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Let the song of the ransomed remember the dead,
And on Fame's golden tablets their triumphs enrolled, Who on Freedom's green hills Freedom's banner unfurled, And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!
They are gone — mighty men!—and they sleep in their fame;
Keep the theme ever young;
Let their deeds through the long line of ages be sung, Who on Freedom's green hills Freedom's banner unfurled, And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!
OUR NATIONAL EXISTENCE.
The following spirited remarks are from an address to the graduating class of Columbia College, New York city, 1861, by Charles King, President of that institution. The Latin motto E pluribus unum, means "of many one," that is, one composed of many.
See in Index, ANARCHICAL, ISSUE, SWORD, KING.
1. LIFE is real, life is earnest, to all and at all times; but at the particular juncture at which it is your fortune to be called to act, it is more than usually real and earnest, and it is this exceptional condition of affairs that seems to demand from me at this time a plain and frank expression of opinion, as to matters 'concerning which it is criminal not to have an opinion, and cowardly not to express it when fitting occasion offers.
2. You put on the garment of manhood, and assume its obligations in the midst of the most wanton, wicked, unprovoked, and unpardonable rebellion that has been witnessed in the annals of the human race. It has no parallel but in the rebellion of the fallen angels; and it has the same source, disappointed ambition and malignant hate.
3. Against the most beneficent government, the most equal laws, and a system carrying within itself a recognized and peaceful mode of adjusting every real or imaginary wrong or hardship, a portion of the people of the United States without a single wrong specified on the part of the national government — have risen in rebellion against it, robbing its treasuries, and even its hospitals; firing upon and treading under foot the flag of our country; and menacing its capital with armed hordes.
4. Honor, loyalty, truth, stood aghast for a while incredulously in the presence of this enormous crime; but when Sumter fell, the free people of this nation rose, yes! rose as no like uprising has been witnessed before, and now who shall stay the avenging arm? Who, with traitor lips shall talk of compromise, or with shaking knees clamor for peace? Compromise with - peace with whom?
5. It is no question of this or that system of policy, -it is a question of existence. To be or not to be,it is all there. There is no such thing as half being and half not being. Either we are a nation, or a band of anarchical outlaws; - a grand continental AngloSaxon republic, such as our fathers made, one and indivisible, e pluribus unum, under a constitution equal for all and supreme over all, - or an accidental assem blage of petty, jealous, barbarous, warring tribes, who acknowledge no law but the sword, and from among whom the sword will not depart.
6. My young friends, you enter upon life at the very moment this great question is under the issue of war.
Shrink not back from it. It must be decided now and forever. The baleful doctrine of secession must be finally and absolutely renounced. The poor quibble of double allegiance must be disavowed. An American and not a New Yorker, nor a Virginian-is the noble title by which we are to live, and which you, my young friends, must, in your respective spheres, contribute to make live, however it may cost in blood and money.
7. Go forth, then, my friends, go forth as citizens of the great continental American republic, to which your first, your constant, your latest hopes in life should attach, and abating no jot of obedience to municipal, or State authority within the respective limits of each, -bear yourselves always, and everywhere, as Americans, — as fellow-countrymen of Adams, and Ellsworth, and Jay, and Patterson, and Carroll, and Washington, and Pinckney, - as heirs of the glories of Bunker Hill and Saratoga, and Monmouth and Yorktown, and Eutaw Springs and New Orleans, and suffer no traitor hordes to despoil you of such rich inheritance, or of so grand and glorious a country!
LXIII. THE SONG OF THE FORGE.
See in Index, ARMADA, COLTER or COULTER, PLOW or PLOUGH, SAUNTER, SWORD, BANNOCKBURN, LEONIDAS, MARSTON, NILE, TYROL.
Pronounce ea in HEARTH as in heart (though in the poem, erroneously made to rhyme with birth); E'ER, as if air; HEAVEN, hev'n (as if in one syllable); the o in FORGE long (see § 11).
Delivery. A good and effective reading exercise for a class may be made by throwing this piece, as we have here done, into the dialogue form, marking a portion of it for simultaneous utterance by all. The First Speaker should stand apart from the rest, or he may be personated by the teacher, and should regulate, by a motion of his hand, the time of the words marked for All.
All. Clang, clang!
First Voice. The massive anvils ring.
First Voice. A hundred hammers swing:
All. Clang, clang!
First Voice. Say, brothers of the dusky brow,
All. Clang, clang! We forge the cōlter now.
All. Clang, clang!
Third Voice. Our colter's course shall be
By many a streamlet's silver tide;
Fourth Voice. When regal Autumn's bounteous hand
With wide-spread glory clothes the land,—
First Voice. Again, my mates, what glows
All. Clink, clank!- we forge the giant CHAIN Which bears the gallant vessel's strain
'Mid stormy winds and adverse tides. Fifth Voice. Secured by this, the good ship braves The rocky roadstead, and the waves Which thunder on her sides. Anxious no more, the merchant sees The mist drive dark before the breeze, The storm-cloud on the hill; Calmly he rests, though far away
In boisterous climes his vessels lie,
Reliant on our skill.
Sixth Voice. Say on what sands these links shall sleep, Fathoms beneath the solemn deep : By Afric's pestilential shore? By many an iceberg lone and hoar? By many a palmy western isle, Basking in Spring's perpetual smile? By stormy Labrador?
Seventh Voice. Say, shall they feel the vessel reel, When to the battery's deadly peal
The crashing broadside makes reply?
Or else, as at the glorious Nile,
First Voice. Once more, what glows,
The tempest of your iron blows,
The furnace's red breath?
All. Clang, clang! — a burning shower, clear And brilliant, of bright sparks, is poured Around and up, in the dusky air,
As our hammers forge. . . the swWORD! Clink, clank, clang!
Eighth Voice. The sword! extreme of dread! yet when Upon the freeman's thigh 't is bound, While for his altar and his hearth, While for the land that gave him birth,
The war-drum rolls, the trumpets sound,How sacred is it then!
Ninth Voice. Whenever for the truth and right
Whether in some wild mountain pass,