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[407] the desire here to link Bayard Taylor's grandest poem with this portion of our historic chain.1

That involuntary servitude should be abolished by the most despotic of nations, with the applause of the world, and the day of emancipation (March 3, 1863) be ushered in by chimes of gratitude and thanksgiving from every church-spire in the Russian Empire, while the great Republic of the world still bound the fetters upon four million slaves, will hereafter read strangely in history.

But a wiser and broader statesmanship than ours guides the destinies of Russia.


A thousand years.

A thousand years, through storm and fire,
     With varying fate, the work has grown,
Till Alexander crowns the spire
     Where Rurik laid the corner-stone.

The chieftain's sword that could not rust,
     But bright in constant battle grew,
Raised to the world a throne august,—
     A nation grander than he knew.

Nor he alone; but those who have,
     Through faith or deed, an equal part,—
The subtle brain of Yaroslav,
     Vladimir's arm, and Nikon's heart,—

The later hands that built so, well
     The work sublime which these began,
And up from base to pinnacle
     Wrought out the Empire's mighty plan,—

All these to-day are crown'd anew,
     And rule in splendor where they trod,
While Russia's children throng to view
     Her holy cradle, Novgorod,—

From Volga's banks, from Dwina's side,
     From pine-clad Ural, dark and long,
Or where the foaming Terek's tide
     Leaps down from Kasbek, bright with song,

From Altai's chain of mountain-cones,
     Mongolian deserts far and free,
And lands that bind, through changing zones,
     The Eastern and the Western Sea.

To every race she gives a home,
     And creeds and laws enjoy her shade,
Till far beyond the dreams of Rome
     Her Caesar's mandate is obey'd.

She blends the virtues they impart,
     And holds within her life combined
The patient faith of Asia's heart,
     The force of Europe's restless mind.

She bids the nomad's wandering cease,
     She binds the wild marauder fast;
Her ploughshares turn to homes of peace
     The battle-fields of ages past.

And, nobler far, she dares to know
     Her future's task,—nor knows in vain,
But strikes at once the generous blow
     That makes her millions men again!

So, firmer based, her power expands,
     Nor yet has seen its crowning hour,
Still teaching to the struggling lands
     That Peace the offspring is of Power.

Build up the storied bronze, to tell
     The steps whereby this height she trod,—
The thousand years that chronicle
     The toil of man, the help of God!

And may the thousand years to come—
     The future ages, wise and free—
Still see her flag and hear her drum
     Across the world, from sea to sea,—

Still find, a symbol stern and grand,
     Her ancient eagle's strength unshorn,
One head to watch the western land
     And one to guard the land of morn!

Novgorod, Russia, Sept. 20, 1862.

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