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POEMS OF PEACE AND WAR.
ODE TO PEACE.
Come while our voices are blended in song,
Fly to our ark like the storm-beaten dove, DAUGHTER of God ! that sit’st on high
Fly to our ark on the wings of the dove, Amid the dances of the sky,
Speed o'er the far-sounding billows of song, And guidest with thy gentle sway
Crowned with thine olive-leaf garland of love; The planets on their tuneful way ;
Angel of Peace, thou hast waited too long ! Sweet Peace ! shall ne'er again The smile of thy most holy face,
Brothers, we meet on this altar of thine, From thine ethereal dwelling-place,
Mingling the gifts we have gathered for thee, Rejoice the wretched, weary race
Sweet with the odors of myrtle and pine,
Breeze of the prairie and breath of the sea ! Too long, O gladness-giving Queen ! Meadow and mountain, and forest and sea ! Thy tarrying in heaven has been ;
Sweet is the fragrance of myrtle and pine, Too long o'er this fair blooming world Sweeter the incense we offer to thee, The flag of blood has been unfurled,
Brothers, once more round this altar of thine! Polluting God's pure day ; Whilst, as each maddening people reels,
Angels of Bethlehem, answer the strain ! War onward drives his scythéd wheels,
Hark! a new birth-song is filling the sky ! And at his horses' bloody heels
Loud as the storm-wind that tumbles the main, Shriek Murder and Dismay.
Bid the full breath of the organ reply ;
Let the loud tempest of voices reply ; Oft have I wept to hear the cry
Roll its long surge like the earth-shaking main ! Of widow wailing bitterly ;
Swell the vast song till it mounts to the sky! To see the parent's silent tear
Angels of Bethlehem, echo the strain !
And I have felt so sore
ONCE this soft turf, this rivulet's sands,
Were trampled by a hurrying crowd, And cease the world's ensanguined strife,
And fiery hearts and arméd hands
Encountered in the battle-cloud.
Ah! never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of her brave, Thy hand its blessed branch extend,
Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet,
Upon the soil they fought to save.
Now all is calm and fresh and still ;
Alone the chirp of flitting bird,
And talk of children on the hill,
And bell of wandering kine, are heard.
Spread thy white wings to the sunshine of love! The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain ;
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
Men start not at the battle-cry,
0, be it never heard again !
Soon rested those who fought ; but thou
Who minglest in the harder strife For truths which men receive not now,
Thy warfare only ends with life.
A friendless warfare ! lingering long
Through weary day and weary year ; A wild and many-weaponed throng
Hang on thy front and flank and rear. Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blench not at thy chosen lot; The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown, - yet faint thou not. Nor heed the shaft too surely cast,
The foul and hissing bolt of scorn ;
The victory of endurance born.
The eternal years of God are hers;
And dies among his worshippers.
“Ah ha! old worn-out soldier, is it you ?"
Two shadows then I saw, two voices heard,
Yea, though thou lie upon the dust,
When they who helped thee flee in fear, Die full of hope and manly trust,
Like those who fell in battle here!
SOLDIER, REST! THY WARFARE O'ER
Another hand thy sword shall wield,
Another hand the standard wave, Till from the trumpet's mouth is pealed
The blast of triumph o'er thy grave.
FROM "THE LADY OF THE LAKE.”
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
THE SOLDIER'S RETURN.
How sweet it was to breathe that cooler air,
SOLDIER, rest! thy warfare o'er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking ; Dream of battled fields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking. In our isle's enchanted hall,
Hands unseen thy couch are strewing,
Every sense in slumber dewing,
Armor's clang, or war-steed champing,
Mustering clan, or squadron tramping. Yet the lark's shrill fife may come
At the day break from the fallow, And the bittern sound his drum,
Booming from the sedgy shallow. Ruder sounds shall none be near, Guards nor warders challenge here;
Thrice since then had the lanes been white,
And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom ; And now, when the cows came back at night,
The feeble father drove them home.
