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Richard E.S. Toomey, "Thoughts for True Americans" (full text) (1901)
12023-06-28T10:37:05-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e12132plain2023-07-28T13:07:24-04:00Amardeep Singhc185e79df2fca428277052b90841c4aba30044e1 Thoughts for True Americans.
A BOOK OF POEMS, DEDICATED TO THE LOVERS OF AMERICAN IDEALS
RICHARD E. S. TOOMEY OF TENNESSEE' Lt. Late 8th U. S. V. Infantry
The Neale Publishing Company
431 ELEVENTH STREET MCMI
Copyright, 1901, by The Neale Publishing Company.
With gracious acknowledgment to that soul, who has both encouraged and inspired my zeal, I respectfully dedicate this volume to All True Americans.
Richard E. S. Toomey.
In compliance with requests, oft repeated by many, I have made from my writings in verse the selections contained in this volume for the perusal of those who love Liberty, Justice, Truth and Beauty.
I claim for them no special merit save what may be accorded because they emanate from a heart imbued with love of Race, of Country, of God.
I have not aimed to measure my lines by the rule of any of the multifarious schools of poetry, but have written as moved. If the works of any of the poets have influenced my mode more than others, they are those of Gray, whom we wish had written more; of Scott, who wrote untrammelled by the ready-made laws for poetic utterance; of Dunbar, whose pathos and humor wrings unconscious tears from the heart or fills the soul with spontaneous laughter.
Richard B. S. Toomey.
In saying a word for the accompanying verses, I am hampered by the fact that I have, myself, but a small public, and in this case can appeal only to a part of it.
So much attention has lately been paid to poetic gym- nastics and dialectic jingles, that there has seemed little space in which to give ear to the sober and sound matter such as is found in this book.
But after all it is the poet's business to speak in the midst of din and tell the message that he has for the world.
This, Lieutenant Toomey has done melodiously and clear, and those who love strong, manly ideas vigorously expressed will pause and listen to this soldier singer.
Paul, Laurence Dunbar.
Ode to Columbia 13 A Hero and a Lesson ,21 Self-Effacement 25 A Thanksgiving Day Suggestion 30 Allegory 32 To the Shade of Douglass 35 A Memory 39 A Thought Suggested 40 Anxious, Yet Confiding 41 To Work 42 Nature and Friendship . 43 Disappointed 44 "So I Am Weak" 46 Welcome to Christian Warriors 48 Mutation 50 Changeless 52 Things Insignificant 55 Unity of Life and Hope 57 Heedless 58 Thee 60 Our Last Tribune 61 The American Negro 65 The Dying Year 70 Southern Chivalry 72 Friendship 74 Progression' s Appeal 75 A Change of Mind 79
Thoughts for True Americans
ODE TO COLUMBIA.
Our nation is formed of varied races. To believe this, look into the faces Of those who our waters and lands traverse; Whom, though unlike, our institutions nurse. Of all governments there is none better Than that which shows in spirit and letter The great idea of man's close relation — That kin all are, though of different nation.
Our populace grows; and from every clime Come those to whom Columbia seems sublime. And so, too, she is. Would you discover What it is that makes her people love her? 'T is that when she is conscious of just blame Such knowledge emblushes her brow with shame. Soon she begins to seek proper measure To clear her name, for that is her treasure.
When she became conscious what direful plight She was plunged into by slavery's night, She quick the shackles of slavery broke, Made bondmen citizens, when conscience woke. When cruelties severe vexed these freemen, She saw and came to their relief again; Swift to relieve them from that oppression, A new amendment is their possession.
From the memorable day when whe was born, Her life has been varied, prosperous, forlorn; But since she arrived at years mature Her people have been blessed each } r ear the more, Though to the oppressed at times it would seem That no ray of justice would on them beam; Yet it has e'er happened in darkest days, Columbia's face gleamed with effulgent rays —
Shined away conditions which produced gloom, Bade hope come forth from despondency's tomb. When general panics have wrought great fear, All business crushed with financial despair, Columbia has arisen in her might, Brought order from chaos, set all things right.
When recalcitrant children broke her laws, And her face was slapped by secession's paws, Justly indignant, she doth them chastise. Thus made ashamed, they obedient rise
Then, as they see that Columbia's plan Is to deal full justice to every man, They gradually their conceits forego, And now the spirit of patriots show. Hence, when Columbia had taken a stand To wrest our neighbors from oppression's hand, Troops from the North, a Wheeler from the South, With Negro soldiers faced the cannon's mouth. Thus it has e'er been from Columbia's birth, Since her noble form first adorned the earth, — Her children far distant, with thoughts diverse, With habits unlike, intolerance terse, Fly quick to her standard whene'er her needs Show the want of a son's or hero's deeds: To die, if they're required; such is their wont To uphold her honor, avenge her affront. But never in all Columbia's life Has she been active in fomenting strife; Unlike other lands is our method here, We keep no large armies from year to year; But when other nations trample our laws Each son volunteers, enarms, marches, draws; Nor, like some, do we here throw conscripts' pall Over city, hamlet, cottage and hall. Such plan we deem does not valor adorn; Best service is of love, not of law born. Now that Columbia stretches helpful hands To the poor, the needy of other lands,
Though her proffers are met as e'er the case When a stronger would help a weaker race; Viewed with suspicion her intents aspersed, Her love called weakness, her efforts traversed; This, too, not by those lone whom she would raise, But those from whom her efforts should draw praise. What shall she do; shall she give up the lands Won by her brave sons and placed in her hands?
Shall she turn, wolf-like, from duty away, As the craven beast slinks, at dawn of day? Out, poltroon! away! Give your words no breath Such seducer merits a traitor's death. Your words not only Columbia offend, But comfort and aid to enemies lend. Shall Columbia, in this progressive age, Sole, be inactive, on the world's great stage? Forbid it, freemen! Forfend it, heaven! Let liberty's spirit act as leaven With these people new to its great blessing. Cease, croaker, your country's will distressing! Admit some honest in their position: "That we ought not assume such condition As these rebel colonies must entail," "That our best efforts will most surely fail" Let some change "Presumptious resolution, Unwarranted by our Constitution," Some "We destroy the doctrine of Monroe, And therefore our policy should forego."
Let us attempt to set their doubts at rest, Show that who bless others, themselves are blessed. "No more benefit is ever received By who accepts than who performs the deed." Such example in our country's early life May be seen in the deed of John Rolfe's wife; Or, if an example on larger scale, Take the emancipation — oft- told tale. L,et all remember, who liberty love, That it emanates from the God above; Hence it can not be " mewed up " in our clime And will be offered the oppressed through all time. Think ye not that Columbia is sinning, But her great destiny is beginning To show to the people of all the world That liberty's banner must be unfurled, Must greet the morn on every mountain top, Be planted in each valley, yet not stop Till the many islands of the seas Have floated it, triumphant, to the breeze.
Columbia, when prepared for war or peace, Keep faithful to thy cause and never cease Till the course thou seek thou full attain. Waiting thy orders, we, a host remain; No royal system does our land detone, Every man's free, his destiny's his own, And who, Columbia grand, would not applaud Thy land, in which there's vassal none or lord.
