25. the land we love.
How shall we sound its praise to-day?
Such hope and fear our spirits move,
We cannot sing-we can but pray.
Oh! Star of Promise, shine again,
From out these cloud-enveloped skies!
O, heavenly Light, our path make plain,
Through the dark mists that round us rise!
Since last to these fair vales and hills
We saw the hues of autumn come,
What desolating griefs and ills
Have frowned o'er Freedom's sacred home!
Now vainly all these splendors smile
On wooded height and winding shore;
They cannot saddest thoughts beguile,
Or charm us as they charmed of yore.
In vain bright harvests gleam around;
In vain fair plenty crowns the year;
No heart to joy's light thrill can bound
While warfare's heavy woes are near.
Oh! worse than in that weary time
When patriot sires their toil begun!
When, struggling long with hope sublime,
This goodly heritage they won.
They rose against a foreign foe;
They battled with an alien crew;
Their hands were strong to give the blow;
Their hearts were eager to subdue.
But we!--we pause in doubt and dread;
We have no spirit for the fray--
It is not alien blood we shed,
A friend, a brother, we may slay.
A brother! No! blot out the name,
And “traitor” let the record stand;
For traitors they — all lost to shame--
Who plot against their native land.
Just Heaven! that such a thing should be!
That recreant man bright gifts should mar,
And wage 'gainst land so fair and free,
Unnatural and unholy war!
O, Southern chiefs! 0, rebel bands!
A sacrilegious deed ye do!
Ye smite, with parricidal hands,
The sacred breast whence life ye drew.
Men of the North! go forth — go forth,
To aid your young Republic now;
Oh! let not her who gave you birth,
Beneath this weight of sorrow bow.
Take from her cheek the flush of shame;
To her sad brow its crown rest e;
And let her, 'mid the nations, claim
The honored place she held before.
Show her she still has loyal sons--
Sons worthy their immortal sires--
Sons through whose leaping veins yet runs
The old, warm glow of sacred fires.
Go forth, unwavering, to the strife;
Give fervent prayers, your zeal to prove;
Give toil and treasure, strength and life--
Give all to save the land you love.