29. the New year and the Union.
A wilderness of worlds; His will, and strong
Creative spirit shook ten thousand worlds,
Like golden dewdrops, from his waving wing,
To roll in beauty through abysmal space,
And chant the chorus of his love divine.
He made the milky-way to span the sky,
A pearly bow of promise, every drop
That sparkles there a singing, shining world!
He woke the music of the Northern Harp,
The wild weird chiming of the Pleiades--
And bade the arches of a Southern sphere
Reverberate their hallelujahs high.
The mighty One
Who sweeps the lyre of Ages, and commands
The praises of ten thousand singing worlds,
Creates the stars of Union, and attunes
The lofty heart of liberty! . . . shall we,
Proud children of the brave, the free,
Behold our banner, blazoned by the breath
Of glory, sullied by a slave?--our stars,
Of Union tossing wildly to and fro
Upon the wave of faction, as they were
But shining shadows, not eternal orbs,
For ever circling through the boundless heaven
Of everlasting purpose?--or shall we
Hear Dissolution sounded, and forbear
To brand the traitor hearts that dare forget
The bond for which our fathers fought and bled?
Cursed be the traitors — doubly, trebly doomed--
The pit of Discord for her victims yawns,
Then, back recoiling, shudders to receive
Their hearts,--a fouler and a fiercer hell!
God save the Union!--Give the dawning year
This proud baptismal anthem — let its last
Dissolving sigh be--Union undissolved!
New States, with starry emblems, one by one,
Come stealing through the Future's twilight dim,
Like orbs of evening from its dusky sky,
To take their place at last with those that tread
Their high, unwearied and unwearying round
Before the golden gates and battlements
Of Paradise. The harp of Liberty
Shall sound amain, till Death himself expire;
Till God has made us free, immortally,
And Time is dust upon his broken Lyre!
Thrice raptured moment!--if all blessed like thee
Are Heaven's bright centuries, how brief will be
Its countless ages of Eternity!