mouths shall sing thee?

Ah, the harpings and the salvos and the shoutings
of thy exiled sons returning!
I should hear, though dead and mouldered, and
the grave-damps should not chill my bosom's burning.

Ah, the tramp of feet victorious! I should hear
them 'mid the shamrocks and the mosses,
And my heart should toss within the shroud and
quiver as a captive dreamer tosses.

I should turn and rend the cere-clothes round me,
giant sinews I should borrow--
Crying, "O my brothers, I have also loved her in
her loneliness and sorrow.

"Let me join with you the jubilant procession;
let me chant with you her story;
Then contented I shall go back to the shamrocks,
now mine eyes have seen her glory!"

FRANCES ISABEL PARNELL.

* * * * *

CANADA NOT LAST.

AT VENICE.

Lo Venice, gay with color, lights and song,
Calls from St. Mark's with ancient voice and strange:
I am the Witch of Cities! glide along
My silver streets that never wear by change
Of years: forget the years, and pain, and wrong,
And ever sorrow reigning men among.
Know I can soothe thee, please and marry thee
To my illusions. Old and siren strong,
I smile immortal, while the mortals flee
Who whiten on to death in wooing me.

AT FLORENCE.

Say, what more fair by Arno's bridged gleam
Than Florence, viewed from San Miniato's slope
At eventide, when west along the stream
The last of day reflects a silver hope!--
Lo, all else softened in the twilight beam:--
The city's mass blent in one hazy cream,
The brown Dome 'midst it, and the Lily tower,
And stern Old Tower more near, and hills that seem
Afar, like clouds to fade, and hills of power
On this side greenly dark with cypress, vine and bower.

AT ROME.

End of desire to stray I feel would come
Though Italy were all fair skies to me,
Though France's fields went mad with flowery foam
And Blanc put on a special majesty,
Not all could match the growing thought of home
Nor tempt to exile. Look I not on Rome--
This ancient, modern, mediaeval queen--
Yet still sigh westward over hill and dome,
Imperial ruin and villa's princely scene
Lovely with pictured saints and marble gods serene.

REFLECTION.

Rome, Florence, Venice--noble, fair and quaint,
They reign in robes of magic round me here;
But fading, blotted, dim, a picture faint,
With spell more silent, only pleads a tear.
Plead not! Thou hast my heart, O picture dim!
I see the fields, I see the autumn hand
Of God upon the maples! Answer Him
With weird, translucent glories, ye that stand
Like spirits in scarlet and in amethyst!
I see the sun break over you: the mist
On hills that lift from iron bases grand
Their heads superb!--the dream, it is my native land.

WILLIAM DOUW SCHUYLER-LIGHTHALL.

* * * * *

CANADA.

O child of Nations, giant-limbed,
Who stand'st among the nations now,
Unheeded, unadored, unhymned,
With unanointed brow:

How long the ignoble sloth, how long
The trust in greatness not thine own?
Surely the lion's brood is strong
To front the world alone!

How long the indolence, ere thou dare
Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame;
Ere our proud eyes behold thee bear
A nation's franchise, nation's name?

The Saxon force, the Celtic fire,
These are thy manhood's heritage!
Why rest with babes and slaves? Seek higher
The place of race and age.

I see to every wind unfurled
The flag that bears the Maple-Wreath;
Thy swift keels furrow round the world
Its blood-red folds beneath;

Thy swift keels cleave the furthest seas;
Thy white sails swell with alien gales;
To stream on each remotest breeze
The black smoke of thy pipes exhales.

O Falterer, let thy past convince
Thy future: all the growth, the gain,
The fame since Cartier knew thee, since
Thy shores beheld Champlain!

Montcalm and Wolfe! Wolfe and Montcalm!
Quebec, thy storied citadel
Attest in burning song and psalm
How here thy heroes fell!

O Thou that bor'st the battle's brunt
At Queenstown, and at Lundy's Lane:
On whose scant ranks but iron front
The battle broke in vain!

