But, if smitten with blindness, and mad with the rage The gods gave to all whom they wished to destroy, You would act a new Iliad, to darken the age With horrors beyond what is told us of Troy--
If, deaf as the adder itself to the cries, When wisdom, humanity, justice implore, You would have our proud eagle to feed on the eyes Of those who have taught him so grandly to soar--
If there be to your malice no limit imposed, And you purpose hereafter to rule with the rod The men upon whom you already have closed Our goodly domain and the temples of God:
To the breeze then your banner dishonored unfold, And, at once, let the tocsin be sounded afar; We greet you, as greeted the Swiss, Charles the Bold-- With a farewell to peace and a welcome to war!
For the courage that clings to our soil, ever bright, Shall catch inspiration from turf and from tide; Our sons unappalled shall go forth to the fight, With the smile of the fair, the pure kiss of the bride;
And the bugle its echoes shall send through the past, In the trenches of Yorktown to waken the slain; While the sod of King's Mountain shall heave at the blast, And give up its heroes to glory again.
A Cry to Arms.
By Henry Timrod.
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.
Does any falter? let him turn To some brave maiden's eyes, And catch the holy fires that burn In those sublunar skies. Oh! could you like your women feel, And in their spirit march, A day might see your lines of steel Beneath the victor's arch.
What hope, O God! would not grow warm When thoughts like these give cheer? The lily calmly braves the storm, And shall the palm-tree fear? No! rather let its branches court The rack that sweeps the plain; And from the lily's regal port Learn how to breast the strain!
Ho! woodsmen of the mountain-side! Ho! dwellers in the vales! Ho! ye who by the roaring tide Have roughened in the gales!
Come! flocking gayly to the fight From forest, hill, and lake; We battle for our country's right, And for the lily's sake!
Jackson, The Alexandria Martyr.
By Wm. H. Holcombe, M.D., of Virginia.
'Twas not the private insult galled him most, But public outrage of his country's flag, To which his patriotic heart had pledged Its faith as to a bride. The bold, proud chief, Th' avenging host, and the swift-coming death Appalled him not. Nor life with all its charms, Nor home, nor wife, nor children could weigh down The fierce, heroic instincts to destroy The insolent invader. Ellsworth fell, And Jackson perished 'mid the pack of wolves, Befriended only by his own great heart And God approving. More than Roman soul! O type of our impetuous chivalry! May this young nation ever boast her sons A vast, and inconceivable multitude, Standing like thee in her extremest van, Self-poised and ready, in defence of rights Or in revenge of wrongs, to dare and die!
The Martyr of Alexandria.
By James W. Simmons, of Texas.
Revealed, as in a lightning flash, A hero stood! The invading foe, the trumpet's crash, Set up his blood.
High o'er the sacred pile that bends Those forms above, Thy star, O Freedom! brightly blends Its rays with love.
The banner of a mighty race, Serenely there, Unfurls the genius of the place, In haunted air.
A vow is registered in Heaven! Patriot! 'tis thine! To guard those matchless colors, given By hands divine.
Jackson! thy spirit may not hear Our wail ascend; A nation gathers round thy bier, And mourns its friend.
The example is thy monument, And organ tones Thy name resound, with glory blent, Prouder than thrones!
And they whose loss hath been our gain, A people's cares Shall win their wounded hearts from pain, And wipe their tears.