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12. one year ago.

by Horatio Alger, Jr.
One year ago our glorious flag
     Lay trailing in the dust,
Rent were the grand old stars and stripes
     By treason's deadly thrust.
One year ago, and every cheek
     Was tinged with manly shame,
And eyes flashed fire of storm and ire
     At sound of Sumter's name.

One year ago, and treason stood
     With scornful mien and high,
And blotted out, one after one,
     The stars that lit our sky, [8]
Oh! fearful shame and foul disgrace,
     That Freedom's holy lamp
Should turn unto a baleful torch
     To light a rebel camp!

Then, then it was our hearts were stirred
     By one electric thrill--
A remnant of the ancient fire
     That blazed on Bunker Hill--
And every hill-top caught the flame
     That heralds war's alarms,
When on the startled ear there rang
     The clarion cry: “To arms!”

State after State with loyal zeal
     Marched manful to the front,
Contending which should strike the first,
     And which should bear the brunt.
The grand uprising of that time
     Shall live in deathless song,
The protest of the loyal free
     Against disloyal wrong.

And now, beneath the Southern sky,
     A hundred camp-fires gleam,
On Carolina's land-locked coast,
     Beside Potomac's stream;
And, scattered through the mighty West,
     By river-course and plain,
The white tents of our soldiers mark
     Law's reestablished reign.

We send them forth with prayers and tears,
     Our dearest and our best;
That they are true, and brave as true,
     Our battle-fields attest.
Full many a hard-won victory
     Has crowned their valor tried,
Yet not alone by mortal strength;
     For God was on their side!

A year ago, and blank distrust
     Held all our hearts in thrall,
The fabric of our nation's life
     Seemed swaying to its fall.
Now our advancing columns march
     Behind God's pillared flame--
He turns the scales of victory,
     And blessed be his name!

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