Whose was the danger, whose the day,
From whose triumphant throats the cheers,
At Chrysler's Farm, at Chateauguay,
Storming like clarion-bursts our ears?

On soft Pacific slopes,--beside
Strange floods that northward rave and fall,
Where chafes Acadia's chainless tide,--
Thy sons await thy call.

They wait; but some in exile, some
With strangers housed, in stranger lands;
And some Canadian lips are dumb
Beneath Egyptian sands.

O mystic Nile! Thy secret yields
Before us; thy most ancient dreams
Are mixed with far Canadian fields
And murmur of Canadian streams.

But thou, my Country, dream not thou!
Wake, and behold how night is done,--
How on thy breast, and o'er thy brow,
Bursts the uprising sun!

CHARLES G.D. ROBERTS.

* * * * *

WHAT IS THE GERMAN'S FATHERLAND?

What is the German's fatherland?
Is it Prussia, or the Swabian's land?
Is it where the grape glows on the Rhine?
Where sea-gulls skim the Baltic's brine?
Oh no! more grand
Must be the German's fatherland!

What is the German's fatherland?
Bavaria, or the Styrian's land?
Is it where the Master's cattle graze?
Is it the Mark where forges blaze?
Oh no! more grand
Must be the German's fatherland!

What is the German's fatherland?
Westphalia? Pomerania's strand?
Where the sand drifts along the shore?
Or where the Danube's surges roar?
Oh no! more grand
Must be the German's fatherland!

What is the German's fatherland?
Now name for me that mighty land!
Is it Switzerland? or Tyrols, tell;--
The land and people pleased me well!
Oh no! more grand
Must be the German's fatherland!

What is the German's fatherland?
Now name for me that mighty land!
Ah! Austria surely it must be,
So rich in fame and victory.
Oh no! more grand
Must be the German's fatherland!

What is the German's fatherland?
Tell me the name of that great land!
Is it the land which princely hate
Tore from the Emperor and the State?
Oh no! more grand
Must be the German's fatherland!

What is the German's fatherland?
Now name at last that mighty land!
"Where'er resounds the German tongue,
Where'er its hymns to God are sung!"
That is the land,
Brave German, that thy fatherland!

That is the German's fatherland!
Where binds like oak the clasped hand,
Where truth shines clearly from the eyes,
And in the heart affection lies.
Be this the land,
Brave German, this thy fatherland!

That is the German's fatherland!
Where scorn shall foreign trifles brand,
Where all are foes whose deeds offend,
Where every noble soul's a friend:
Be this the land,
All Germany shall be the land!

All Germany that land shall be:
Watch o'er it, God, and grant that we,
With German hearts, in deed and thought,
May love it truly as we ought.
Be this the land,
All Germany shall be the land!

From the German of ERNST MORITZ ARNDT.

* * * * *

PATRIOTIC SONG.

God, who gave iron, purposed ne'er
That man should be a slave:
Therefore the sabre, sword, and spear
In his right hand He gave.
Therefore He gave him fiery mood,
Fierce speech, and free-born breath,
That he might fearlessly the feud
Maintain through life and death.

Therefore will we what God did say,
With honest truth maintain,
And ne'er a fellow-creature slay,
A tyrant's pay to gain!
But he shall fall by stroke of brand
Who fights for sin and shame,
And not inherit German land
With men of German name.

O Germany, bright fatherland!
O German love, so true!
Thou sacred land, thou beauteous land,
We swear to thee anew!
Outlawed, each knave and coward shall
The crow and raven feed;
But we will to the battle all--
Revenge shall be our meed.

Flash forth, flash forth, whatever can,
To bright and flaming life!
Now all ye Germans, man for man,
Forth to the holy strife!
Your hands lift upward to the sky--
Your heart shall upward soar--
And man for man, let each one cry,
Our slavery is o'er!

