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One threw her arms about her boy, and said, “Good bye, my son;
God help thee do the valiant deeds thy father would have done.”
One held up to a bearded man a little child to kiss,
And said, “I shall not be alone, for thy dear love and this.”
And one, a rosebud in her hand, leant at a soldier's side;
“Thy country weds thee first,” she said, “be I thy second bride.”
Oh, mothers! when, around your hearths, ye count your cherished ones,
And miss from the enchanted ring the flower of all your sons;
Oh, wives! when o'er the cradled child ye bend at evening's fall,
And voices which the heart can hear across the distance call;
Oh, maids! when, in the sleepless nights, ye ope the little case,
And look till ye can look no more upon the proud young face,
Not only pray the Lord of Life, who measures mortal breath,
To bring the absent back unscathed out of the fire of death;
Oh, pray with that divine content which God's best favor draws,
That, whosoever lives or dies, he save his holy cause!
So out of shop and farmhouse, from shore and inland glen,
Thick as the bees in clover time, are swarming armed men;
Along the dusty roads in haste the eager columns come,
With flash of sword and musket's gleam, the bugle and the drum.
Ho! comrades! see the starry flag, broad waving at our head;
Ho! comrades! mark the tender light on the dear emblems spread!
Our fathers' blood has hallowed it; 'tis part of their renown;
And palsied be the caitiff hand would pluck its glories down!
Hurrah! hurrah! it is our home where'er thy colors fly;
We win with thee the victory, or in thy shadow die!
Oh, women! drive the rattling loom, and gather in the hay;
For all the youth worth love and truth are marshalled for the fray.
Southward the hosts are hurrying, with banners wide unfurled
From where the stately Hudson floats the wealth of half the world;
From where, amid his clustered isles, Lake Huron's waters gleam;
From where the Mississippi pours an unpolluted stream;
From where Kentucky's fields of corn bend in the Southern air;
From broad Ohio's luscious vines; from Jersey's orchards fair;
From where, between his fertile slopes, Nebraska's rivers run;
From Pennsylvania's iron hills; from woody Oregon;
And Massachusetts led the van, as in the days of yore,
And gave her reddest blood to cleanse the stones of Baltimore.
Oh, mothers! sisters! daughters I spare the tears ye fain would shed;
Who seem to die in such a cause, ye cannot call them dead;
They live upon the lips of men, in picture, bust, and song,
And nature folds them in her heart, and keeps them safe from wrong.
Oh! length of days is not a boon the brave man prayeth for;
There are a thousand evils worse than death or any war--
Oppression, with his iron strength, fed on the souls of men,
And License, with the hungry brood that haunt his ghastly den.
But like bright stars ye fill the eye; adoring hearts ye draw;
Oh! sacred grace of Liberty! oh, majesty of Law!
Hurrah! the drums are beating; the fife is calling shrill;
Ten thousand starry banners flame on town, and bay, and hill;
The thunders of the rising war drown labor's peaceful hum;
Thank God that we have lived to see the saffron morning come--
The morning of the battle call, to every soldier dear!
Oh joy! the cry is “Forward!” Oh, joy! the foe is near!
For all the crafty men of peace have failed to purge the land;
Hurrah! the ranks of battle close! God takes his cause in hand!
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