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“ EIN FESTE BURG IST UNSER GOTT." What gives the wheat-field blades of steel?
What points the rebel cannon?
What breaks the oath
For the Union's life? -
Then waste no blows on lesser foes
In strife unworthy freemen.
O North and South,
“Let slavery die!”
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 ?
Though wild and loud
His hand upholds
Above the maddening cry for blood,
Above the wild war-drumming,
To stay the Curse
Whose shame we bear,
In vain the bells of war shall ring
Of triumphs and revenges,
But blest the ear
That rings the knell
Then let the selfish lip be dumb,
And hushed the breath of sighing;
And, murmuring not,
ASTRÆA AT THE CAPITOL.
ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 1862.
H EN first I saw our banner wave
I heard beneath its marble wall
In the foul market-place I stood,
And saw the Christian mother sold,
And childhood with its locks of gold,
I shut my eyes, I held my breath,
And, smothering down the wrath and shame
That set my Northern blood aflame,
Beside me gloomed the prison-cell
Where wasted one in slow decline
For uttering simple words of mine,
The flag that floated from the dome
Flapped menace in the morning air;
I stood a perilled stranger where
For crime was virtue: Gown and Sword
And Law their threefold sanction gave,
And to the quarry of the slave
On the oppressor's side was power;
And yet I knew that every wrong,
However old, however strong, But waited God's avenging hour.
I knew that truth would crush the lie, -,
Yet scarcely dared I hope to see
But now I see it! In the sun
A free flag floats from yonder dome, And at the nation's hearth and home The justice long delayed is done.
Not as we hoped, in calm of prayer,
The message of deliverance comes,
But heralded by roll of drums On waves of battle-troubled air !
Midst sounds that madden and appall,
The song that Bethlehem's shepherds knew!
The harp of David melting through The demon-agonies of Saul !
Not as we hoped ; — but what are we?
Above our broken dreams and plans
God lays, with wiser hand than man's, The corner-stones of liberty.
I cavil not with Him : the voice
That freedom's blessed gospel tells
Is sweet to me as silver bells, Rejoicing !-yea, I will rejoice !
Dear friends still toiling in the sun,
Ye dearer ones who, gone before,
Are watching from the eternal shore The slow work by your hands begun,
Rejoice with me! The chastening rod
Blossoms with love; the furnace heat
Grows cool beneath His blessed feet Whose form is as the Son of God!
Rejoice! Our Marah's bitter springs
Are sweetened ; on our ground of grief
Rise day by day in strong relief The prophecies of better things.
Rejoice in hope! The day and night
Are one with God, and one with them
Who see by faith the cloudy hem Of Judgment fringed with Mercy's light!
THE PASS OF THE SIERRA.
ALL night above their rocky bed
The desert's death below.
The Indian from his lodge of bark,
The gray bear from his den,
Glared on the mountain men.
Still upward turned, with anxious strain,
Their leader's sleepless eye,
Stood black against the sky.
The night waned slow : at last, a glow,
A gleam of sudden fire,