Let sound, let sound, whatever can,
Trumpet and fife and drum,
This day our sabres, man for man,
To stain with blood we come;
With hangman's and with Frenchmen's blood,
O glorious day of ire,
That to all Germans soundeth good--
Day of our great desire!

Let wave, let wave, whatever can,
Standard and banner wave!
Here will we purpose, man for man,
To grace a hero's grave.
Advance, ye brave ranks, hardily--
Your banners wave on high;
We'll gain us freedom's victory,
Or freedom's death we'll die!

From the German of ERNST MORITZ ARNDT.

* * * * *

MEN AND BOYS

The storm is out; the land is roused;
Where is the coward who sits well housed?
Fie on thee, boy, disguised in curls,
Behind the stove, 'mong gluttons and girls!
A graceless, worthless wight thou must be;
No German maid desires thee,
No German song inspires thee,
No German Rhine-wine fires thee.
Forth in the van,
Man by man,
Swing the battle-sword who can!

When we stand watching, the livelong night,
Through piping storms, till morning light,
Thou to thy downy bed canst creep,
And there in dreams of rapture sleep.
A graceless, worthless wight, etc.

When, hoarse and shrill, the trumpet's blast.
Like the thunder of God, makes our heart beat fast,
Thou in the theatre lov'st to appear,
Where trills and quavers tickle the ear.
A graceless, worthless wight, etc.

When the glare of noonday scorches the brain,
When our parched lips seek water in vain,
Thou canst make champagne corks fly
At the groaning tables of luxury.
A graceless, worthless wight, etc.

When we, as we rush to the strangling fight,
Send home to our true-loves a long "Good-night,"
Thou canst hie thee where love is sold,
And buy thy pleasure with paltry gold.
A graceless, worthless wight, etc.

When lance and bullet come whistling by,
And death in a thousand shapes draws nigh,
Thou canst sit at thy cards, and kill
King, queen, and knave with thy spadille.
A graceless, worthless wight, etc.

If on the red field our bell should toll,
Then welcome be death to the patriot's soul!
Thy pampered flesh shall quake at its doom,
And crawl in silk to a hopeless tomb.
A pitiful exit thine shall be;
No German maid shall weep for thee,
No German song shall they sing for thee,
No German goblets shall ring for thee.
Forth in the van,
Man for man,
Swing the battle-sword who can!

From the German of KARL THEODOR KOeRNER.
Translation of CHARLES TIMOTHY BROOKS.

* * * * *

THE WATCH ON THE RHINE[A]

[Footnote A: Written by a manufacturer of Wurtemburg in 1840, when
France was threatening the left bank of the Rhine. It was set to music
by Carl Wilhelm, and during the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 was
adopted as the national folk-hymn and rallying cry of the army.]

A voice resounds like thunder-peal,
'Mid dashing waves and clang of steel:--
"The Rhine, the Rhine, the German Rhine!
Who guards to-day my stream divine?"

_Chorus.

Dear Fatherland, no danger thine:
Firm stand thy sons to watch the Rhine_!

They stand, a hundred thousand strong,
Quick to avenge their country's wrong;
With filial love their bosoms swell,
They'll guard the sacred landmark well!

The dead of a heroic race
From heaven look down and meet their gaze;
They swear with dauntless heart, "O Rhine,
Be German as this breast of mine!"

While flows one drop of German blood,
Or sword remains to guard thy flood,
While rifle rests in patriot hand,--
No foe shall tread thy sacred strand!

Our oath resounds, the river flows,
In golden light our banner glows;
Our hearts will guard thy stream divine:
The Rhine, the Rhine, the German Rhine!

_Dear Fatherland, no danger thine:
Firm stand thy sons to watch the Rhine_!

From the German of MAX SCHNECKENBURGER.

* * * * *

PROEM.

FROM "THE KALEVALA" (_Land of heroes_), THE NATIONAL EPIC OF FINLAND.[A]

[Footnote A: Aside from its national significance "The Kalevala" is
interesting from the fact of its having been taken as the model in
rhythm and style for Longfellow's "Hiawatha," the epic of the American
Indian.]

