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Backward look across the ages and the beacon-moments

see, That, like peaks of some sunk continent, jut through

Oblivion's sea; Not an ear in court or market for the low foreboding cry Of those Crises, God's stern winnowers, from whose feet

earth's chaff must fly; 5 Never shows the choice momentous till the judgment

hath passed by. Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but

record One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and

the Word; Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the

throne Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim

unknown, 10 Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above

his own.

We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is

great, Slow of faith how weak an army may turn the iron helm of

fate, But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din, List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave

within 15"They enslave their children's children who make com

promise with sin."

Slavery, the earth-born Cyclops, fellest of the giant brood, Sons of brutish Force and Darkness, who have drenched

the earth with blood, Famished in his self-made desert, blinded by our purer

day,

Gropes in yet unblasted regions for his miserable prey Shall we guide his gory fingers where our helpless children

play?

Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her

wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit and 'tis prosperous

to be just; Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands

aside, Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified, And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had

denied.

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Count me o'er earth's chosen heroes - they were souls

that stood alone, While the men they agonized for hurled the contumelious

stone, Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam

incline To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith

divine, By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's su

preme design.

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By the light of burning heretics Christ's bleeding feet I

track, Toiling up new Calvaries ever with the cross that turns

not back, And these mounts of anguish number how each generation

learned One new word of that great Credo which in prophet-hearts

hath burned Since the first man stood God-conquered with his face to

heaven upturned.

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For Humanity sweeps onward: where today the martyr

stands, On the morrow crouches Judas with the silver in his

hands; Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling

fagots burn, While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return 5 To glean up the scattered ashes into History's golden urn.

'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves Of a legendary virtue carved upon our fathers' graves, Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light a

crime Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men

behind their time? 10 Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make

Plymouth Rock sublime ? They were men of present valor, stalwart old iconoclasts, Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the

Past's; But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking that

hath made us free, Hoarding it in moldy parchments, while our tender spirits

flee 15 The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them

across the sea. They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors

to our sires, Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit altar-fires ; Shall we make their creed our jailer? Shall we, in our

haste to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral

lamps away 20 To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to

day?

New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient

good uncouth; They must upward still, and onward, who would keep

abreast of Truth; Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must

Pilgrims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the des

perate winter sea, Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood

rusted key.

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THE SHIP OF STATE (1849)
By HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope !
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee are all with thee!

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BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC (1861)

BY JULIA WARD HOWE° MINE eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the

Lord : He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath

are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift

sword; His truth is marching on.

5 I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling

camps : They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and

damps; I can see His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring

lamps : His day is marching on.

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I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel : As ye

deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his

heel, Since God is marching on.”

He hath sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call

retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment

seat. 15 Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my

feet! Our God is marching on.

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