Here every one stands on a level plain,
The lowest, highest honors here may gain;
Part of our people hold not this idea, Such thoughts are for other than thetn, they fear, Surrounded by injustice, dangers fell, Which, if Columbia notes, they can not tell, Since at times it seems that she would ignore The distressful signs sent up by the poor — Poor in rights, safety, liberty and life, Yet quick to lend their aid when she's in strife. Look with me, sufferers, to history past, See you're not the worst treated nor the last. Races have risen through trials more severe, By work, faith, fortitude, hence persevere: Continue, then, the course wherein you've wrought, Remember our fathers, though enslaved, fought Earnest in each cause which engaged the land: Let us their course maintain with equal hand. If, like Achilles, we should hold away, Would this the progress of events delay? No, my brother; let no such inane rage Your plans, thoughts, actions, writings, words engage. As is our land's, I read the future dim, So our condition, should she sink or swim; The nation's life forever is entwined Not more close round Caucasian than our kind. Thoughtless zealot! Stay not these dusky sons From Columbia's ships or bearing her guns;
Because — alas, 't is true — we've not received What is our due nor from hate's work relieved. These cruelties to her sons I'd not condone, The nation for its crimes must full atone. There is a universal law which pays, In kind, him who pain on his fellow lays. And when, I ask, did principle descend, Its eternal, rigid precepts amend, Or ever change its fixed, immobile laws, To prove or justify the wicked's cause. You who know the course of the human race, Who its each phase of progress well can trace, Tell, did justice ever divert its blow When aimed at dastards fell, though tardy? No! If this principle be true, as I state, How, Columbia, canst thou evade such fate As falls on who permit, as who do wrong; Pays back in like kind, though deferring long? O, sons of liberty, you only can Avoid such fate by adopting this plan: Let each lowliest son in safety strive, Give to each and all equal chance to thrive, Let one class of laws affect all alike; These will at the root of our evils strike. Can we dare highest excellence crave, While the people exist part free, part slave?
Futile cravings, such heights we can not reach L,est we practice what our institutes teach. And why should our destiny be withstood, While millions desire their country's good? Let leaders of thought and press of power Speak for justice — begin this very hour To call attention to our nation's crimes, Such as wrecked governments in former times. Thus get the conscience of Columbia awake, Effective measures at once will she take To berid herself of such cause for shame; Aforetimes when roused she has done the same. She has risen to the demands of each age, Shall crimes 'gainst her poor still blot history's page? Wake, Columbia! See what thou hast achieved! Thou roused, soon will the sufferer be relieved; Nor has the eagle flown more swift than thou. Known to every land is thy power now.
Thou burst the tyrant's bonds in days of yore And bow to Monarch's rule, no, nevermore; Thy crude estate thou'st worthily enhanced, Until the world stands awe-struck and entranced; Thou'st threaded thy land with wire, iron and steel Until all parts the other's pulses feel; Thy waters teem with healthful, active life, Thy marts with varied interests are rife; Thy people now know as never before Thy power and will to protect thy shore.
Since thy power is great, O Columbia grand, Stretch, O stretch justly thine empowered hand, Lift from the oppressed the burdens they bear, Do not thou the fate of fallen nations share! Do this, thou'It find thy destiny assured And heaven's blessing on thy pathway poured. Thus being dressed in garb of highest virtue Know thou mayest the millenium nurture; If Nature's laws merge in the spirit world, Christ's banner, here, may by thee be unfurled.
A HERO AND A LESSON.
"For foreign cruise "his orders read; That instant all his sails were spread. He stays not to some favor wait — His sole desire to serve the State.
The lesson taught by this example Excellent is, and worthy sample For those who would serve the nation To follow close, with emulation.
In order all his ships he keeps; On post of duty never sleeps; Alert, observant, everywhere — His nation's honor is his care.
Seest thou not such habit's merit? Know that who succeeds must wear it. Thine energies then, active, keen, Devote to affairs which on thee lean.
With field-glass oft he sweeps the sea, Swift to fill what his orders be; These haste his course, direct his stay — No trifling wastes his time away.
Whene'er thou under orders art, Fulfill them; let no pleasure thwart The achievement of a designed aim; Play on duty, thou marriest shame.
Thus coursing true, he takes his way, Anchors at length in China's bay; His country knows his movements all — Should need require he's within call.
Hold thou likewise, straight on thy course, Whate'er the allurements be which cross Thy path. Then thy path duly known, Later thou 'It find with flowers strewn.
Modest, yet brave, he seeks no cause To rouse his countrymen's applause; He makes no play to place his name Upon his nation's roll of fame.
On the other hand, through life thou 'It find Who strive for fame are not the kind Who fame attain. Obscure they die — They've posed through life, a living lie.
But when the States to conflict rise, His earnest prayer ascends the skies: " Let Thou," asks he of Him above, "My deeds sustain the land I love. "
Seest thou, then, if great thy desire To find aid for ambition's fire, Thou bow to Him who is the source Of power; then is blessed thy course.
The Armada once Great Britain awed; Nelson its icy pride soon thawed; At Paul Jones' name the foeman quakes; Perry's victory adorns the Lakes.
The many deeds 'twixt North and South Let us pass by with silent mouth. This awful conflict thousands slew; The Gray were brave as were the Blue.
Why by much pricking o'er and o'er Should wounds be made a running sore? Let's bury in oblivion's grave All difference; both sides were brave.
Read the lines of song or story — Whate'er speaks of naval glory. History, tradition — all, I hold Of no such victory ever told
As that which on the side of right Was won by Dewey in the fight, When, on that famous first of May, He sunk Spain's fleet in Luzon Bay.
Around the world his vict'ry rings; America his praises sing — Nor does all this his conduct swerve, Inflate his head, excite his nerve.
But calm and modest as of } r ore He turns toward his native shore. For his coming Columbia waits Full wide to open all her gates.
Then parting from her custom staid, Cries "Great encomium must be paid To him who for my honor fought; For sure, none e'er such vict'ry wrought. 1
When great deeds the historians state; When sire to son these deeds relate, They tell of him of greatest fame, And say "George Dewey is his name. "
All honor to him whose great deed Arouses every patriot's meed Of praise! Now let fame gladly place Dewey's name highest in honor's space!
[Inasmuch as a number— few though it be— of our people are advancing the very foolish and wholly impracticable policy of " Self-effacement " as a means of bettering our condition in this our country, I have written the following with the desire to dislodge from their minds this ill-con- ceived idea.]
People;, in metamorphic state Of growth, ever received the hate Of some, 'midst whom their lives were thrown But through it they have thriven, grown. Of course they sought, as may be seen, To blunt the edge of trials, keen; Seldom courage did they e'er lack, And never thought of turning back. But now a strange thing do we see, Some of our folks, O, sad to me,
Instead of progress these would place — What? — "Self-effacement" for the race. "Effacement!" A peculiar word! Its meaning have you ever heard, And how it's sought to be applied By people who would have it tried As panacea for such ills, As all our aspiration kills? This word we are talking about Means a most complete wiping out: Condition which, as you may see, It is impossible to be. The lightest creature, deed or word, Has weight, is through all cosmos heard. Such things, then, as can not be traced By us, don't say they are effaced. Are the worms effaced when they die Giving birth to the butterfly? The grain that's of the species corn, Can it deny that such it's born? Though it receive the North-wind's blight, And shrivel up as in affright, Shamed by its fate, theu strive with pain To change into some diff'rent grain, It will remain, though ill to see, Just what it was designed to be. For some purpose were all things made, Since earth's foundations first were laid,
From microcosm or atom small To the mountain so grand and tall; From the minutest germ that's rife, To man, who dignifies all life. All do some purpose good fulfill, Responsive to "Infinite Will." Nothing that's known to Nature's laws Is swallowed in oblivion's jaws; If good or ill, it pays its cost, But nothing in God's plan is lost. Our zealous friends but seek a way Our persecutions to allay, But sure must find some better plan Than this: "That we are less than man." If men we are — and this I claim — We must be men in more than name, And must aspire with honest heart In men's affairs to take a part. Should we our " manhood's rights " forego, Without strong protest, we would show Ourselves unworthy of the boon For which men fought; that all too soon Were we by Providence set free, Permitted citizens to be: In short, would prove it useless blood Which poured for us a mighty flood. Then ought we ourselves to "Efface " From politics? Ah, no, my race!
