Page images

Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,

And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art. And they who ruled in thine imperial name,

Subdued, and standing sullenly apart, Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy reign, And shattered at a blow the prisoner's chain. Well was thy doom deserved; thou didst not spare

Life's tenderest ties, but cruelly didst part

Husband and wife, and from the mother's heart Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek and prayer;

Thy inner lair became

The haunt of guilty shame; Thy lash dropped blood; the murderer, at thy side, Showed his red hands, nor feared the vengeance

due. Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far and wide,

A harvest of uncounted miseries grew,
Until the measure of thy sins at last
Was full, and then the avenging bolt was cast!
Go now, accursed of God, and take thy place

With hateful memories of the elder time,

With many a wasting plague, and nameless crime, And bloody war that thinned the human race;

With the Black Death, whose way

Through wailing cities lay,
Worship of Moloch, tyrannies that built

The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
To avenge a fancied guilt by deeper guilt-

Death at the stake to those that held them not.
Lo! the foul phantoms, silent in the gloom
Of the flown ages, part to yield thee room.

I see the better years that hasten by

Carry thee back into that shadowy past,

Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast, The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.

The slave-pen, through whose door

Thy victims pass no more,
Is there, and there shall the grim block remain

At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet Scourges and engines of restraint and pain

Molder and rust by thine eternal seat. There, mid the symbols that proclaim thy crimes, Dwell thou, a warning to the coming times.



A line in long array where they wind betwixt green

islands, They take a serpentine course, their arms flash in the

sun,-hark to the musical clank, Behold the silvery river, in it the splashing horses

loitering stop to drink, Behold the brown-faced



person, a picture, the negligent rest on the saddles, Some emerge on the opposite bank, others are just en

tering the ford—while, Scarlet and blue and snowy white, The guidon flags flutter gayly in the wind.

men, each



I see before me now a traveling army halting,
Below a fertile valley spread, with barns and the

orchards of summer, Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in

places rising high, Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall

shapes dingily seen, The numerous camp-fires scattered near and far, some

away up on the mountain, The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large

sized, flickering, And over all the sky—the sky! far, far out of reach,

studded, breaking out, the eternal stars.



Would you hear of the River-Fight?
It was two of a soft spring night;-

God's stars looked down on all,
And all was clear and bright
But the low fog's chilling breath-
Up the River of Death

Sailed the Great Admiral.

On our high poop-deck he stood,

And round him ranged the men
Who have made their birthright good

Of manhood, once and again, -
Lords of helm and of sail,
Tried in tempest and gale,

Bronzed in battle and wreck:
Bell and Bailey grandly led
Each his Line of the Blue and Red,
Wainwright stood by our starboard rail,

Thornton fought the deck.

And I mind me of more than they,

Of the youthful, steadfast ones,

That have shown them worthy sons
Of the Seamen passed away-
Tyson conned our helm that day,

Watson stood by his guns.

What thought our Admiral then,
Looking down on his men ?
Since the terrible day,

(Day of renown and tears!) When at anchor the Essex lay,

Holding her foes at bay, When, a boy, by Porter's side he stood Till deck and plank-sheer were dyed with blood,

'Tis half a hundred years, Half a hundred years to-day!

Who could fail with him?
Who reckon of life or limb?

Not a pulse but beat the higher!

There had you seen, by the starlight dim,
Five hundred faces strong and grim-

The Flag is going under fire!
Right up by the fort, with her helm hard-a-port,

The Hartford is going under fire!


way to our work was plain, Caldwell had broken the chain (Two hulks swung down amain,

Soon as 'twas sundered). Under the night's dark blue, Steering steady and true, Ship after ship went through, Till, as we hove in view,

Jackson out-thundered.

Back echoed Philip! ah, then
Could you have seen our men,

How they sprung, in the dim night haze,
To their work of toil and of clamor!
How the loaders, with sponge and rammer,
And their captains, with cord and hammer,

Kept every muscle ablaze!
How the guns, as with cheer and shout
Our tackle-men hurled them out,

Brought up on the waterways!

First, as we fired at their flash,

'Twas lightning and black eclipse, With a bellowing roll and crash; But soon, upon either bow,

What with forts, and fire-rafts, and ships,

« EelmineJätka »