For news had come to the lonely farm
That three were lying where two had lain ; And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm
Could never lean on a son's again.
Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by ;
And, with a natural sigh, “ 'T is some poor fellow's skull,” said he, “Who fell in the great victory.
IV. “ I find them in the garden,
For there 's many hereabout; And often, when I go to plough,
The ploughshare turns them out; For many thousand men,” said he, “Were slain in the great victory."
The summer day grew cool and late,
He went for the cows when the work was done; But down the lane, as he opened the gate,
He saw them coming one by one,
“Now tell us what 't was all about,"
Young Peterkin he cries ; And little Wilhelmine looks up
With wonder-waiting eyes, “Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for.'
OLD Tubal Cain was a man of might,
In the days when earth was young ;
The strokes of his hammer rung :
On the iron glowing clear,
As he fashioned the sword and the spear.
Hurrah for the spear and the sword ! Hurrah for the hand that shall wield them well,
For he shall be king and lord."
To Tubal Cain came many a one,
As he wrought by his roaring fire, And each one prayed for a strong steel blade
As the crown of his desire :
Till they shouted loud for glee,
And spoils of the forest free.
Who hath given us strength anew!
And hurrah for the metal true !"
“With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide ;
And new-born baby died ;
with rage men,
“They say it was a shocking sight
After the field was won,
Lay rotting in the sun;
But a sudden change came o'er his heart,
Ere the setting of the sun,
For the evil he had done ;
and hate, Made war upon their kind, That the land was red with the blood they shed,
In their lust for carnage blind.
Or that skill of mine should plan,
Is to slay their fellow-man !"
Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his furnace smouldered low.
And a bright courageous eye,
While the quick flames mounted high.
And the red sparks lit the air ; “Not alone for the blade was the bright steel
made," And he fashioned the first ploughshare.
“Great praise the Duke of Marlborough won,
And our good Prince Eugene."
Said little Wilhelmine.
“And everybody praised the duke
Who this great fight did win.” “But what good came of it at last ?”
Quoth little Peterkin. Why, that I cannot tell," said he ; “ But 't was a famous victory."
And men, taught wisdom from the past,
In friendship joined their hands, Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
And ploughed the willing lands;
And sang :
“ Hurrah for Tubal Cain ! Our stanch good friend is he ; And for the ploughshare and the plough
To him our praise shall be.
Or a tyrant would be lord,
We'll not forget the sword !"
“Pledges of thy love and faith, Proved on many a field of death,
Not by me are needed.” Marvelled much that henchman bold, That his laird, so stout of old,
Now so meekly pleaded.
“Woe's the day,” he sadly said, With a slowly shaking head,
And a look of pity; “Ury's honest lord reviled, Mock of knave and sport of child,
In his own good city!
BARCLAY OF URY.
“Speak the word, and, master mine, As we charged on Tilly's line,
And his Walloon lancers, Smiting through their midst, we 'll teach Civil look and decent speech
To these boyish prancers !"
“Marvel not, mine ancient friend, Like beginning, like the end !"
Quoth the laird of Ury; “Is the sinful servant more Than his gracious Lord who bore
Bonds and stripes in Jewry ?
Up the streets of Aberdeen,
Rode the laird of Ury;
Pressed the mob in fury.
Prompt to please her master; And the begging carlin, late Fed and clothed at Ury's gate,
Cursed him as he passed her.
Came he slowly riding ;
Turning not for chiding.
Loose and free and froward :
Drive the Quaker coward !”
“ Barclay! Ho! a Barclay !”
Scarred and sunburned darkly; Who, with ready weapon bare, Fronting to the troopers there,
Cried aloud : “God save us ! Call
coward him who stood Ankle-deep in Lutzen's blood,
With the brave Gustavus?"
“Nay, I do not need thy sword, Comrade mine," said Ury's lord ;
“Put it up, I pray thee. Passive to his holy will, Trust I in my Master still,
Even though he slay me.
“Through this dark and stormy night Faith beholds a feeble light
Up the blackness streaking ;