They gave us scorn--
Our Southern masters — for our pains;
Hot insults hiss--
(We thought it bliss!)
Their loathsome scorns, polluting stains,
And hounded better for our shames.
They bolder grew--
And swore the people's mighty will
Should never o'er
The Southern shore
Its sovereign purposes fulfil,
Or tread the Capitoline hill.
He prayed so hard,
And “hem'd” and “ha'd,”
The Wheatland Sage, with feigned surprise.
And what did we?
(Shades of the Free!)
Did we from off our knees arise?
No! no! we whimpered, “Compromise!”
It came at last--
Hell!--well, 'tis past,
That damned blow, fair in our eyes.
Our boiling blood
Flew in a flood
Through every vein. The nation cries,
War to the death! till every traitor dies!
Hear, Freemen,. hear!
Crush dastard fear I
Gird Freedom's armor on your back.
See! see, afar,
Through gathering war,
Our banner-bird looms through the rack--
The Eagle's on the Viper's track!
It may be years,
Ere bondsmen's tears
Shall cease to flow from shore to shore.
But come it will--
(Stand still! stand still!)
The fiery pillar goes before--
The Red Sea's crossed-They're slaves no more!
Dry streaming eyes,
Hush quivering sighs,
Who watch the war-clouds' billowy course;
For nations rise
For this, earth bears her children's loss,
For this the scourge, for this the cross.