Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

run.

But Captain Brown was wide awake,

He loaded up his gun,
And then pursued the loving pair-

And overtook 'em when they'd got about half Fay o the Parson's, when Reuben and Phæbe started прор

Old Brown then took a deadly aim,

Toward young Reuben's head;
But, oh! it was a bleeding shame,

For he made a mistake, and shot his only dauyli. ter, and had the unspeakable anguish of seeing her drup down stone dead.

Then anguish filled young Reuben's heart,

And vengeance crazed his brain-
He drew an awful jack-knife out,

And plunged it into old Brown about fifty or sixty times, so that it was very doubtful about his evei coming to again.

The briny drops from Reuben's eyes

In torrents poured down ;
He yielded up the ghost and died

And in this melancholy, and heart-rending manner terminates the history of Reuben and Phoebe, and 'likewise of old Captain Brown.

THE DEATH OF SLAVERY.-W. C. Bryant. O TIOU great Wrong, that, through the slow-paced years

Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield

The scourge that drove the laborer to the field, And look with stony eye on human tears,

Thy cruel reign is o'er;

Thy bondmen crouch no more In terror at the menace of thine eye ;

For He who marks the bounds of guilty power,
Long-suttering, hath heard the captive's cry,

And touched his shackles at the appointed hour,
And lo! they fall, and he whose limbs they galled
Stands in his native manhood, disenthralled.
A shout of joy from the redeemed is sent;

Ten thousand hamlets swell the hymu of thanks ;

Our rivers roll exulting, and their banks Send up hosannas to the firmament.

N

Fields, where the bondman's toil

No more shall trench the soil, Seem now to bask in a serener day ;

The meadow-birds sing sweeter, and the airs
Of heaven with more caressing softness play,

Welcoming man to liberty like theirs.
A glory clothes the land from sea to sea,
For the great land and all its coasts are free.

Within that land wert thou enthroned of late,

And they by whom the nation's laws were made,

And they who filled its judgment-seats, obeyed Thy mandate, rigid as the will of fate.

Fierce men at thy right hand,

With gesture of command, Gave forth the word that none might dare gainsay;

And grave and reverend ones, who loved thee not, Shrank from thy presence, and, in blank dismay,

Choked down, unuttered, the rebellious thought; While meaner cowards, mingling with thy train, Proved, from the book of God, thy right to reign.

Great as thou wert, and feared from shore to shore,

The wrath of God o’ertook thee in thy pride; Thou sitt'st a ghastly shadow ; by thy side Thy once strong arms hang nerveless evermore.

And they who quailed but now

Before thy lowering brow
Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,

And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art.
And they who ruled in thine imperial name,

Subdued, and standing sullenly apart, Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy reign, And shattered at a blow the prisoner's chain.

Well was thy doom deserved; thou didst not spare

Life's tenderest ties, but cruelly didst part

Husband and wife, and from the mother's heart Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek and prayer;

Thy inner lair became

The haunt of guilty shame;
Thy lash dropped blood; the murderer, at thy side.

Showed his red hands, nor feared the vengeance duo. Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far and warle,

A harvest of uncounted miseries grew,
Until the measure of thy sins at last
Was full, and then the avenging bolt was cast.

Go then, accursed of God, and take thy place

With balefui memories of the elder time,

With many a wasting pest, and nameless crime, And bloody war that thinned the human race;

With the Black Death, whose way

Through wailing cities lay, Worship of Moloch, tyrannies that built

The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
To avenge a fancied guilt by deeper guilt-

Death at the stake to those that held them not.
L«, the foul phantoms, silent in the gloom
Of the flowu agcs, part to yield thee room.
I see the better years that hasten by

Carry thee back into that shadowy past,

Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.

The slave-pen, through whose door

Thy victims pass no more,
Is there, and there shall the grim block remain

At which the slave was sold; while at thy fect
Scourges and engines of restraint and pain
Moulder and rust by thine eternal seat.
There, 'mid the symbols that proclaim tlıy crimes,
Dwell thou, a warning to tlie coming times.