Mastered by desire impulsive,
By a mighty inward urging,
I am ready now for singing,
Ready to begin the chanting
Of our nation's ancient folk-song,
Handed down from bygone ages.
In my mouth the words are melting,
From my lips the tones are gliding,
From my tongue they wish to hasten;
When my willing teeth are parted,
When my ready mouth is opened,
Songs of ancient wit and wisdom
Hasten from me not unwilling.
Golden friend, and dearest brother,
Brother dear of mine in childhood,
Come and sing with me the stories,
Come and chant with me the legends,
Legends of the times forgotten,
Since we now are here together,
Come together from our roamings.
Seldom do we come for singing,
Seldom to the one, the other,
O'er this cold and cruel country,
O'er the poor soil of the Northland.
Let us clasp our hands together,
That we thus may best remember.
Join we now in merry singing,
Chant we now the oldest folk-lore,
That the dear ones all may hear them,
That the well-inclined may hear them,
Of this rising generation.
These are words in childhood taught me,
Songs preserved from distant ages;
Legends they that once were taken
From the belt of Wainamoinen,
From the forge of Ilmarinen,
From the sword of Kaukomieli,
From the bow of Youkahainen,
From the pastures of the Northland,
From the meads of Kalevala.
These my dear old father sang me
When at work with knife and hatchet:
These my tender mother taught me
When she twirled the flying spindle,
When a child upon the matting
By her feet I rolled and tumbled.
Incantations were not wanting
Over Sampo and o'er Louhi,
Sampo growing old in singing,
Louhi ceasing her enchantment.
In the songs died wise Wipunen,
At the games died Lemminkainen.
There are many other legends,
Incantations that were taught me,
That I found along the wayside,
Gathered in the fragrant copses,
Blown me from the forest branches,
Culled among the plumes of pine-trees,
Scented from the vines and flowers,
Whispered to me as I followed
Flocks in land of honeyed meadows,
Over hillocks green and golden,
After sable-haired Murikki,
And the many-colored Kimmo.
Many runes the cold has told me,
Many lays the rain has brought me,
Other songs the winds have sung me;
Many birds from many forests,
Oft have sung me lays in concord;
Waves of sea, and ocean billows,
Music from the many waters,
Music from the whole creation,
Oft have been my guide and master.
Sentences the trees created,
Rolled together into bundles,
Moved them to my ancient dwelling,
On the sledges to my cottage,
Tied them to my garret rafters,
Hung them on my dwelling-portals,
Laid them in a chest of boxes,
Boxes lined with shining copper.
Long they lay within my dwelling
Through the chilling winds of winter,
In my dwelling-place for ages.
Shall I bring these songs together?
From the cold and frost collect them?
Shall I bring this nest of boxes,
Keepers of these golden legends,
To the table in my cabin,
Underneath the painted rafters,
In this house renowned and ancient?
Shall I now these boxes open,
Boxes filled with wondrous stories?
Shall I now the end unfasten
Of this ball of ancient wisdom?
These ancestral lays unravel?
Let me sing an old-time legend,
That shall echo forth the praises
Of the beer that I have tasted,
Of the sparkling beer of barley,
Bring to me a foaming goblet
Of the barley of my fathers,
Lest my singing grow too weary,
Singing from the water only.
Bring me too a cup of strong beer;
It will add to our enchantment,
To the pleasure of the evening,
Northland's long and dreary evening,
For the beauty of the day-dawn,
For the pleasures of the morning,
The beginning of the new day.

From the FINNISH.
Translation of JOHN MARTIN CRAWFORD.

* * * * *

PARTING LOVERS.

SIENNA.

I love thee, love thee, Giulio!
Some call me cold, and some demure,
And if thou hast ever guessed that so
I love thee ... well;--the proof was poor,
And no one could be sure.

Before thy song (with shifted rhymes
To suit my name) did I undo
The persian? If it moved sometimes,
Thou hast not seen a hand push through
A flower or two.

