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“ EIN FESTE BURG IST UNSER GOTT.”
E wait beneath the furnace-blast
of transformation ; Not painlessly doth God recast
And mould anew the nation.
Hot burns the fire
Where wrongs expire ;
The hand-breadth cloud the sages feared
Its bloody rain is dropping ;
The poison plant the fathers spared
East, West, South, North,
Live only in its shadow.
What gives the wheat-field blades of steel?
What points the rebel cannon ? What sets the roaring rabble's heel On the old star-spangled pennon ?
What breaks the oath
Of the men o' the South ?
What whets the knife
For the Union's life?
Hark to the answer : Slavery !
Then waste no blows on lesser foes
In strife unworthy freemen.
God lifts to-day the vail, and shows
The features of the demon!
What though the cast-out spirit tear
The nation in his going ?
Whate'er the loss,
Of present pain
For who that leans on His right arm
Was ever yet forsaken?
What righteous cause can suffer harm
Though wild and loud
Behind its folds
His hand upholds
Above the maddening cry for blood,
Above the wild war-drumming,
Whose shame we bear,
In vain the bells of war shall ring
Of triumphs and revenges,
While still is spared the evil thing
That severs and estranges.
But blest the ear
That yet shall hear
That rings the knell
Then let the selfish lip be dumb,
And hushed the breath of sighing;
And, murmuring not,