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Opening of the Mississippi.

Hail, Father of Waters! again thou art free!
And miscreant treason hath vainly enchained thee;
Roll on, mighty river, and bear to the sea
The praises of those who so gallantly gained thee!
From fountain to ocean, from source to the sea,
The west is exulting: “Our River is free.”

Fit emblem of Freedom! thy home is the North!
And thou wert not forgot by the mother that bore thee;
From snows everlasting thou chainless burst forth,
And chainless we solemnly swore to restore thee!
O'er river and prairie, o'er mountain and lea,
The North is exulting: “Our River is free!”

'Twas midnight — in secret the traitor conclave
Had sworn: “We will throw off the bonds that unite us:
Our king shall be cotton, our watchword be slave!”
What ghostly intruder hath come to affright us!
“I'm the god of the river, from source to the sea,
I bear proudly onward the flag of the free!”

“Accursed is your treason — no power can break
The bond with which God hath united the nation,
And, thrice perjured ingrates, well may ye quake
At the certain approach of your dark condemnation!
So long as my waters flow south to the sea
Shall the flag of the Union float over the free!”

Glad River, thy bosom doth gratefully swell
Toward the heroes who bravely have fought to regain thee,
And proudly thou bearest them onward where dwell
Their comrades, who, crescent crowned, fight to retain thee!
But hark! what echo comes over the sea?
'Tis the Nation exulting: “Our River is free!”

Capt. R. H. Chittenden, First Wisconsin Cavalry. St. Paul, July 7, 1863.

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St. Paul (Minnesota, United States) (1)

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R. H. Chittenden (1)
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July 7th, 1863 AD (1)
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