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Soon rested those who fought; but thou
Who minglest in the harder strife For truths which men receive not now,
Thy warfare only ends with life.
A friendless warfare! lingering long
Through weary day and weary year, A wild and many-weaponed throng
Hang on thy front, and flank, and rear.
Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blench not at thy chosen lot. The timid good may stand aloof, The sage may
frown yet faint thou not.
Nor heed the shaft too surely cast,
The foul and hissing bolt of scorn; For with thy side shall dwell, at last,
The victory of endurance born.
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers; But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshippers.
Yea, though thou lie upon the dust
When they who helped thee flee in fear, Die full of hope and manly trust,
Like those who fell in battle here.
Another hand thy sword shall wield,
Another hand the standard wave,
The blast of triumph o'er thy grave.
COLUMBIA, THE GEM OF THE OCEAN (1843)
The Home of the brave and the free,
A world offers homage to thee!
When Liberty's form stands in view;
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
And threatened the land to deform,
Columbia, rode safe thro' the storm;
When so proudly she bore her brave crew,
The boast of the red, white, and blue. Cho.
And fill you it true to the brim;
Nor the star of their glory grow dim!
But they to their colors prove true!
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue ! - Cho.
Rather than in silence shrink
THE PRESENT CRISIS (1844)
BY JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
[This poem was written in 1844, when the annexation of Texas was a topic of general discussion.] 5 WHEN a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad
earth's aching breast Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to
west, And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within
him climb To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of
10 Through the walls of hut and palace shoots the instan
taneous throe, When the travail of the Ages wrings earth's systems to
and fro; At the birth of each new Era, with a recognizing start, Nation wildly looks at nation, standing with mute lips
apart, And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child leaps beneath
the Future's heart.
15 So the Evil's triumph sendeth, with a terror and a chill,
Under continent to continent, the sense of coming ill, And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels his sympathies
In hot tear-drops ebbing earthward, to be drunk up by
the sod, Till a corpse crawls round unburied, delving in the nobler
For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along, Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right
or wrong; Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast
frame Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or
shame In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.
Once to every man and nation comes the moment to de
cide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil
side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the
bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the
right. And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and
Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou
shalt stand, Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust
against our land? Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet 'tis Truth alone is
strong, And, albeit she wanders outcast now, I see around her
throng Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all