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63. the conflict of ages.

by B. Hathaway.
All good awaits the ripened years:
     Above the Present's cry and moan,
We catch the far-off undertone
     Of coming Time, undimmed with tears;
And more this frailer life endears
     The life to nobler being grown.

Though sore begirt with peril-days,
     Faith shapes anew the premise-song
Of — Right shall triumph over Wrong;
     And Evil's subtle, darkened ways
Be set in light. Yet still delays
     The golden year, delaying long.

While shrouded in impending gloom,
     Hangs dim the nation's beacon star:
Like deepening thunders, boding far,
     Comes up the cannon's awful boom;
Like near resounding trump of doom,
     Wide bay the hungry hounds of war!

Alas! but discord's clang and jar
     May Freedom nurse to larger growth;
But fiercest mortal strife, in sooth,
     Can drive the embattled hosts afar,
That, mad with maniac frenzy, bar
     The gates to wider realms of truth.

Yet speed the earthquake shock that cleaves
     The fetters from a shackled race;
The mountain rive, from crown to base,
     Of crime that all the land bereaves;
The whirlwind lightning-wing, that leaves
     To Freedom broader breathing-space!

It is not all a godless strife
     That sets the longing captive free;
More dread than battle-thunders be
     The despot's rod, the assassin's knife--
The dungeon's gloom, the death in life,
     Of Peace, whose price is Liberty!

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