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We so often hear it said that there are no longer any patriots, and that there are no longer any poets in the United States that I have thought this an opportune time and way to show that there are both. The last patriot did not die with our heroes of the revolution and rebellion, nor our last poet with our Bryants, Longfellows, Whittiers, Lowells, etc., but in every part of the Union there are men who are ready to fight, and men who are inspired to sing. Before it was certainly known that volunteer soldiers would be needed hundreds of thousands offered themselves all over the country, and those who were called were filled with delight, and those who were not, with disappointment. The world has never known greater deeds of bravery, sacrifice and heroism than we have read of, as daily news.
Macauley has told how Horatius kept the bridge, and how when at last he plunged, all sore and bleeding, into the Tiber and swam the tide, how
“Even the ranks of Tuscany
Millions of children have climbed, as I have done, on someone's knee, again and again, to hear the story of Horatius.
If as many children, in years to come, are not as anxious to have someone read to them about Hobson, then I am indeed a poor prophet. No less brave than Hobson were his men, and again those who wanted but were not allowed to go.
In this happy land of ours, where all men are free, and born equal, and where, at the cost of war we have learned the beauty and wisdom of peace, we do not keep a large standing army, and our navy has been looked upon by the old world as more or less of a joke.
We have not worn a chip on our shoulder, nor gone about looking for trouble, but as a people and as a nation have been busy enough minding our own business. We Americans do not like to drop business to go to war, for the sake of war, but in the name of humanity every man of us is ready and eager to become a soldier, and whether we come from field or counting-house, are volunteers or regulars, officers or privates, we are the best soldiers the world has ever known. For it is not by law nor for wage, but for right and country, that men are brave. In this righteous war every wife offered her husband and every mother her son; every nation sanctioned it, and God gave us the victory. We did not wish to fight Spain, but it became necessary, and so we did fight to a finish, as it is not Uncle Sam's custom to do things by halves. There is an old saying, “Give the devil his due," and I think we did, and the "due" was “Dewey."
Spain fought for "honor," and hence her struggle was as paradoxical as those two lines of Tennyson's,
"His honor rooted in dishonor stood,
If this collection proves that our blood is red, and that poets and patriots are common among us, it will have served its purpose, and I trust, besides, will have been entertaining to many, and a solace to not a few.
SIDNEY A. WITHERBEE.
SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR SONGS.
A BALLAD OF WAR.
So gold-locks watched the troops go by,
"Some day I'll know," she sighed and crept
Some day she knew. From fields of strife,
At dawn, they brought at eventide
No drum-beat in the crowded street,