For sure, in what this word implies, Therein our strength or weakness lies. Then hold it, not as something light, But guard it as a " sacred right," The "right" by which our will's expressed. The "right " by which our land is blessed Is that of " suffrage," so well planned For all, by " Founders of our land." Though we be of lowly station, Did we not help make the nation? Do we not have its good at heart? Are we not an integral part? If it is true, as we are told, That "Each link makes the chain to hold," Then we are bound to fill our place, Which we can not if we " Efface. " Should " Self-effacement" move the race To show that we deserve no place Among progressive men, who live By all the means which our times give, Suited but for destruction's paw, Would we be, by that fixed, just law Which makes the bees drive from their hive The drone, not "fitted to survive." The same thought which makes us to know "Who would be free must strike the blow, " Tells us our " rights," by reason curbed, We must retain, though sore disturbed.
The races through all the ages We learn from history's pages. Whose fame was known o'er all the earth,. Whose deeds were of the greatest worth, In trouble's crucible were burned Before their excellence was earned. Not one that ever climbed the height, The deed accomplished in a night. Just as the gold is tried by fire, Purged of alloy, valued higher, So will the hardships which are ours But develop nobler powers. As does the thresher cleanse the wheat, And friction produce useful heat, So will our trials in this land Bring us forth men of better brand. Do not, as cowards, seek to fly; Our rights, maintain them, though we die. If, fear-stricken, some weaklings yield, And craven-like slink from the field, Swift let them go, nor them lament, But stand our ground and be content; Though long the trials, dark the night, Wrong must be conquered by the right. Why all our progress now retrace, Ourselves from public life "Efface"? Deliver us from such advice As would find peace at any price,
And full quiescent, bear our wrongs. Ah! Sing me not such servile songs! Mark well this truth! On sea or land Naught is achieved by a weak hand. The men whose deeds have blessed their race Have dared look trouble in the face; Then with such plans as wisdom taught, Have blessings for their people wrought. Let all who give such poor advice Try it themselves, then in a trice, As proxy for the entire race, We might, with ease, ourselves " Efface."
A THANKSGIVING DAY SUGGESTION.
When Washington first proclaimed the day, Trouble touched the land every way. With those who prayed, there Pompey bowed, Nor fear nor war his spirit cowed.
As each Thanksgiving day rolled around 'Mid ills or joys, it ever found The man, his family on their knees, With prayer and praise their God to please.
Long years afterwards his son, a slave, With soul devout, with aspect grave, Prayed: " I tank de Lawd for Marser's life, Dat he doan' sell me from ma wife!
"Yet, Lawd, if on dis bressed day Ma pra'r doan' cross Dine own dwine way, An' he in 'cordin' wif Dy plan, Gib, O gib freedom to de Ian'! "
And thus through all the passing years, Through humble joys, or misery's tears, These slaves devout did praise and pray, Seeking God's blessing, in His way.
God, in His way, an answer sends, And with men's war-like spirit blends The high spirit of liberty Which sets the nation's bondsmen free.
Now upon Thanksgiving day Do Pompey's children kneel to pray; Or seek His aid 'mid grievous wrongs, Or praise His name with freedom's songs?
Ah, me! Ah, me! much do I fear The Negro youth bows not in prayer! Know you not you need His aid Who freemen of your foresires made?
Let all the race to God be bowed; Beg Him dispel the awful cloud Of hate which gathers o'er our head Let it not ills, but blessings shed!
ALLEGORY. THE BATTLE OF MANILA — THE FIRST OF MAY.
As Though moved by some high behest, Its country's glory e'er its quest, An eagle bold its wings unfurled, Betook itself to view the world. With easy grace, unruffled mien, Its royal pinions oft were seen As though each recess it would probe In every quarter of the globe. From basking in the western sun, The South Sea isles it looked upon; Passed by the land which cradled art, O'er seas through which the simoons dart; Came to the lands that nourish teas, And hovered 'mid the China seas. In equal days, from eastern lands A vulture soars, its crest expands;
And as it snuffs the salty breeze It scents, from far across the seas, The nauseous odors of a feast By human misery increased. This rancid feast, in times afore, Had satisfied the rapacious maw Of this ill-omened, filthy bird. The putrid odor quickly stirred, Within this ill-starred fowl, its taste, And with unseemly, lustful haste, It plumed its great ungainly wings — No pity at the prospect stings. It spurns the shore, directs its course, And hastens o'er the watery bourse To where were happening direful scenes - The islands of the Philippines. Near China's land now restful stays The western bird of royal ways; A neutral, frigid air it feels, But through its frame just feeling steals; Responding quick to China's pleas, It straightway flies to other seas. As nearing Isle Luzon, the fair, There's borne upon the ambient air Most direful signs of misery. To Manila it turns to see
The cause; beholds the natives poor Grasped in a vulture's cruel claw Which, dank, as from some gory flood, Is reeking, red, with human blood.
The spirit which we know so well, Roused as by a magic spell, Filled to the full the feathered king — New impulse lent unto its wing. The vulture, struck with sudden dread, Beholds close hovering o'er its head The king of birds, of which it heard, Yet ne'er before believed a word; But though abashed, it sought to face (With the audacity of its race) With cruel mien, yet faulty mind, The royal king of all its kind.
The eagle clasped the bird, gore-filled; Such terror through its frame distilled, That from it soon its meal is torn, Of wings and beak it soon is shorn. These, quick as do the lightning's glance, Are scattered o'er the broad expanse. As from the shore the oppressed gaze (Their eyes aglow with glad amaze) And view the conflict from afar, As meteor or a fallen star,
They see their vampire sink in blood, The eagle blaze out like a god.
From beneath capacious wings A banner to the breeze it flings. Lengthwise show the alternate bars, While at its top are seen the stars; Above the erstwhile battle's roar The royal bird is seen to soar And gaze, with bold and dauntless eyes, Full in the face of eastern skies. Hark! Strikes the ear a thrilling sound Which fills with gladness all around, As from its throat there comes a cry That joy evokes in every eye; The cry sounds forth the immortal name Born this day to undying fame: Dewey! Dewey!! Dewey!!! Dewey!!!
TO THE SHADE OF DOUGLASS.
O, grand old man, of massive brow; O, Douglass, how we miss thee now! Thy words, like trumpet notes so clear, Were wont to ope the deafened ear.
