23. Ode on the Inauguration of the Albany army relief Bazaar, on the 22d February, 1864.
by Miss Margaret F. Morgan, of Albany.All hail to our country, the Land of the West!
The dream of the nations, the Great and the Blest;
The vision that came on the spice of the breeze,
And haunted the heart of the dark Genoese--
That rose like a temple of gold to his view,
That hung like a star in his distance of blue.
The Sun on his journey may linger to glance
On the mosque and the temple, the vine and the dance,
But always returns to the haunt he loves best,
And leaves his last smile with the Land of the West.
O Sun! in thy beauty, untiring like thee,
The heart of the Westland is glowing!
And over the continent, over the sea,
The light of its purpose is throwing.
Behold how its broad and beneficent ray
Each measure and limit is scorning!
Though dark clouds of error still lurk in the way,
They are edged with the light of the morning.
Come, Morning Light!
Come, quickly come,
Break through the night--
Trumpet and drum
Call in their might,
Come, quickly come!
Break, break the tyrant's yoke,
Break through the battle smoke--
Scatter the gloom!
Let Treason's wonted ire
See in its force and fire
Naught but its doom!
Break through the prison bars, go with a blessing,
Shine on our captives and bid them good cheer;
Go where the soreness of famine is pressing,
Tell them that bounty and largess are near:
From mountain, vale, and mart,
Tell them the Nation's heart
Whispers, “Good Cheer!”
Though the air is stirred with combat,
Hope with lifted finger waits--
Hears the bugle-call of “Union!”
Hears the homeward march of States!
From the dim and doubting vision,
Rend the veil-and show the Right,
Through the mists of fraud and fable,
Lead them onward, Morning Light!
. . . . .
Peace will return with her chaplet of glory--
Home from the battle-field weary and worn,
Come the brave squadrons of song and of story,
Bearing their banners up, rifted and torn!
What have we done for thee?
What have we won for thee?
Surging with tumult and sorely oppressed--
Given our all to thee!
Given our lives to thee!
Given thee Liberty, Land of the West.
Then hail to our country, the Land of the West!
The marvel of nations, the Great and the Blest,
The green of her forests, the blue of her vales,
Her mines and her mountains, her lakes and her sails,
Her cotton and rice-fields that stretch far away
In saffron of sunset, or purple of day--
All, all will we cherish with right and with might,
Till the Sun shall grow dim on his voyage of light!
From blight and from error, from woe and unrest,
May God shield our country, the Land of the West!