She's gloating now o'er distant desolation,
But yet may sadly mourn a ruined nation.
She madly fanned the fires that glow in war,
She “bravoed” when a negro used his legs;
But blind in bigotry — the South to mar,
She kills the hen that laid her golden eggs!
For when the cotton fields in ruin are,
Where then her trade? If Western labor begs
All vainly, freedom from unequal tax,
Will we still kiss the rod that smarts our backs?
Like boy on bladder, sporting on a river,
She's floating now, all buoyant on the stream;
But war's fat contracts cannot last forever,
And when they're over, ended is her dream!
Her bladders all collapsed — how can she ever
Her prestige and prosperity redeem?
Domestic trade let down — then foreign trade a-courting,
She'll find that paper prices don't permit exporting!
Of honesty she'll then give some example--
In honest hearty curses on herself,
And those who led her on the laws to trample--
Laying her Sumners quiet on the shelf!
For vain regrets her time will then be ample,
Her idle spindles gathering no pelf.
Inevitable fate! and then, when non est
Her profit, she'll in wrath, at least, be honest.
Pompeii sported — eating, drinking, making love, in
House, hall, or chamber, to the latest hour;
The baker, jocund, putting in his oven
The neatest little loaves of four ace flour;
And not a soul suspecting that above, in
Laden darkness came volcanic shower!
And yet it came! Vesuvius, 'midst the flashes
Of lurid gloom, sent up a world of ashes!
And so the world (except of ashes) ended
For proud old Pompeii and all her people.
They would no doubt have gallantly defended
Themselves, if possible; but 'neath a heap, all
Ash and cinders, they in vain contended
With fate — when ashes buried even the steeple.
Sad lot, Pompeii I was for you selected,
And came, besides, so very unexpected.
All hail, New-England! We have heard your cry
For Pompey, till the matter's rather stale;
And now 'tis time you'd think of Pompeii
And her distressing and suggestive tale.
A grand eruption may come, by and by,
Of Western passion, and it may not fail
To ‘whelm your interests. So, do think again
Of Pompeii, or of the “cities of the plain.”
Those “cities of the plain” went down in sorrow,
Because of sin and shame — perhaps you know;
But from their sorry fate can you not borrow
A hint to mend your ways, and better grow?
Suppose that you, like Sodom and Gomorrah,
Were brought to judgment. Could you show
A record clear of malice, avarice, and pride,
Bigotry, intolerance, and grievous things beside?