As in the lists, the knights of old, With weapon keen and forefront bold, Stood ready to defend their cause, As custom was with feudal laws;
So, with bold heart, conviction strong, Thou fought and battled 'gainst the wrong; Thy weighty cause 'mid thousands plead, When human rights lay bleeding, dead.
Thy lance-like wit, thy thought profound, Thy words, wherein truth did abound, Made scales fall from bedarkened eyes, The corpse of human rights to rise.
Thy days, thy years, how useful spent, Since first to Freedom's clime thou went; Thy life, devoted to thy race, Plowed manly furrows on thy face.
Thy work, long ere thy spirit fled, Had bleached pure white thy noble head; A rev' rent mark to crown thy worth— Of him, grown great from slavish birth!
So great, so noble was thy life, Thy powers grown full strong through strife, That none, whoe'er thy brow did scan, Dared say aught else, than " Here's a Man."
The thought, thou was't a man thyself, Satest not; nor moved by fear nor pelf, Thou sought for each man of thy race On manhood's plain, his rightful place.
Who would to us judgment extend, Thou badest, whether foe or friend, "Judge not, from great heights climbed by some, But by the depths from which we come! "
Thou urged thy race its darkness shift By sturdy labor and by thrift; Thou showedst to it, its friends, its foes, That in whom high ambition glows
No depth so deep but he will dive, No heights, but where he may arrive; Thus prove what others do, he can; — So demonstrate himself a man.
Thy words, undying, with us live; Thy precepts, inspiration give; Thy earnest claim, " Negroes are men," We still hold true as thou held then.
Some of this race which thou didst love, For which with Titan effort strove, Seek Progress by such devious ways As have brought us on " Evil days."
Oh, thou departed spirit, great, If still familiar with its state And hath influence in affairs, See its sore needs and hear our prayers!
The need is, men or man who may Meet the requirements of to-day, — Command respect from every race, Yet clog not our advancement's pace.
Oh, let thy wisdom's mantle fall Upon some few if not on all, That these may, then, true leaders be, — Take up the work laid down by thee!
This do, and then again shall rise, Like incense to the bending skies, — The just spirit, humane intent, Which once imbued the Government.
Oh, may the race for which thou wrought Cling fast to what thy precepts taught, — Inspire its children with the same, And hold thee, Douglass, dear to fame!
Pensive and silent
I oped the door, And crossed with head bent
The library floor.
When, sudden, I struck, With careless hand,
A book. Slow, I pluck It from its stand.
I opened the book;
Within it lay A flower which took
My breath away.
So quick did it cause
My heart to glow, Setting, without pause,
My blood aflow,
That, swift as lightning, Changed is the scene; —
Now am I ling' ring In meadows green.
And with me is one,
Ah, misery sore! Whom I wooed and won;
She lives no more.
My thoughts quick cover Those halcyon days,
O'er them all hover Her tender ways.
Artless, yet graceful, Blithesome, yet pure,
Whole-souled and thoughtful Was my " Gwynore."
As the oasis,
In deserts, stands, So is that brief bliss
'Mid my life's sands.
A THOUGHT SUGGESTED.
O maiden in whose bright brown eyes
A joyous, happy spirit lies;
O maiden crowned with midnight hair
That's oft caressed by envied air;
O maid with figure pliant, graceful,
To which thy gowns cling, dream-like, tasteful
O maiden whose queen-like motions
Rouse the mind to lofty notions —
Shed upon all a joyous cheer
And vivify the atmosphere;
Know' st thou, when kindred spirits meet, Though long unknown, they rush to greet Each other as old friends; anew They link for aye in friendship true? Thus met, such souls with feelings deep Form ties which each will ever keep Through the whole life. In after years, 'Mid fleeting joys or cruel tears, If they be near or far apart, Each is shrined in the other's heart.
ANXIOUS, YET CONFIDING.
Has the parched land wanted refreshing dew? Would the starving man take the crumbs, though
few? Do men lost at midnight watch for the sun? Is the soldier anxious till vict'ry 's won? Does the dove, so lonesome, moan for its mate? Is the lost child's mother keen for its prate? Does the true maid wait her lover's return? Do travelers belated go where lights burn? All these, united, could not full express The anxious desire, which brings me distress; But together with this, an instinct true, Shows you anxious for me, as I for you.
[To Capt. Newton Ferree, Chief of N. C. and C. Division, Register's Office, Treasury Department, Washington, D. C]
Another year! And now to work! Will any clerk his duty shirk? On this point, friend, you need not fear, For we have few shirkers here.
As some machine with well-oiled grooves Runs silent, swift, so our work moves, Directed by as fine a mind As is possessed by all his kind.
Newton Ferree, sir, is the chief! Would you believe it? 'Tis past belief, That never with harsh, ungentle word, Through all the year is his voice heard.
With firm, exact, yet kindly air, His attitude to all is fair; And should some one make mistake, Such genial measures does he take
To rectify whatever's wrong,
By the correction they grow strong
To do whatever is required.
No better chief could be desired!
NATURE AND FRIENDSHIP.
The silver moonbeams, struggling through the trees, Pierce them, and cast o'er us waving shadows;
From the near river comes soft, cooling breeze, Fragrant with sweet odor from the meadows.
Silent, enwrapt, enchanted by the scene,
Our feelings to portray, no words are found;
The hills, the fields, the woods so darkly green L,end charms which beautify the scene around.
O, scene! Inspirer of the noblest thought,
Such as, expressed, do show our natures kin, Where, friendship's bands more close 'round us are
brought, When each speaks out the thoughts fast held within.
Such friends as find their nature in accord
Their thoughts to each with fullest freedom vent;
They heed not, most, what mere words may afford — On fathoming the soul is each intent.
When thus engaged, time has for them no place;
Elysium's here; aught else is from them hurled; Their converse is ambrosia to the taste;
Thus satisfied, they lose sight of the world.
Truths, smooth or rough, deflecting not their course, Without reserve from friend by friend are heard;
These purify, as wheat is purged of dross.
What more wholesome than the true, glowing word?
What blessings are such mirrors to the soul, Where, by us, may be seen our good or ill;
Such friendships make our shriveled nature whole, And better fit us each his place to fill.
Amid the scenes of Nature, oft we find,
Drawn from our soul's deep-recess, all that's best;
When roused and drawn by Nature is the mind, We, yielding to its influence, much are blessed.
Let friends who strive to bless each others' life Leave, at times, the mart, — press the rustic sod;
There, together, from bustle and from strife
They grow more near to each, more close to God.
I thought my highest hopes to realize, As the great world, spread out before my eyes. I earnestly entered life's mazy ways; Desire for human good filled all my days. But slowly and with pain I came to see I had achieved naught, and old age finds me — Disappointed!
I loved, and well, a maid in early days. Charmed was I, — enchanted by her sweet ways; I thought that surely fate would make us one; That knowing her, my life was but begun. She proved untrue, who all my life did fill; I found myself — the misery ' Lingers still ' — Disappointed!
I thought among the Christian folks to go (Since they're reputed happiest here below), And see if, where contentment should abound, A balm for my sore heart might there be found. I sadly leave — (where charity should flow, Like fierce wolves, each on each, the most do glow) — Disappointed!
I next turn to the minister of God, — The sacred mouth-piece for high heaven's Lord, With hopes that from his well-inspired word A thought to balm my wounds might there be heard. I soon depart — for from the time he 'rose He talked much, not of Christ, but his own woes) — Disappointed!
