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Oh, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved homes and foul war's desolation;
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued
land Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a
nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Francis Scott Key.
Here's his ragged aroundabout,"
Turn the pockets inside out;
See; his pen-knife, lost to use,
Rusted shut with apple-juice;
Here, with marbles, top and string,
Is his deadly "devil-sling,"
With its rubber, limp at last
As the sparrows of the past !
Bullets, and a box of caps-
Not a thing of all, I guess,
But betrays some waywardness
E'en these tickets, blue and red,
For the Bible-verses said
Such as this his memory kept-
Here's a fishing hook-and-line,
Tangled up with wire and twine,
And dead angle-worms, and some
Slugs of lead and chewing-gum,
Blent with scents that can but come
From the oil of rhodium.
Here-a soiled yet dainty note,
That some little sweetheart wrote;
Dotting—"Vine grows round the stump,
And— "My sweetest sugar lump!"
Wrapped in this-a padlock key
Where he's filed a touch-hole-see!
And some powder in a quill,
Corked up with a liver pill;
And a spongy little chunk
Here's the little coat, but oh!
Where is he we've censured so?
Don't you hear us calling, dear?
Back! come back, and never fear-
You may wander where you will,
Over orchard, field and hill;
You may kill the birds, or do
Anything that pleases you!
Ah, this empty coat of his!
Every tatter worth a kiss;
Every stain as pure instead
As the white stars overhead:
And the pockets-homes were they
Of the little hands that play
Now no more, but, absent thus,
James Whitcomb Riley.
And Theodore Roosevelt! Future history will carve his name in the niche of eternal fame. He is the very embodiment of all that is best and noblest in American manhood. A true knight, a man without fear and without reproach. He is the apostle of deeds, of strenuous life, of life full of duties to be performed, tasks to be executed, wrongs to be rectified. The joy of life pulsates in his manly veins, the triumph of the righteous battling with the numerous octopi that threaten to undermine our industrial existence glistens in his eyes; a better helmsman, a steadier steersman to guide the vessel of this republic does not exist. His is the voice of justice, of fairness, of absolute equality among all classes. Happy is the land that can boast of such a man, that can appreciate his virtues.
Dr. Elias Copeland, Portland, Me., Jan. 4, 1904.
If I should die tonight,
My friends would look upon my quiet face
Before they laid it in its resting place,
And deem that death had left it almost fair;
And laying snow-white flowers against my hair,
Would smooth it down with tearful tenderness,
And fold my hands with lingering caress.
Poor hands, so empty and so cold tonight!
If I should die tonight,
My friend would call to mind with loving thought,
Some kindly deeds the icy hands had wrought
Some gentle word the frozen lips had said;
Errands on which the willing feet had sped;
The memory of my selfishness and pride,
My hasty words would all be put aside,
And so I should be loved and mourned tonight.
If I should die tonight
E'en hearts estranged would turn once more to me,
Recalling other days remorsefully.
The eyes that chill me with averted glance
Would look upon me as of yore, perchance,
And soften in the old familiar way.
For who could war with dumb unconscious clay?
So I might rest forgiven of all tonight.
Oh, friends, I pray tonight,
Keep not your kisses for my dead cold brow
The way is lonely, let me feel them now.
Think gently of me; I am travel-worn;
My faltering feet are pierced with many a thorn.
Forgive, oh, hearts estranged, forgive, I plead!
When dreamless rest is mine I shall not need
The tenderness for which I long tonight.
Ascribed to Rev. A. J. Ryan, 1862; also to Alice Cary, Ben
King, and others.
Whither, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?
Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight, to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean-side?
There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast-
The desert and illimitable air-
Lone wandering, but not lost.
All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere;
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.
And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend
Soon o'er thy sheltered nest.
Thou'rt gone; the abyss of Heaven Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.
He, who from zone to zone Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight, In the long way that I must tread alone, Will lead my steps aright.
William Cullen Bryant.