My mother listening to my sleep
Heard nothing but a sigh at night,--
The short sigh rippling on the deep,--
When hearts run out of breath and sigh
Of men, to God's clear light.

When others named thee,... thought thy brows
Were straight, thy smile was tender,... "Here
He comes between the vineyard-rows!"--
I said not "Ay,"--nor waited, Dear,
To feel thee step too near.

I left such things to bolder girls,
Olivia or Clotilda. Nay,
When that Clotilda through her curls
Held both thine eyes in hers one day,
I marvelled, let me say.

I could not try the woman's trick:
Between us straightway fell the blush
Which kept me separate, blind, and sick.
A wind came with thee in a flush,
As blow through Horeb's bush.

But now that Italy invokes
Her young men to go forth and chase
The foe or perish,--nothing chokes
My voice, or drives me from the place:
I look thee in the face.

I love thee! it is understood,
Confest: I do not shrink or start:
No blushes: all my body's blood
Has gone to greaten this poor heart,
That, loving, we may part.

Our Italy invokes the youth
To die if need be. Still there's room,
Though earth is strained with dead, in truth.
Since twice the lilies were in bloom
They had not grudged a tomb.

And many a plighted maid and wife
And mother, who can say since then
"My country," cannot say through life
"My son," "my spouse," "my flower of men,"
And not weep dumb again.

Heroic males the country bears,
But daughters give up more than sons.
Flags wave, drums beat, and unawares
You flash your souls out with the guns,
And take your heaven at once!

But we,--we empty heart and home
Of life's life, love! we bear to think
You're gone,... to feel you may not come,...
To hear the door-latch stir and clink
Yet no more you,... nor sink.

Dear God! when Italy is one
And perfected from bound to bound,...
Suppose (for my share) earth's undone
By one grave in't! as one small wound
May kill a man, 'tis found!

What then? If love's delight must end,
At least we'll clear its truth from flaws.
I love thee, love thee, sweetest friend!
Now take my sweetest without pause,
To help the nation's cause.

And thus of noble Italy
We'll both be worthy. Let her show
The future how we made her free,
Not sparing life, nor Giulio,
Nor this ... this heart-break. Go!

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

* * * * *

AMERICA

O mother of a mighty race,
Yet lovely in thy youthful grace!
The elder dames, thy haughty peers,
Admire and hate thy blooming years;
With words of shame
And taunts of scorn they join thy name.

For on thy cheeks the glow is spread
That tints thy morning hills with red;
Thy step,--the wild deer's rustling feet
Within thy woods are not more fleet;
Thy hopeful eye
Is bright as thine own sunny sky.

Ay, let them rail, those haughty ones,
While safe thou dwellest with thy sons.
They do not know how loved thou art,
How many a fond and fearless heart
Would rise to throw
Its life between thee and the foe.

They know not, in their hate and pride,
What virtues with thy children bide,--
How true, how good, thy graceful maids
Make bright, like flowers, the valley shades;
What generous men
Spring, like thine oaks, by hill and glen;

What cordial welcomes greet the guest
By thy lone rivers of the west;
How faith is kept, and truth revered,
And man is loved, and God is feared,
In woodland homes,
And where the ocean border foams.

There's freedom at thy gates, and rest
For earth's down-trodden and opprest,
A shelter for the hunted head,
For the starved laborer toil and bread.
Power, at thy bounds,
Stops, and calls back his baffled hounds.

O fair young mother! on thy brow
Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
Deep in the brightness of thy skies,
The thronging years in glory rise,
And, as they fleet,
Drop strength and riches at thy feet.

Thine eye, with every coming hour,
Shall brighten, and thy form shall tower;
And when thy sisters, elder born,
Would brand thy name with words of scorn,
Before thine eye
Upon their lips the taunt shall die.

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

* * * * *

COLUMBIA.

Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies!
Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
Thy reign is the last and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let the crimes of the East ne'er encrimson thy name,
Be freedom and science and virtue thy fame.