Wandering, aimless, my feet led where they would, Filled with such thoughts as did the heart no good. I sudden stopped; for a sound struck my ear As of a a voice, earnest, lifted in prayer:
"Don bine's all woun's" — And, quick my heart
seems light; To be longer — I see I have no right — Disappointed!
From the night, when that earnest, broken prayer Fell unexpected, soothing on my ear, I have sought and found the path the Master trod, Which leads from disappointments up to God. There comes a time — this thought enthuses me — When the Christ will not suffer me to be Disappointed.
"SO I AM WEAK."
"So I am weak!" Is the swift flowing river, deep and strong, Its course unswerving, as it moves along To bury itself in the ocean's deep, Where alone it ceases its rapid sweep, To be charged with weakness, because it seeks That great heart, which, alone, rest to it speaks?
"So I am weak!" Is the volcanic lava, hurled from its rest, Which falls again, molten, upon earth's breast; Or the light spark, which will not be restrained Till its element, ether, it has gained; Must these be called weaklings, and sole because They are moved, controlled by superior laws?
"So I am weak!" Is the lark weak, which seeking, hears its mate, Led by its trilling, wings swift to it, straight; Or the sea, which lifts its face to the moon; Or the flower whose sun sinks all too soon; — If what controls them they seek or obey, Must they be called weak? With such thoughts, away!
"So I am weak!" Knowing the cause, would you charge me thus wrong? The lion to all but its mate is strong. If my soul be merged in — absorbed by you, Discerns its mate, which instinctive it knew. When thus moved, at times, your presence I seek, Obeying love's laws, should I be deemed weak?
"So I am weak! " Such weakness the world has ever obeyed; Its resistless course no power has stayed; It has caused to blossom the desert drear; Has moved many men to a great career. This master, so gentle, all hearts has schooled; Though I be called weak, by it am I ruled.
WELCOME TO CHRISTIAN WARRIORS.
The ancient writers many tales relate
Of Olympic Jove, how he sat in state,
Issuing decrees with an awful nod;
Such were the mythic concepts of a God!
They tell of how this God and brothers chased
From heaven their sire; themselves in his stead placed. They portra}' how the giant Titanic race Would make themselves gods and Jove displace, And how the gods fled heaven in dire alarm, Seeking, in varied shapes, safety from harm. Another class of writers next we find, Who speak about a God of different kind; One, in essence, Spirit, of intent pure, Whom heaven all and nature glad adore. These, too, write of a time when heaven was rife With discord; when Apollyon brought on strife, Assuming it weak power which ruled in love, Till God that power moved and him from heaven drove. Next was heaven assailed, when men, much deranged, Built Babel; presumptuous, their tongue was changed. Another era dawns, when, not by storm, Hosts, led by Him who assumed human form, Shall the heavens ascend and conquerors be — Walk the golden streets, tread the glassy sea,
Wave victorious palms, worship heaven's L,ord And strike their harps of gold to Him adored. These hosts are gathering on terrestrial plain, Fitting themselves, celestial heights to gain. Filled with a hope which they would have all share They bid others " Come" — call them to draw near And listen to the stories which they tell Of their great leader " Who doeth all things well," Full conscious if His virtues be made known All people will Him as their leader own. Moved by this idea, they gather in clans, Discuss the way, the how, adopt varied plans. Though the plans may differ the end to reach, All the same truth tell, the same story teach. Thus we gather here for that purpose grand, A greater than which engages not the land; Which purpose contemplates gathering the world Around Emanuel's standard, long unfurled, Under which who fights will sustain no loss, For it displays our leader's sign — the cross. That cross which stood on Calvary's mount, Which pierced the earth and oped salvation's fount, Which by His enemies in scorn was raised, Yet by the whole world destined to be praised. Our victory will be won; the battle o'er When sin shall be disarmed — can fight no more; When this is accomplished, then at Christ's name "Every knee shall bow," all hearts beat the same.
This must be brought about by earnest work, Hence none must loiter, none his duty shirk, Nor fear the darts which oft are at us hurled, But march in faith — our conquest is the world; Let courage fill your hearts, comrades in arms, Brave, faithful, true; drawn by our leader's charms, Determined by His ensign to stand fast And fight the fight of faith until at last The devil and his host shall all be bound, And "Victory "the trump of God shall sound As we, triumphant, tread the happy shore Where Christ our Great Leader reigns evermore.
An acorn fell upon the earth, Unnoted by what gave it birth; On it there fell the rain, the snow, And pressed it far the turf below. But in its shell a life-like germ Bade it "Awake; take root; stand firm This done, it rears a stately form Which stands and battles with the storm.
The vapor, drawn high by the sun, The ether's bosom floats upon;
It looks down, sees the drooping grain, Revives it in the form of rain. Its use is o'er, so it would seem — But lo, it forms the purling stream, Rushes on with ceaseless motion, And helps swell the mighty ocean.
14 Build not thy house upon the sand, For on it nothing safe can stand! " This thought would all sand's worth decry And doom it useless, aye, to lie; But of these grains the mountains are; As glass they pierce the skies afar; Through them we other worlds descry, And sweep at will the azure sky.
Look at the history of man, And all his changeful progress scan. From primal stage he makes his way, And turns night to electric day. He ploughs the ocean with his mind, His will outstrips the rushing wind, He starts dead objects into life — The busy world with change is rife.
Fair Greece, far-famed, to pieces goes, A robber band to greatness grows; That Roman race which ruled the world Is from its high pedestal hurled — The high brought low, the low raised high, What was held true we now deny. Such constant change does time afford As man grows more like unto God.
We chain the lightning, bind the steam,
We sterilize where microbes teem,
We trace the wind, forecast the gale,
Cause rocks to tell a liquid tale;
At will, a motion or a word
A thousand miles is seen or heard;
Anon, we will with angels vie.
We mount the air! We sail! We fly!
With age the world is growing wise — No thinker e'er this truth denies — And as it grows no man or race Can tell what men shall fill their place; Hence all should shape their actions so That "The Unborn "might proudly know The seed which their foresires have sown Leaves naught for them to grieve, atone.
Though heaven is with turmoil rife When proud Appollyon brings on strife; Though rebel hosts from thence are thrown By Him, whose rule they will not own;
Though thus cast out, 't is not in hate They are hurled from their high estate; Though they from Him themselves estrange, The love of God it doth not change.
When wicked men pollute the skies, Making their sins for incense rise; When all the world is gone astray, And no gift on God's altar lay; When humankind all lust for blood, And thus bring the o'erwhelming flood; Though sunk is vale and mountain range, The love of God it doth not change.
When from the ark the rescued came (With fowl and wild beast, now grown tame), Give thanks that they are saved from wrath, And seek to know God's will, his path; When, with the " tower on the plain," Men seek high heaven thus to gain; Though foiled are they by tongue-like mange, The love of God it doth not change.
When o'er the earth the nations grew Great numbers from archaic few, Progressing then from state to state, From simple folks becoming great; When war and carnage sweep the earth, Bringing dread pestilence and dearth;
Though men suffer in town and grange, The love of God it doth not change.
Though races press each other down Till life seems but an angry frown, Though each of ills must have its taste, These will to better things give place; So, from a slave, there Joseph stood, To do his starving family good; Though hate men do for love exchange, The love of God it doth not change.
