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61. a song for the Union.1

England's heavy chains oppressed us,
     And her foot had held us down,
Till the people, full of fury,
     Raised the shout, “Resist the crown!”
All the nation heard the watchword,--
     Every town sent up the cry,--
Answering, like a solemn echo,
     “We will conquer or will die!”
Then were seen
     The brave Thirteen,
Fighting for our liberty.

All New England's heroes wakened,
     With the courage wrongs inspire,--
Nerved themselves to stand the struggle,
     Dare and brave Old England's ire;
While from every hill and valley
     Thronging came an answering band,
Poorly clad, half-armed, but heroes,
     And for Freedom took their stand;
Then were seen
     The brave Thirteen,
Winning us a free-born land.

Victory crowned their gallant struggle,--
     God alone they owned as king,
And they stood a free-born people,
     Sheltered by the Almighty's wing;
While their statesmen and their heroes
     To a compact set their hand,--
“All our strength lies in our Union;
     To the world as one we'll stand.”
The Old Thirteen
     Since then have been
Honored and blest in every land.

Oh! the contrast time now shows us!
     Scarce a hundred years have passed,
And the smothered mutterings warn us,
     This will be the Union's last.
Last! Virginia, you who gave us
     Our dear Father, Statesman, Chief, [47]
Can you let the life he fought for--
     A great nation's — be so brief?
Strife between
     The Old Thirteen!
Never let that sight be seen.

Georgia! whose chivalric soldiers
     Proved the worth of gentle blood,
When the enemy struck so boldly,
     And o'erswept you like a flood,
Will you turn your steel against those
     Who, when in your direst need,
Came to strengthen those proud spirits?
     Georgians, dare you say, “Secede” ?
Blood between
     That Old Thirteen--
Brothers both in word and deed!

Thy records, Carolina, point where
     The first blood for Freedom fell;
By the mother who thus bore you,
     Will you bid us all farewell?
Wild and wilful, proud, impatient,
     Haughty sister, have you known
Through your turbulent life we loved you
     For a beauty of your own,--
Loved you truly,
     Even unduly,
And could never have you gone?

By the memories of the Keystone,--
     By the Jerseys' blood-stained snow,--
By old Empire's glorious battles,--
     By the record of our foes,--
By Schuyler, Knox, old Putnam, Greene,--
     By Marion's men, and Harry Lee,
Let us forget all party strife,
     And only know that we are free.
The world has seen
     What we have been.
Oh! still preserve the Old Thirteen.

With what blindness are we smitten,
     Brother thus opposing brother!
In the nation's past 'tis written,
     Freedom is our glorious mother.
You can count her pangs of travail
     In the banner waving o'er us;
History tells the wreck and carnage
     That o'erspread her when she bore us.
Shall love languish
     When her anguish,
Beacon-like, still floats before us?

Palsied be the lips that frame it,--
     Helpless fall that foeman's arm,--
Turn his fiercest strength to weakness,
     Who would do a brother harm.
And, O God! wilt Thou take vengeance
     On whoe'er, by word or deed,
Broadcast o'er our noble country
     Sowed disunion's fruitful seed?
Curse the tongue
     Of old or young,
Who shouts the battle-cry, “Secede” !

God, our Lord, be Thou our support,
     Thou our stay in this dark hour;
Guide us through these angry mazes,
     By Thine overseeing power;
Blast the rage of party sections;
     Cause such war and strife to cease;
Give us — greatest gift to nations--
     Give us union, love, and peace.
The Old Thirteen
     On Thee shall lean;
Lord, let their mutual love increase.

Cast to the breeze that banner still,
     With not one single star erased,
With not one single stripe effaced;
     Shout, with a hearty, brave good-will,
“Let nought our happy land dissever,--
     The Union, one, and one forever!”
Wake the wide echoes with that paean,--
     The Union, and the Old Thirteen.

1 read at a Union meeting at Detroit, Michigan, held Jan. 28, 1861. a full report of the meeting is given in the Detroit free Press, Jan. 22.

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