To conquest and slaughter let Europe aspire;
Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire;
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them, and glory attend.
A world is thy realm; for a world be thy laws
Enlarged as thine empire, and just as thy cause;
On Freedom's broad basis that empire shall rise,
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies.

Fair Science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
And the East see thy morn hide the beams of her star;
New bards and new sages unrivalled shall soar
To fame unextinguished when time is no more;
To thee, the last refuge of virtue designed,
Shall fly from all nations the best of mankind;
Here, grateful to Heaven, with transport shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant than odors of spring.

Nor less shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,
And genius and beauty in harmony blend;
The graces of form shall awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul ever cherish the fire;
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refined,
And virtue's bright image, enstamped on the mind,
With peace and soft rapture shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile on the aspect of woe.

Thy fleets to all regions thy power shall display,
The nations admire, and the ocean obey;
Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,
And the East and the South yield their spices and gold.
As the dayspring unbounded thy splendor shall flow,
And earth's little kingdoms before thee shall bow,
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurled,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.

Thus, as down a lone valley, with cedars o'er-spread,
From war's dread confusion, I pensively strayed,--
The gloom from the face of fair heaven retired;
The wind ceased to murmur, the thunders expired;
Perfumes, as of Eden, flowed sweetly along,
And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung:
"Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies!"

TIMOTHY DWIGHT.

* * * * *

ON THE PROSPECT OF PLANTING ARTS
AND LEARNING IN AMERICA.

The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime
Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time,
Producing subjects worthy fame.

In happy climes, where from the genial sun
And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art by nature seems outdone,
And fancied beauties by the true:

In happy climes, the seat of innocence,
Where nature guides and virtue rules,
Where men shall not impose for truth and sense
The pedantry of courts and schools:

There shall be sung another golden age,
The rise of empire and of arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,
The wisest heads and noblest hearts.

Not such as Europe breeds in her decay:
Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,
By future poets shall be sung.

Westward the course of empire takes its way;
The first four acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day;
Time's noblest offspring is the last.

BISHOP GEORGE BERKELEY.

* * * * *

ENGLAND TO AMERICA.

Nor force nor fraud shall sunder us! O ye
Who north or south, or east or western land,
Native to noble sounds, say truth for truth,
Freedom for freedom, love for love, and God
For God; O ye who in eternal youth
Speak with a living and creative flood
This universal English, and do stand
Its breathing book; live worthy of that grand
Heroic utterance--parted, yet a whole,
Far, yet unsevered,--children brave and free
Of the great Mother tongue, and ye shall be
Lords of an empire wide as Shakespeare's soul,
Sublime as Milton's immemorial theme,
And rich as Chaucer's speech, and fair as Spenser's dream.

SYDNEY DOBELL.

* * * * *

OUR STATE.

The south-land boasts its teeming cane,
The prairied west its heavy grain,
And sunset's radiant gates unfold
On rising marts and sands of gold!

Rough, bleak, and hard, our little State
Is scant of soil, of limits strait;
Her yellow sands are sands alone,
Her only mines are ice and stone!

From autumn frost to April rain,
Too long her winter woods complain;
From budding flower to falling leaf,
Her summer time is all too brief.

Yet, on her rocks, and on her sands,
And wintry hills, the school-house stands;
And what her rugged soil denies
The harvest of the mind supplies.

The riches of the commonwealth
Are free, strong minds, and hearts of health;
And more to her than gold or grain
The cunning hand and cultured brain.

For well she keeps her ancient stock,
The stubborn strength of Pilgrim Rock;
And still maintains, with milder laws,
And clearer light, the good old cause!

Nor heeds the sceptic's puny hands,
While near her school the church-spire stands;
Nor fears the blinded bigot's rule,
While near her church-spire stands the school.

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

* * * * *

THE REPUBLIC.

FROM "THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP."

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee,--are all with thee!

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

* * * * *

AMERICA

[1832.]

