Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Let the pall, and the urn, and the nodding hearse-plume,
Speak regreat for the sage in the “Hermitage” tomb !--
The warrior sleeps-his task is fulAlled!
His voice in the halls of the nation is stilled ;
His sword's in its scabbard ; his corse 'neath the sod;
His memory here,-his soul with its God !

VIII.-WASHINGTON'S NAME.

JAMES G. PERCIVAL.

AT

T the heart of our country the tyrant was leaping,

To dye there the point of his dagger in gore,
When Washington sprang from the watch he was keeping,

And drove back that tyrant in shame from our shore :
The cloud that hung o'er us then parted aud roll’d
Its wreaths far away, deeply tinctured with flame;

And high on its fold

Was a legend that told
The brightness that circled our Washington's name.

Long years have rollid on, and the sun still has brighten'd

Our mountains and flelds with its ruddiest glow;
And the bolt that he wielded so proudly, has lighten'd,

With a flash as intense, in the face of the foe :
On the land and the sea, the wide banner has roll'd
O’er many a chief, on his passage to fame;

And still on its fold

Shine in letters of gold
The glory and worth of our Washington's name.

And so it shall be, while eternity tarries,

And pauses to tread in the foot-steps of time; The bird of the tempest, whose quick pinion carries

Our arrows of vengeance, shall hover sublime : Wherever that flag on the wind shall be roll’d, All hearts shall be kindled with anger and shame,

If e'er they are told

They are careless and cold,
In the glory that circles our Washington's name.

IX.-THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS.

THOMAS WELLS.

CHILL was the breeze, ---nor yet the herald light,

Had chased the lingering shadow of the night;
O’er still expanse of lake and marshy bed
Gloomy and dense the mantling vapors spread ;
But soon the battle flash that darkness broke,
And soon that dread repose the peal awoke
Of loud artillery, and the dire alarms
Of mingling conflict, and the clash of arms!

Fate gave the word ! and now, by veterans led,
In pride of chivalry, to conquest bred,
The foe advanced-intrenched, the champion band
Of freemen stood, the bulwark of the land ;

Fearless their stars unfurled, and, as the rock,
Storm-proof, they stood impervious to the shock;
Their patriot chief—with patriot ardor fired-
Nerved every hand, and every heart inspired ;
Himself, in peril's trying hour, a host,
A nation's rescue, and a nation's boast,

As near the bastioned wall the invader drew,
A storm of iron hail to greet him flew;
On Havoc's wing the missioned vengeance rode,
And whole platoons the scythe of Ruin mowed ;
Through paths of blood, o'er undistinguished slain,
Unyoked, the hungry war-dogs scoured the plain;
Borne on the blast, the scattering besom kept
Its course, and ranks on ranks promiscuous swept ;
The trophied Lion fell—while o'er his foes
Unscathed, in arms supreme, the towering Eagle rose.

Sublime in majesty—matchless in might-
Columbia stood, unshaken in the fight;
From lips of adamant, ’midst volumed smoke
And cataracts of fire, her thunders spoke
In triumph to the skies ; from shore to shore
Old Mississippi shook, and echoed to the roar.

High on his sceptred perch our mountain bird, Amidst the din, the shout of Victory heardExulting heard, and from his eyrie came Through clouds of rolling dun, and sheets of flame; Renown's immortal meed he bore, and spread His ample pinions o'er the conqueror's headThe Hero of the West ;—to him assigned The glorious palm, and round his brows the guerdon twined.

X.-E PLURIBUS UNUM.-OUR COUNTRY'S MOTTO.

CAPT. J. W. CUTTER.
THOUGH many and bright are the stars that appear

In that flag by our country unfurled,
And the stripes that are swelling in majesty there,

Like a rainbow adorning the world ;
Their lights are unsullied as those in the sky,

By a deed that our fathers have done;
And they're leagued in as true and as holy a tie

In their motto of “Many in one."

6

From the hour when those patriots fearlessly flung

That banner of starlight abroad,
Ever true to themselves, to that motto they clung,

As they clung to the promise of God.
By the bayonet traced at the midnight of war,

On the fields where our glory was won,

O, perish the heart or the hand that would mar

Our motto of “Many in one."

’Mid the smoke of the contest—the cannon's deep roar

How oft it hath gathered renown !
While those stars were reflected in rivers of gore,

When the cross and the lion went down.
And though few were their lights in the gloom of that hour

Yet the hearts that were striking below
Had God for their bulwark, and truth for their power

And they stopped not to number the foe.

