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NEVER OR NOW.

61

NEVER OR NOW.-OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

LISTEN, young heroes ! your country is calling!

Time strikes the hour for the brave and the true ! Now, while the foremost are fighting and falling,

Fill up the ranks that have opened for you!

You whom the fathers made free and defended,

Stain not the scroll that emblazons their fame! You whose fair heritage spotless descended,

Leave not your children a birthright of shame!

Stay not for questions while Freedom stands gasping!

Wait not till Honor lies wrapt in his pall!
Brief the lips' meeting be, swift the hands' clasping-

“Off for the wars !" 'tis enough for them all.

Break from the arms that would fondly caress you!

Hark! 'tis the bugle-blast I sabers are drawn! Mothers shall pray for you, fathers shall bless you,

Maidens shall weep for you when you are gone !

Never or now! cries the blood of a nation,

Poured on the turf where the red roso should bloom; Now is the day and the hour of salvation

Never or now! peals the trumpet of doom!

Never or now! roars the hoarse-throated cannon!

Through the black canopy blotting the skies; Never or now! flaps the shell-blasted pennon

O'er the deep ooze where the Cumberland lies!

From the foul dens where our brothers are dying,

Aliens and foes in the land of their birth,
From the rank swamps where our martyrs are lying,

Pleading in vain for a handful of earth;

From the hot plains where they perish outnumbered,

Furrowed and ridged by the battle-fields' plow,
Comes the loud summons—too long have you slumbered !

Hear the last Angel-trump-Never or now!

THE LITTLE DRUMMER.-R. H. STODDARD.

'Tis of a little drummer,

The story I shall tell,
Of how he marched to battle,

And all that there befell.
Out in the west with Lyon

(For once the name was true),
For whom the little drummer beat

His rat-tat-too!

Our army rose at midnight,

Ten thousand men as one,
Each slinging on bis knapsack,

And snatching up his gun;
" Forward !" and off they started,

As all good soldiers do,
When the little drummer beats for them

The rat-tat-too!

It was a sight to see them,

That early autumn day,
Our soldiers in their blue coats,

And the rebel ranks in gray,
The smoke that rolled between them,

The balls that whistled through,
And the little drummer as he beat

His rat-tat-too !

His comrades dropped around him—

By fives and tens they fell;
Some pierced by Minié bullets,

Some torn by shot and shell;
They played against our cannon,

And a caisson's splinters flow;
But still the little drummer beat

His rat-tat-too!

" Where is our little drummer?"

His nearest comrades say,
When the dreadful fight is over,

And the smoke has cleared away,

THE LITTLE DRUMMER.

63

As the rebel corps was scattering

He urged them to pursue,
For furiously he beat, and beat,

His rat-tat-too!
He stood no more among them,

For a bullet as it sped,
Had glanced and struck his ankle,

And stretched him with the dead I
He crawled behind a cannon,

And pale, and paler grew; But still the little drummer beat

His rat-tat-too!

They bore him to the surgeon,

A busy man was he; A drummer-boy-what ails him ?"

His comrades answered, “See!”
As they took him from the stretcher

A heavy breath he drew,
And his little fingers strove to beat

The rat-tat-too!

The ball had spent its fury;
"A scratch," the surgeon said,
As he wound the snowy bandage

Which the lint was staining red. "I must leave you now, old fellow,

"O take me back with you,
For I know the men are missing me,

And the rat-tat-too !"
Upon his comrade's shoulder

They lifted him so grand,
With his dusty drum before him,

And his drumsticks in his hand!
To the fiery front of battle,

That nearer, nearer drew,
And evermore he beat, and beat,

His rat-tat-tool
The wounded as he passed them

Looked up and gave a cheer;
And one in dying blessed him,

Between a smile and tear!

And the graybacks—they are flying

Before the coats of blue,
For whom the little drummer beats

His rat-tat-too!

When the west was red with sunset,

The last pursuit was o'er;
Brave Lyon rode the foremost,

And looked the name he bore !
And before him on his saddle,

As a weary child would do,
Sat the little drummer fast asleep,

With his rat-tat-too!

THE UNION.--DANIEL WEBSTER.

WHILE the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying progpects spread out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the vail. God grant that, in my day at least, that curtain may not rise! God grant that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind !

When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent; on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood !

Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gor. geous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as, What is all this worth? nor those other words of delusion and folly, Liberty first, and union afterward; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart, Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable !

HOW TO CRUSH THE REBELLION.

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HOW TO CRUSH THE REBELLION.-E. D. BAKER—1861.

I PROPOSE to do now as we did in Mexico-conquer peace. I propose to go to Washington and beyond. I do not design to remain silent, supine, inactive-nay, fearful-until they gather their battalions and advance their host upon our borders or in our midst. I would meet them upon the threshold, and there, in the very State of their power, in the very atmosphere of their treason, I propose that the people of this Union dictate to these rebels the terms of peace. It may take thirty millions; it may take three hundred millions. What, then? We have it. Loyally, nobly, grandly do the merchants of New York respond to the appeals of the Government. It may cost us seven thousand men. It may cost us seventy-five thousand men in battle ; it may cost us seven hundred and fifty thousand men. What, then? We have them. The blood of every loyal citizen of this Government is dear to us. My sons, my kinsmen, the young men who have grown up beneath my eye and beneath my care, they are all dear to me; but if the country's destiny, glory, tradition, greatness, freedom, government, written constitutional government—the only hope of a free people—demand it, let them all go. I am not here now to speak timorous words of peace, but to kindle the spirit of manly, determined war. I speak in the midst of the Empire State, amid scenes of past suffering and past glory; the defenses of the Hudson above me; the battle-field of Long Island before me, and the statue of Washington in my very face—the battered and unconquered flag of Sumter waving in his hand, which I can almost imagine now trembles with the excitement of battle. And as I speak, I say my mission here to-day is to kindle the heart of New York for war-short, sudden, bold, determined, forward war. The Seventh Regiment has gone. Let seventy and seven more follow. Of old, said a great historian, beneath the banner of the Cross, Europe precipitated itself upon Asia. Beneath the banner of the Constitution let the men of the Union precipitate themselves upon disloyal, rebellious confederate States.

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