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19. in State.

by Forceythe Willson.
O Keeper of the Sacred Key,
     And the Great Seal of Destiny,
Whose eye is the blue canopy,
     Look down upon the warring world, and tell us what the end will be.

“Lo, through the wintry atmosphere,
     On the white bosom of the sphere,
A cluster of five lakes appear,
     And all the land looks like a couch, or warrior's shield, or sheeted bier.

And on that vast and hollow field,
     With both lips closed, and both eyes sealed,
A mighty figure is revealed--
     Stretched at full length, and stiff and stark as in the
hollow of a shield.

The winds have tied the drifted snow
     Around the face and chin, and lo!
The sceptred giants come and go,
     And shake their shadowy crowns, and say, “We always feared it would be so.”

She came of an heroic race;
     A giant's strength, a maiden's grace,
Like two in one seem to embrace,
     And match, and blend, and thorough-blend, in her colossal form and face.

Where can her dazzling falchion be?
     One hand is fallen in the sea;
The gulf stream drifts it far and free,
     And in that hand her shining brand gleams from the depths resplendently.

And by the other in its rest
     The Starry Banner of the West
Is clasped forever to her breast;
     And of her silver helmet, lo! a soaring eagle is the crest.

[16] And on her brow a softened light,
     As of a star concealed from sight
By some thin veil of fleecy white,
     Or of the rising moon behind the rainy vapors of the night.

The sisterhood that was so sweet--
     The Starry System sphered complete,
Which the mazed Orient used to greet--
     The Four-and-Thirty fallen stars glimmer and glitter at her feet.

And lo! the children which she bred,
     And more than all else cherished,
To make them strong in heart and head,
     Stand face to face as mortal foes, with their swords crossed above the dead!

Each hath a mighty stroke and stride,
     And one is Mother-true and tried,
The other dark and evil-eyed;
     And by the hand of one of them his own dear Mother surely died!

A stealthy step — a gleam of hell--
     It is the simple truth to tell--
The Son stabbed, and the Mother fell;
     And so she lies — all mute, and pale, and pure, and irreproachable.

And then the battle-trumpet blew,
     And the true Brother sprang, and drew
His blade to smite the traitor through;
     And so they clashed above the bier, and the Night sweated bloody dew!

Now, whichsoever stand or fall,
     As God is great and man is small,
The Truth shall triumph over all--
     Forever and forevermore the Truth shall triumph over all!”

Thus saith the Keeper of the Key,
     And the Great Seal of Destiny,
Whose eye is the blue canopy;
     And leaves his firmament of Peace and Silence over bond and free.

New Albany, January, 1862.

--Louisville Journal.

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