To the Thirty-Ninth Congress.
The thirty-ninth congress was that which met in 1865 after the close of the war, when it was charged with the great question of reconstruction; the uppermost subject in men's minds was the standing of those who had recently been in arms against the Union and their relations to the freedmen.O people-chosen! are ye not
Likewise the chosen of the Lord,
To do His will and speak His word?
From the loud thunder-storm of war
Not man alone hath called ye forth,
But He, the God of all the earth!
The torch of vengeance in your hands
He quenches; unto Him belongs
The solemn recompense of wrongs.
Enough of blood the land has seen,
And not by cell or gallows-stair
Shall ye the way of God prepare.
Say to the pardon-seekers: Keep
Your manhood, bend no suppliant knees,
Nor palter with unworthy pleas.
Above your voices sounds the wail
Of starving men; we shut in vain
Our eyes to Pillow's ghastly stain.
What words can drown that bitter cry?
What tears wash out the stain of death?
What oaths confirm your broken faith?