Seward--[aside.] Long may it wave!
Welles — O'er the land of the free!
Bates — And the home of the brave!
Lincoln — And imagine they founded a new nation!
And now yon fighting Colonel Davis,
With his ragged ragamuffin crew, loudly swears
He'll sit in this very chair wherein we sit--
Save the mark!--in spite of Wool or Scott.
Friends, farewell! yet take something ere ye go;
Leave me to myself, that I may court the drowsy god.
Watch well the door, that no foul traitors enter
With machines infernal, or throated revolving pistol.
Spread yourselves, and lose no opportunity to tell
Tha expectant people that all is going well;
And while, reluctant, ye admit the Southern feeling,
Urge and declare that 'tis marvellous consoling,
That nothing is hurting anybody. There, go!
Stand not on the order of your going, but go at once. [Seward and others bow and depart.]
New Jerusalem! is this happiness? When erst
I dreamt of might, majesty, and power; when, in days gone by,
An humble splitter of rails, wearing but one shirt a week;
Or, when in revery, I leaned in listless mood
O'er the oar (ha! a pun) of the slow-gliding broad-horn,
And thought of the powerful and rich of earth,
And, envious, contrasted their gay feasts and revels
With our simple joys, our humble shuckings and possum hunts,
Our apple-bees and quilting frolics — alack-a-day!
As Shakespeare says in his Paradise Lost, I sadly feel
That “distance lends enchantment to the view.”