When the globe, by earthquake shaken, On its face new looks has taken, Or mountains high are cast down low, And on some mound their heights bestow; When mid-day sun swift takes its flight, And plunges all the world in night, God's laws they fill and none derange; The love of God it doth not change.
Then why should man, of God a part, Iyike Him in mind, of conscious heart, Be unlike Him amid life's throng, Where constant struggles right with wrong? Why not the heart, strong, fixed with love, Be steadfast, like to His above? Be with this truth no longer strange; The love of God it doth not change!
A lion strong held in his claws, Ready to crunch with massive jaws, A small mouse which could scarce be seen; Though tiny, yet its teeth were keen. Said the mouse: " O, lion, do be kind; vSpare my life and I will try to find Some way to repay your kindness, And may serve you when in distress."
The lion great, the mouse so small, This plea did but for laughter call. The king, amused, roars out, " Ha, ha|! " His thunder-like mirth sounded far. The lion, sudden, thought he would Give it life and see if it could Be faithful and serve him some day. Thus freed, mousie scampered away.
Near where the lion made his den
A trap was set by wily men,
Who entangled him in a net.
Naught could he do but fume and fret.
vSoon a mouse, while quick going by,
The ensnared lion did espy.
It was the mouse whose life he gave;
It stops and seeks its friend to save.
Now gnawing swift, with all its strength, It makes the ropes give way at length.
The lion rose, shook himself free,
And thanked the mouse on bended knee.
Thus the valueless little thing
Did service for the beasts' great king.
The story which this tale would tell
Is one that all should digest well.
However humble, hence, the wight, Treat him well if his heart be right; He may some good turn for you serve, With honest heart and fearless nerve. An acorn planted by a child, Playing with joyous glee, though wild, Yet would not crush it with his tread, May spread cool shade o'er his gray head.
Stop not waters that may issue Slowly from some rocky tissue, For its trickling in time of drouth May bring relief to some parched mouth. Quench not what soul may be inspired By careless interest as though tired, For that soul which you would thus treat The world in time may rush to greet.
Know the good we do while living
Consists not in money giving:
A kindly smile, a look, a word,
May rouse what else might ne'er be stirred.
UNITY OF LIFE AND HOPE.
Every rustling wind that bestirs the air,
Every bright ray that shoots down from the sun,
Is laden with misery and despair, —
Or so each seems to the despondent one.
When erstwhile hopes are crushed at one fell blow, Then blackest shadows on the vista spread.
Let not the untried assume to know
Such feelings — they are are known but by the dead!
For with the death of hope, life takes its way!
The one doth scorn the other to outlive; For, equal-born, close-bound, twin sisters, they
Seldom woes, but equal blessings, give.
When hope is, ruthless, torn from out the soul, And leaves beside its mate an aching void,
Life beats its wings to go, no longer whole, Free from the prison where it is but cloyed.
Full natural is this. When hope is dead, Extracted is the vital spark from life;
Then, hopeless, life doth helpless bow its head, Despairing, wing its way from earthly strife!
The people moved careless and gay
During the days when Noah wrought; All heedless went their downward way,
Nor would be, by his preaching, taught. So when the skies grew overcast
They helpless in wonderment sate. Frenzied, they would redeem the past,
But their effort came, ah, too late!
The suitors in Ulysses' hall,
With lustful riot, strife and song, All heedless of high honor's call
They recked not him who wandered long; So pending doom its victim seeks
And soon in wrath upon them fell; While laughter's tears bedewed their cheeks,
Swift is each soul launched into hell.
Belshazzar and his feasting horde
The sacred things of God pollute, All heedless of the prophet's word
And what their actions constitute. Hence, soon among the bestial kind
The king, self-lauded, ruminates; Oblivious manhood shrouds a mind
Unmindful of what God dictates.
These three examples serve to show
To all who have what they should prize, That by some process, swift or slow,
They lose what's viewed with careless eyes. L,et people who possess the boon
Of liberty heed this advice; Close guard it morning, night and noon,
"Eternal vigilance" is its price.
Who regard not this precept true,
All heedless of the great safeguard, Will live their negligence to rue —
By their own acts their race retard. Then why, O men, do ye neglect
To watch with careful zeal your right? Verbose freedom gets no respect —
Your liberty must yield to might.
By heed the world might have been saved,
Belshazzar 'scaped his bestial state, The suitors secured what they craved,
But in each case heed came too late. Then ye whose rights are now at stake,
Whose liberty near wears the pall, From your lethargic sleep awake —
Respond ye to the Council's call!
Though lightnings flash and thunders roll, Shaking the earth from pole to pole, As if all nature warred in wrath, Yet would I turn not from the path Which led to thee.
Though dread pestilence crowd the air And paint on each face horror, fear, And though "Pale Death "holds sway supreme, I'd pass them by, as though a dream, To get to thee.
Though dire conditions, stern, severe, Should, far, our lives succeed to tear, Aye, should all these and more conspire, I'd break through them or human ire And come to thee.
But now with anxious heart I wait, From early hour until late. The sky with clouds grows overcast, It rains; sighing, I leave at last, And think of thee.
I think of thee, and why not this, Since thoughts of thee alone are bliss; Yes, dear, thou art my life, my all; Without thee glad would be Death's call. I live for thee.
But why should this thought intervene, When life is joy, all nature green? Yes, sweet, some day we'll happy be, And I — this thought gives joy to me — Will live with thee.
OUR LAST TRIBUNE.
Respectfully dedicated to Hon. George H. White, ex-M. C.
As stood Rienzi, the last hope of Rome, Thund'ring 'gainst the ills which engulfed his home, Telling with zeal and force the sad story Of his loved land, of its faded glory;
So with earnest mien, with embronzed face, Speaks out this man for millions of his race. Wrapped is the hall in silence, chained each sense, Save that of hearing, which, alert, intense,
Paints on each face a look expectant, keen; A listening atmosphere pervades the scene. The hall, a work of art, historic, grand, Where what is done may curse or bless the land,
Lends to the scene a dignity profound,
Which overhangs, envelops all around.
As the dead calm before a storm prevails,
When still stands the ship, listless hang the sails,
Anxious for the wind that some power gives, Which wakes the ship to move as though she lives, So the people listened, stilled by some spell, To our Last Tribune pronounce his farewell.
Have you seen, ever, from Canadian shore The mighty falls where rushing waters pour, Where, from seething depths, misty rainbows rise, And stood enthralled with fixed, entranced eyes?
So hung the throng upon his every word,
Naught but his thrilling tones could there be heard.
His manly form dilated with his theme,
With crystal thought his words, refulgent, teem.
The foeman's armor his keen wit attacks, His logic shows what his opponent lacks; He speaks not of his country's many laws, Nor yet speaks he to gain his friends' applause.
For four long years his people has he served And gained their full trust — this his course deserved. During this time he battled with the strong To uphold the right, to defeat the wrong.
On matters of great import to the state
He sat in council, helped to legislate;
But now — Ah, now the wicked have prevailed,
The ground whereon he stood have they assailed.
As did those demons who blew up the Maine, So these their undermining purpose gain. Hence, not again for years, lest time relent, Will Negro men their people represent.
