by Mary E. Nealy.I saw a boy in a black-jack wood,
With a tall, lank, awkward “figger,”
Striking away with his heavy maul,
By the side of a young slave , “nigger.”
And he said to himself, “I'll maul away,
And cleave a path before me;
I'll hew all black jacks' out of my way,
‘Till the Star of Fame shines o'er me.”
 I saw him again on a broad swift stream;
But the maul this time was a paddle,
And I watched the tiny rainbow's gleam,
As he made the waves skedaddle.
And he said, “I'll paddle away, away,
Till space shall flee before me;
And I yet shall live to see the day
When the Star of Fame shines o'er me.”
I saw him again, with his musty books,
A-pondering Coke and Story;
And little there was in his homely looks
To tell of his future glory.
But he said, “I'll master, I know I will,
The difficult task before me;
I'll maul my way through the hard world still,
Till the Star of Fame shines o'er me.”
I saw him again, when he rose to cope,
Hand to hand, with the “Western Giant;”
His eye lit up with a beam of hope,
On his sinewy strength reliant.
“I'll fight him,” he said, “with the maul of Truth,
Till he shrink and quail before me,
Till he stand abashed in astonished ruth,
While the Star of Fame shines o'er me.”
I saw him again in the White House chair,
A-writing the Proclamation;
And the pen he used was the heaviest maul
In this rail-mauling nation.
And he said, “'Tis the only way to make
The traitors flee before us;
While the light it sheds will leave a wake
That will shine when the sod grows o'er us.”
I saw him again but the other night,
And he shook my hand in greeting;
And little he thought how soon I'd write,
And tell the world of our meeting.
The hand I clasped has swung the maul,
And my own has written its story.
But never, I ween, could any hand
Write half of its toil and glory.