From where our green mountain-tops blend with the sky,

And the giant St. Lawrence is rolled,
To the waves where the balmy Hesperides lie,

Like the dream of some prophet of old,
The conquered, and, dying, bequeathed to our care,

Not this boundless dominion alone,
But that banner, whose loveliness hallows the air,

And their motto of “Many in one,”

We are many in one while there glitters a stàr,

In the blue of the heavens above;
And tyrants shall quail 'mid their dungeons afar,

When they gaze on that motto of love.
It shall gleam o'er the sea, 'mid the bolts of the storm,

Over tempest, and battle, and wreck ;
And flame where our guns with their thunder grow warm,

’Neath the blood on the slippery deck.

The oppressed of the earth to that standard shall fly,

Wherever its folds shall be spread ;
And the exile shall feel 't is his own native sky

Where its stars shall float over his head.
And those stars shall increase till the fulness of time

Its millions of cycles has run;
Divide as we may in our own native land,

To the rest of the world we are one.

Then up with our flag ! let it stream on the air !

Though our fathers are cold in their graves ; They had hands that could strike, they had souls that could dare,

And their sons were not born to be slaves !
Up, up with that banner! where'er it may call,

Our millions shall rally around;
A nation of freemen that moment shall fall

When its stars shall be trailed on the ground.

XI.--THE LANDING OF COLUMBUS.

THE sai!s were furl'd ; with many a melting close,

, Solemn and slow the evening anthem rose, — Rose to the Virgin. 'Twas the hour of day When setting suns o'er summer seas display A path of glory, opening in the west To golden climes and islands of the blest; And human voices on the silent air Went o'er the waves in songs of gladness there ! Chosen of men ! 'Twas thine at noon of night First from the prow to hail the glimmering light, (Emblem of Truth divine, whose secret ray Enters the soul and makes the darkness day!) Pedro ! Rodrigo ! there methought it shone ! There—in the west ! and now, alas, 'tis gone ! 'Twas all a dream ! we gaze and gaze in vain ! But mark and speak not, there it comes again! It moves !—what form unseen, what being there With torch-like lustre fires the murky air ? His instincts, passions, say, how like our own! Oh, when will day reveal a world unknown ?'' Long on the deep the mists of morning lay, Then rose, revealing as they rolled away Half-circling hills, whose everlasting woods Sweep with their sable skirts the shadowy floods ; And say, when all, to holy transport given, Embraced and wept as at the gates of heaven,When one and all of us, repentant, ran, And, on our faces, bless'd the wondrous man,Say, was I then deceived, or from the skies, Burst on my ear seraphic harmonies ? “Glory to God !" unnumber'd voices sung, “Glory to God !” the vales and mountains rung, Voices that hail'd creation's primal morn, And to the shepherds sung a Saviour born. Slowly, bareheaded, through the surf we bore The sacred cross, and kneeling kiss'd the shore.

[blocks in formation]

That word since then hath shone on high,
In starry letters to the sky,

It is our country's name !
What impious hand shall rashly dare
Down from its lofty peak to tear

The banner of her fame ?

The spirits of the heroic dead,
Who for Columbia fought and bled,

Would curse the dastard son
Who should betray their noble trust,
And madly trample in the dust,

The charter which they won.

From vast Niagara's gurgling roar
To Sacramento's golden shore,

From east to western wave,
The blended vows of millions rise,-
There voice re-echoes to the skies--

“The Union we must save !"

The God of nations, in whose name
The sacred laws obedience claim,

Will bless our fond endeavor
To dwell as brethren here below;
The Union, then, come weal, come woe,

We will preserve forever!

XIII.-MARION'S DINNER.

EDWARD C. JONES. A British officer sent to negotiate an exchange of prisoners, was conducted into Marion's encainpment. There the scene took place which is here commemorated The young officer was so deeply affected by the sentiments of Marion, that he subsequently resigned his commission and retired from the British service,

THÈY

HEY sat on the trunk of a fallen pine, and their plate was a piece of bark,

And the sweet potatoes were super-fine, though bearing the embers' mark ; But Tom, with the sleeve of his cotton shirt, the embers' had brushed away,

And then to the brook, with a step alert, he hied on that gala day. The British officer tried to eat, but his nerves were out of tune,

And ill at ease on his novel seat, while absent both knife and spoon, Said he, you give me but Lenten fare, is the table thus always slim?

Perhaps with a Briton you will not share the cup with a flowing brim !

Then Marion put his potato down, on the homely plate of bark

He had to smile, for he could not frown, while gay as the morning lark ; 'Tis a royal feast I provide to-day, upon roots we rebels dine,

And in Freedom's service we draw no pay, is that of ethics thine?
Then, with flashing eye and with heaving breast, he looked to the azure sky,

And, said he, with a firm, undaunted crest, our trust is in God on high !
The hard, hard ground, is a downy bed, and hunger its fangs foregoes,

And noble and firm is the soldier's tread, in the face of his country's foes.

« PoprzedniaDalej »