With thoughts of this fact sweeping o'er the mind, Keen to hear his speech all ears are inclined. He gives a brief descant upon "The Bill " Which all the farmers' needs professed to fill,
Then aptly turns he, with consummate art, To Human Rights, held dearest to his heart. Great thoughts, grand words from his deep chest arise, The greatness of his cause flashed from his eyes.
Gestures few, but decorous graced the whole, As he, "The Race's Defense," poured out his soul; Poured out his soul, but not in servile tears, Deplores the times, but not with cringing fears,
Portrays the deeds, the work his race has wrought, Tells how their freedom, how their rights were bought, Shows how they strive to lift oppression's weight, How, " Phoenix-like,"they rise, though crushed by fate:
He prophesies, and well, "Some future day Will find my race on manhood's plain to stay." Demosthenes, who thundered 'gainst the foe, Nor Cicero, who all things seemed to know,
Nor the great Webster, speaking at his best, Nor Clay nor Calhoun, who our language blessed, E'er spoke with more effect or greater force Than our Tribune in this his last discourse.
Full oft the unconscious tear bedews the cheek, Full oft, to him, our assent would we speak. As does the mammoth forest bend to earth, And bowing thus, proclaim iEolus' worth,
As does the frigid earth burst forth in flower, And thus yield homage, due, to Phoebus' power, So does the throng pay tribute to that speech Which Human Rights 'twixt man and man would teach.
As does good seed, by faithful sower cast, Bring forth rich harvests, though his life be past, So will his words, nursed in Columbia's breast, Evoke deeds to relieve the sore distressed.
Though of Congressional honors he be shorn, Long may his life the civil sphere adorn; Long may his counsel mark, direct the way, Through which his race may find " The brighter day."
THE AMERICAN NEGRO.
Was Webster and was Whittier wrong When one in speech and one in song Told brave deeds by the Negro done Or his qualities dwelt upon?
Phyllis Wheatley, Afric's daughter, Trained by the good soul who bought her, Was nobly praised by Washington When her work he had looked upon.
Banneker, who, we understand, The first time-piece makes in the land, The " Dixie Line," with others lays, From Jefferson evoked great praise.
At Valley Forge or Bunker Hill, Where Liberty's hopes all hearts thrill, On land or sea or on the lakes, A warrior's place the Negro takes.
In after years, 'mid fire and smoke, Where cruel, belching cannon spoke, He bears his part nor shuns the fray, Though " Hell incarnate" bars the way.
Inspired by freedom, firm he gripes His gun, defends the " Stars and Stripes " Yet while he fights his brother keeps Guard while his foeman's family sleeps.
His trust in neither case betrays, Himself in each a man displays, When from false tongues this thought did roll "The Negro is without a soul."
He shows this lie to be untrue By doing just what others do. 'T was said: "With freedom he will die, He can't survive or with us vie."
Instead, ten millions have we grown, And this a fallacy have shown. "The Negro will deteriorate And soon return to savage state."
So did our foes most sanguine tell; Facts old and new such thoughts dispel From the state where freedom found us, From the mental night which bound us.
Three millions whence ignorance frowned Have now the light of knowledge found. These Negroes, thought to be but fools, Have grasped the prize in varied schools.
Some shove the plane or ply the forge, The railroads lay through mountain gorge. In each field where we are allowed Our work dispels the adverse cloud.
We know the strength of every race Grows from the workman's steady pace; Yet some fill pulpits or plead law, Or pains from beracked bodies draw.
A few aspire to higher arts, And Dunbar's verses touch all hearts; Still some would show to human eyes Their soul, and Tanner wins the prize.
Touched by such art as moved the Greek, Lewis near makes the stone to speak. Forgetful of the centuries past, Some expect us to rise too fast.
Not from the heights attained by some, But " By the depths whence we have come," Justly compare our worst and best; Thus judged, we shrink not from the test.
We know we share that wondrous love Which emanates from God above; At noble thoughts our soul-bells chime, With them our beating pulse keeps time.
The nation's weal we have at heart, In all her conflicts play our part, And never has the traitor's stain On the brow of a black man lain.
Though so evident our progress, Our foes on these things lay no stress, Notwithstanding what we have shown, The like of which was never known.
Still in our land such men are found As in whom evil thoughts abound, Who say, "That under each black skin, When scratched, a savage lurks within."
Yet, in spite of such aspersions, Such unfounded, false assertions, We form a part of the Nation; Are also heirs of salvation.
No part could we have in Christ's plan, Lacking what constitutes a man. When the Creator made man whole He breathed himself into his soul.
Hence shape, nor hair, nor tint of skin Distorts or mars the soul within; Therefore, it is as men we try To acquire what is useful, high.
Discarding not such humbler art As will strength to the race impart, But would develop hand, as soul, Thus be an entire man and whole.
In order thus to grow, thriving, Let us not keep oft reviving The ills which we have undergone, Nor hope by "others to be borne."
Follow not the hot-head leaders Who, like leeches, are but bleeders; They rant and howl and " saw the air," Making our trials more hard to bear.
Make friends of neighbors, with them work This does not mean to cringe or smirk. In all business fill well your place, Such things alone will lift the race.
Let none fear that we shall invade Against their social barricade, Nor think we seek to dominate Folks unwilling in any state.
All we ask is that we may draw Free breath of "Liberty and law T , " Have equal chance in life's great race, Fill, as Americans, our place.
My countrymen, be fair and just, Betray ye not the "Founder's " trust That all may, who our banner see, Know it floats o'er "The brave and free"!
THE DYING YEAR.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; Thy days, hours and minutes, flying, As though beyond the ether's height, Where heaven's glory dispels night, Or to infernal shades below, From us in haste thou'dst gladly go.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying (Think me not officious, prying); But why, Old Year, as if in fright, Shouldst thou seek to evade our sight? Thy life is open; all may read What thou hast suffered, what thy deed.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; But why this deep and woeful sighing, As if with grief thy heart were broken? May not the cause to me be spoken? Is thy heart now racked with pain Because thy life seems spent in vain?
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; Go not as though sad, descrying With heavy and despondent mien, Shores where thy foresires all are seen; Faithful thou'st been, fear not thy fate, Let "duty done" thy heart elate.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; Thy passing hours men's souls are trying. Thou'st served them well — early and late Shown them a higher, better state; Thou hast against all vices frowned And Virtue's brow with laurel crowned.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; Send thou forth glad sounds, not crying, For much good in thy time thou'st wrought, Relief to many souls thou'st brought. In thy decline, let this impart Strength to thy frame, joy to thy heart.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; Justly on thy past relying, Thou goest now with stately tread To be soon numbered with the dead. All bow to thee with homage due For the life thou'st lived, noble, true.
Old Year, thou art swiftly dying; Thy end nears, there 's no denying. My heart is full, — I drop a tear, — For much I loved thee, dear Old Year; Thy noble deeds will hist'ry swell: Old Year, farewell! Old Year, farewell!
Chivalry becomes but an empty sound Whenever in language to Southern bound. Ah, that a people should degenerate so That their foresires' spirits would shame to know!
There was a time when this land, at its best,
Had men who obeyed Chivalry's behest;
Their manners, though proud, were wholesome,
refined, Though they held slaves, they were brave, gentle,
So well was their chivalrous spirit known,
For their system of life it did much atone.
