184. to the Tories of Virginia.“I speak this unto your shame.” In the ages gone by, when Virginia arose
Her honor and truth to maintain,
Her sons round her banner would rally with pride,
Determined to save it from stain.
No heart in those days was so false or so cold,
That it did not exquisitely thrill
With a love and devotion that none would withhold,
Until death the proud bosom should chill.
Was Virginia in danger? Fast, fast at her call,
From the mountains e'en unto the sea,
Came up her brave children their mother to shield,
And to die that she still might be free.
And a coward was he, who when danger's dark cloud
Overshadowed Virginia's fair sky,
Turned a deaf, careless ear, when her summons was heard,
Or refused for her honor to die.
Oh I proud are the mem'ries of days that are past,
And richly the heart thrills whene'er
We think of the brave, who, their mother to save,
Have died, as they lived, without fear.
But, now, can it be that Virginia's name
Fails to waken the homage and love
Of e'en one of her sons? Oh! cold, cold must be
The heart that her name will not move.
When she rallies for freedom, for justice, and right,
Will her sons, with a withering sneer,
Revile her, and taunt her with treason and shame,
Or say she is moved by foul fear?
Will they tell her her glories have fled, or grown pale?
That she bends to a tyrant in shame?
Will they trample her glorious flag in the dust,
Or load with reproaches her name?
Will they fly from her shores, or desert her in need?
Will Virginians their backs ever turn
On their mother, and fly when the danger is nigh,
And her claim to their fealty spurn?
False, false is the heart that refuses to yield
The love that Virginia doth claim;
And base is the tongue that could utter the lie,
That charges his mother with shame.
A blot on her ‘scutcheon! a stain on her name!
Our heart's blood should wipe it away;
We should die for her honor, and count it a boon,
Her mandates to heed and obey.
But never, oh, never, let human tongue say
She is false to her honor or fame!
She is true to her past — to her future she's true--
And Virginia has never known shame.
Then shame on the dastard, the recreant fool,
That would strike, in the dark, at her now;
That would coldly refuse her fair fame to uphold,
That would basely prove false to his vow.
But no! it cannot — it can never be true,
That Virginia claims one single child,
That would ever prove false to his home, or his God,
Or be with foul treason defiled.
And the man that could succor her enemies now,
Even though on her soil he were born,
Is so base, so inhuman, so false, and so vile,
That Virginia disowns him with scorn!