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101. Southward, ho!

Southward, ho! 'Twas a stormy chorus
     Thundering forth from the years of old,
As down from the crests of the Himalaya
     Madly the Scythian war-tide rolled.
Wave on wave, in their strong pulsations,
     Hurled from the Northland's bounding veins;
On they poured, like a tide of terror,
     Over the teeming Indian plains--
Strewing their path with the fallen altars,
     The dusky gold and the starry gems,
The pearl-wrought girdles of Hindoo princes,
     And wealth of her priceless diadems.
O'er the shattered throne and the wrecked pagoda
     Swelled that poean of savage joy,
As ever onward the locust legions
     Swept to desolate and destroy.
Yet a higher strength and greatness even
     To India's twenty millions came,
From the bounding blood of the Northern nations,
     Their nerves of steel and their souls of flame!

Southward, ho! 'Twas a grander anthem,
     When, from their far-off, frozen home,
The sturdy sons of the Northern war-gods
     Poured on the rotting wreck of Rome.
Gone was the might of the ancient empire;
     Power and beauty had passed away;
All things foul, and vile, and hateful,
     Hovered around her rank decay.
Gone was the grand, heroic daring,
     Which had made her younger years sublime;
The blood was chilly, and weak, and nerveless,
     That flowed through the shrunken veins of Time.
So a stronger life and a mightier spirit
     Forth from the stormy North were hurled,
And filled, with the strength of a new creation,
     The withered limbs of the dead old world.
And over the ashes of desolation
     Those Vandals sowed in their gory way,
The glowing light of the modern ages
     Blazed and bloomed like a heavenly day!

Southward, ho! How the mighty chorus
     Shook the depths of the Northern seas,
When the countless ships of the stern old Vikings
     Spread their wings on the Boreal breeze.
Joyfully, from the barren mountains,
     The frozen fiords and the glaciers cold,
They turned their prows to the sunnier oceans,
     Which in the unknown Austral rolled.
Down on the lands where the Celt and Saxon
     Reaped their fields on a peaceful shore,
They bore the name of the mighty Odin,
     And the martial joy of the thunderer Thor.
And up from a thousand fields of battle,
     From the Northern giants' glorious graves,
Springs the power which has made Britannia
     Ocean-queen of the Western waves.

Southward, ho! How the grand old war-cry
     Thunders over our land to-day;
Rolling down from the Eastern mountains,
     Dying into the West away.
The South has fallen from her ancient glory,
     Bowed in slavery, crime, and shame;
And forth from his storehouse God is sending
     Another tempest of steel and lame!

Southward, ho! Bear on the watchword!
     Onward march, as in ancient days,
Till over the traitor's fallen fortress
     The Stripes shall stream and the Stars shall blaze!
For the Northern arm is mailed with thunder,
     And the Northern heart beats high and warm;
And a stronger life shall spring in glory
     In the path of the Southward rushing storm;
The ancient wrongs shall shrink and perish,
     The darkness fly from their radiant van;
And a mightier empire rise in grandeur,
     For Freedom, Truth, and the Rights of Man.
Ever thus, when, in future ages,
     Manhood fails on the tropic plains,
Send, O God, thy Northern giants
     To pour fresh blood through their feeble veins!

--N. Y. Tribune, July 11.

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