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain-side
Let freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,--
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break,--
The sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee I sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by thy might,
Great God our King.

Samuel Francis Smith.

* * * * *

"OLD IRONSIDES."

[On the proposed breaking up of the United States frigate
"Constitution."]

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle-shout,
And burst the cannon's roar:
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee:
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

O better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave!
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave:
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

* * * * *

MEN OF THE NORTH AND WEST.

[APRIL, 1861.]

Men of the North and West,
Wake in your might.
Prepare, as the rebels have done,
For the fight!
You cannot shrink from the test;
Rise! Men of the North and West!

They have torn down your banner of stars;
They have trampled the laws;
They have stifled the freedom they hate,
For no cause!
Do you love it or slavery best?
Speak! Men of the North and West!

They strike at the life of the State:
Shall the murder be done?
They cry: "We are two!" And you?
"We are one!"
You must meet them, then, breast to breast;
On! Men of the North and West!

Not with words; they laugh them to scorn,
And tears they despise;
But with swords in your hands, and death
In your eyes!
Strike home! leave to God all the rest;
Strike! Men of the North and West!

RICHARD HENRY STODDARD.

* * * * *

OUR COUNTRY'S CALL.

[1861.]

Lay down the axe, fling by the spade;
Leave in its track the toiling plough;
The rifle and the bayonet-blade
For arms like yours were fitter now;
And let the hands that ply the pen
Quit the light task, and learn to wield
The horseman's crooked brand, and rein
The charger on the battle-field.

Our country calls; away! away!
To where the blood-stream blots the green;
Strike to defend the gentlest sway
That Time in all his course has seen.
See, from a thousand coverts--see
Spring the armed foes that haunt her track;
They rush to smite her down, and we
Must beat the banded traitors back.

Ho! sturdy as the oaks ye cleave,
And moved as soon to fear and flight,
Men of the glade and forest! leave
Your woodcraft for the field of fight.
The arms that wield the axe must pour
An iron tempest on the foe;
His serried ranks shall reel before
The arm that lays the panther low.

And ye who breast the mountain storm
By grassy steep or highland lake,
Come, for the land ye love, to form
A bulwark that no foe can break.
Stand, like your own gray cliffs that mock
The whirlwind; stand in her defence:
The blast as soon shall move the rock,
As rushing squadrons bear ye thence.

And ye whose homes are by her grand
Swift rivers, rising far away,
Come from the depth of her green land
As mighty in your march as they;
As terrible as when the rains
Have swelled them over bank and bourne,
With sudden floods to drown the plains
And sweep along the woods uptorn.

And ye who throng beside the deep,
Her ports and hamlets of the strand,
In number like the waves that leap
On his long-murmuring marge of sand,
Come, like that deep, when, o'er his brim,
He rises, all his floods to pour,
And flings the proudest barks that swim,
A helpless wreck against his shore.

Few, few were they whose swords of old
Won the fair land in which we dwell;
But we are many, we who hold
The grim resolve to guard it well.
Strike for that broad and goodly land,
Blow after blow, till men shall see
That Might and Right move hand in hand,
And Glorious must their triumph be.

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

* * * * *

A CRY TO ARMS.

[1861.]

Ho, woodsmen of the mountain-side!
Ho, dwellers in the vales!
Ho, ye who by the chafing tide
Have roughened in the gales!
Leave barn and byre, leave kin and cot,
Lay by the bloodless spade;
Let desk and case and counter rot,
And burn your books of trade!

The despot roves your fairest lands;
And till he flies or fears,
Your fields must grow but armed bands,
Your sheaves be sheaves of spears!
Give up to mildew and to rust
The useless tools of gain,
And feed your country's sacred dust
With floods of crimson rain!

Come with the weapons at your call--
With musket, pike, or knife;
He wields the deadliest blade of all
Who lightest holds his life.
The arm that drives its unbought blows
With all a patriot's scorn,
Might brain a tyrant with a rose
Or stab him with a thorn.

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