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Fail!

by A. P. Mccombs.
Fail! who dares to utter such a thought,
With heritage so dearly bought;
What! twenty millions freemen fail,
Who do and dare, whose hearts ne'er quail,
Whose cause is just and must prevail O'er every foe?
Fail! with millions spent, with thousands slain,
With all our tears, with all our pains,
With all we've lost, with all we've won?
By Fredericksburgh! by Donelson!
By heaven, no!

Fail! never while a Bunker Hill,
Or Cowpens field is whispering still,
Or Saratoga's frowning peak,
Or Brandywine's red flowing creek,
With Yorktown battlements still speak Of glorious deeds.
We cannot drop a single star,
While Italy looks to us afar,
While Poland lives, while Ireland hopes,
While Afric's son in slavery gropes,
And silent pleads.

Fail! never breathe such burning shame,
Sell not your birthright or your name,
He's sure a coward or a knave
Who'd heap dishonor on the grave
Of all the host of martyred brave, For liberty.
What! twenty millions freemen fail,
Whose strength is borne on every gale,
Whose power is of such vast extent,
That it grasps in half the continent,
From sea to sea.

With plains so rich, the race can feed
Or starve their enemies if need;
With iron roads all o'er the land,
With cities stretched on every hand,
And flag unfurled from every strand, Upon the gale.
And education as a dower,
Bringing knowledge that's always power,
While maid and matron, son and sire,
Are burning with the olden fire,
They cannot fail.

With forests deep and valleys wide,
With rattling wheels on every side,
With mines of gold, with iron hills,
With giant streams and massive mills,
With hands for toil, and master wills To move the whole.
Whose art out-rivals every one,
Whose eagle soars in every sun,
Whose name and fame and wealth are known
In every land and clime and zone,
From pole to pole.

By all the grand historic names!
By all our fathers' heaven-born aims!
By the great name of Washington!
By all the past and present won!
By all the future yet to come!
We must not fail.
Fail! never breathe the word again,
'Twill make the bones of heroes slain,
Now bleaching on Antietam's plain,
Cry out in agony of pain,
To hear the wail.

What! shall a nation great and free,
Now blazoned bright in heraldry,
Be stranded and go down in night,
Forgotten, lost to human sight,
Too base to struggle for the right, ‘Gainst tyranny.
No! banish ease, each pelfish god--
No! never stoop to kiss the rod--
What! shall a puny foe prevail,
And spirits of our sires bewail
Their progeny?

Fail! traitors only breathe the word;
Let those with love of country stirred
Rise in their strength, nor fail, nor falter,
But firm around their country's altar,
United stand.
Northmen! you feel the mighty throes
Of your nation struggling with her foes;
Rise in your strength! rise in your might!
Strike! for your country and the right!
Strike! for your flag, strike treason pale,
Strike! him who dares to utter fail,
Strike! for yourselves, your hearthstone fire.
Strike! with the nerve each hope inspires,
Strike! for your sons in battle torn,
Strike! for your children yet unborn,
Strike! for mankind blows that will tell,
On time's great stream responding swell,
Strike deadly blows, none else will do,
Strike traitors till they beg and sue,
Strike crushing blows, then war will cease,
And then will fall the dews of peace
All o'er our land.

Jabrettsville, June 30, 1868.

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