Since those days, when in the Southland were born
Men who chivalry as their country adorn,
A race of giant pigmies is grown instead, With strange thoughts of Chivalry in their head. Now look with me at some of the matters Which send their chivalry to rags and tatters.
Claiming their women's good virtue to shield, With guns, dogs and ropes they swift go afield. A figure ahead, roused by the noise, Iooks back. Affrighted at dogs, men and boys, Instinctive, he seeks to get out their way. The last fatal act he performs for aye!
The movement excites, rouses, draws the crowd, The welkin now rings with oaths quick and loud.
Soon they catch and bring the poor man to the ground All panting, frightened and bleeding. He's bound Hand and foot with ropes cruel men provide; Hate blinds judgment, soon to a tree he's tied.
Knowing well his doom, he shouts out, distressed. Southern Chivalry cries out, " He's confessed!" Confessed to what? He undeserved his fate They soon find, but the knowledge comes too late.
When some patriot this crime would reprove,
Kach murderer his alibi can prove.
A Negro speaks his mind on what's amiss,
He's hounded down by mobs and lynched for this.
One does a murder, 'nother steals a pin, One falls against some man and barks his shin; Quick, Southern Chivalry is up in arms, The atmosphere is rife with dire alarms.
Though courts are open and for justice stand, These men must be tried by Chivalry's hand. Soon, poor men, strung up to a near-by tree, Untried, not found guilty, there die all three.
If later a sign of life is discerned, Chivalry waxes furious; they're burned.
O, Southland! O, Southland! Why be thus blamed? O, land of my birth, of thee I'm ashamed.
What blessing canst thou expect to obtain, If continued, such crimes thy 'scutcheon stain? Know that such crimes two-edged swords surely are, Thy children embrute, their characters mar.
O stop them! O stop them! Swift in their course Let law be obeyed and courts thy resource; Thus rid this reproach for aye from thy name, That the South may shine with untarnished fame.
Poets have sung of love's great power From morning unto evening hour, Have sung of hate, black as the night, Whose very atmosphere breeds blight.
Love to its object fain would cling, Hate its object to hades fling. Both are emotions of the soul, One we abhor and one extol.
I care not for absorbing love, Save that which draws the thoughts above. From too great love or hate for aye May kind Providence pass me by.
But friendship true, I e'er aver, Though uo great passion it doth stir, Is of far more use to mankind Than what inflates or dwarfs the mind.
For do you know I deem, by far, More strong than other feelings are, The fast tie with which friendships bind Man to man with constant mind.
Such friendships, hence, I cultivate — In their possession feel elate. The friend whose heartbeats keen I feel I'd bind to me with bands of steel.
Whene'er such mutual friendship's broken, There need be no expressed token; For kindred spirits soon will know If aught 's amiss — it's ordained so.
When to Columbia's virgin shore Adventurous souls from England came, The Puritans, brave hearts, came o'er Where spirits quenched might burn and flame. These pioneers, so hardy-souled, Through ills of wood and Indian brave, With hearts determined, zealous, bold, Accomplished what their spirits crave. Atlantic's shore soon teemed with life, Crude governments protection gave. These earnest souls, inured to strife, Could ill brook deeds which marked them "Slave.' Then gathering in "Confederate band, " Oppression's insults gave the cause, For mutual aid they take a stand 'Gainst England's many unjust laws. With blood, these patriots bought release, Then, high-resolved, seek home once more, Engage again in arts of peace; Their hearts elate, the conflict o'er. Now taught by "Times" the need of strength, Drawn closer by that zealous band Whose guidance led through war's drear length, They form a nation, stable, grand. Generous meed their plans adorn, The State, well built, moves on amain; But in its midst a system's born To wring Columbia's heart with pain. This system, grown like vampire dread, Now seeks from fair Columbia's heart The blood once rich, no longer red — Makes wrath which rends the land apart.
Thus reft apart, " Grirn-visaged war " Inspires all hearts to martial strife; The conflict hangs at equal par Till erstwhile slaves lay down their life. Some power thundered in their soul: "|Who would be free must strike the blow! " Sweet liberty their tongues extol, Its influence makes their prowess grow. Such deeds of valor are performed By those whose manhood is at stake, In routing foes or strongholds stormed That Union reigns from Gulf to Lake. From discord's ashes now, the land For conquest new, fresh impulse takes; The North and South march hand in hand To music new industry makes. On purposes of peace intent The calm serenity is broke, Our neighbors near, by misery bent, Pray us relief from Spanish yoke. Straightway our brave sons fly to arms (Wrought up by Spain's inhuman wrongs), From desk, from bench, from towns, from farms, And misery turn to joy and songs.
New deeds of glory now are ours; At Luzon's shore, on Cuba's isle, oth Black and White help show our powers By army and by navy wile. As was the case in early days, There Attucks 'mong the first to fall; So where Death, Bagley's daring stays, Lies Tunnell pierced by Spanish ball. Where Santiago stands in view,
When men, like leaves, on San Juan fell, The Negro troops, brave, loyal, true, Fought on through what seemed ' 'Ambushed hell." Our victories on every field Bring Spain's defeat, her fightings cease; Where she her cruel power did wield Columbia rules and all is peace.
By deeds great strength we've shown without; Let's turn our minds to ills within: Put lynchings, heinous crimes, to rout With righteous indignation's din. Let press and pulpit lead the van, These cancerous crimes to extirpate, And sentiment will find some plan To purge the land, enhance the state. O land which our affections claim, Whose aims "The Fathers "well defined, Let justice deal with all, the same, Accomplish thou what God designed. Columbia grand, adorned with might, Shall not our banner stainless stream?
My countrymen, dare do the right, Let law and order reign supreme!
A CHANGE OF MIND.
Take off that shirt! "the overseer said, The bull-whip twirling over Henry's head. The slave obeyed him at unwilling pace; Rage, disgust, excitement, convulsed his face.
He was a fine, strong man of negro race, No better man than he on all the place; His master and family liked him well — Quaint stories did he to the children tell.
An overseer from New England came, Since which time his life had not been the same, For this new man'seenied to take great delight In bull-whipping Henry with all his might.
Henry, who stammered, said to the oldest boy,
For whom he had made many a childish toy:
" Wh-wh-what f-f-for d-d-de n-n-new b-b-boss
b-b-beat s-s-so m-m-uch on m-m-me? I d-d-doan d-d-do n-n-nawthin' wr-wr-ong, as • y-y-you k-k-kin s-s-see."
This fact, long unknown, raised the young lad's ire; His young face flushed, his eyes flashed angry fire. "Henry, if that mongrel beats you again Fasten yourselves up like pigs in a pen,
Then wallop him within an inch of life — I'll say a word to pa about the strife." Young master's plan Henry thought he would try, And in his room laid nails and hammer by.
So, now, when he had taken off his shirt, He quickly picked two long nails from out the dirt, The hammer, too; and then he crossed the floor, Where first he nailed the window, next the door.
What is that for? " the overseer cried, Tremblingly looking from slave to cowhide. Says Henry: "I t-t-ell y-y-you w-w-what ise er- er-bout — D-d-dat s-s-so y-y-you an' s-s-sos I, k-k-kaint g-g-git out!"
"Open that door!" cried the overseer, pale, His bull-whip dropping; and he swift set sail When stammering Henry opened up the way, Nor again was Henry whipped from that day.