RAIN ON THE ROOF.-Coates Kinneyj. WHEN the humid showers gather over all the stairy

spheres, And the melancholy darkness gently weeps in rainy tears, 'Tis a joy to press the pillow of a cottage chamber bed, And listen to the patter of the soft rain overhead. Every tinkle on the shingles has an echo in the heart, And a thousand dreary fancies into busy being start; And a thousand recollections weave their bright hues into

woof, As I listen to the patter of the soft rain on the roof. There in fancy comes my mother, as she used to years

agone, To survey the infant sleepers ere she left them till the

dawn. I can see her bending o’er me, as I listen to the strain Which is played upon the shingles by the patter of the rain, Then my little seraph sister, with her wings and waving

hair, And her bright-eyed, cherub brother-a serene, angelic

pairGlide around my wakeful pillow with their praise or mild

reproof, As I listen to the murmur of the soft rain on the roof.

And another comes to thrill me with her eyes' delicious

blue. I forget, as gazing on her, that her heart was all untrue : I remember that I loved her as I ne'er may love again, And my heart's quick pulses vibrate to the patter of the

rain.

There is naught in art's bravuras that can work with such

a spell, In the spirit's pure, deep fountains, whence the holy pas

sions swell, As that melody of nature—that subdued, subduing strain, Which is played upon the shingles by the patter of the

rain !

STAND BY THE FLAG.- Joseph Holt. Letter to Kentuckians, Written from Washington, May 31, 1861.

LET us twine each thread of the glorious tissue of oar country's flag about our heart strings, and looking upon our homes and catching the spirit that breathes upon us from the battle-fields of our fathers, let us resolve that, come weal or woe, we will in life and in death, now and forever, stand by the Stars and Stripes. They have tloated over our cradles ; let it be our prayer and our struggle that they shall float over our graves. They have been unfurled from the snows of Canada to the plains of New Orleans, to the halls of the Montezumas, and amid the solitude of . every sea, and everywhere, as the luminous symbol of resistless and beneficent power, they have led the brave and the free to victory and to glory.

It has been my fortune to look upon this flag in foreign lands, and amid the gloom of an Oriental despotism, and right well do I know, by contrast, how bright are its stars and how sublime its inspirations ! If this banner, the emblem for us of all that is grand in human history, and of all that is transporting in human hope, is to be sacrificed on

the altars of a satanic ambition, and thus disappear forever amid the night and tempest of revolution, then will I feel -(and who shall estimate the desolation of that feeling ?)that the sun has indeed been stricken from the sky of our lives, and that henceforth we shall be wanderers and outcasts, with naught but the bread of sorrow and of penury for our lips, and with hands ever outstretched in feebleness and supplication, on which, in any hour, a military tyrant inay rivet the fetters of a despairing bondage. May God in his infinite mercy save you and me, and the land we 80 much love, from the doom of such a degradation.

No contest so momentous as this has arisen in human history, for, amid all the conflicts of men and of nations, the life of no such government as ours has ever been at stake. Our fathers won our independence by the blood and sacrifice of a seven years' war, and we liave maintained it against the assaults of the greatest power upon the earth ; and the question now is, whether we are to perish by our own hands, and have the epitaph of suicide written upon our tomb. The ordeal through which we are passing must involve immense suffering and losses for us all, but the expenditure of not merely hundreds of millions, but of billions, will be well made, if the result shall be the preservation of our institutions.

Could my voice reach every dwelling in Kentucky, I would implore its inmates—if they would not have the rivers of their prosperity shrink away, as do unfed streams beneath the summer heats-to rouse themselves from their lethargy, and tly to the rescue of their country before it is everlastingly too late. Man should appeal to nan, and neighborhood to neighborhood, until the electric fires of patr.otism shall flash from heart to heart in one unbroken current throughout the land. It is a time in which the workshop, the office, the counting-house and the field may well be abandoned for the solemn duty that is upon us, for all these toils will but bring treasure, not for ourselves, but for the spoiler, if this revolution is not arrested. all, with our every earthly interest, embarked in mid-ocean on the same common deck. The howl of the storm is in our ears, and “the lightning's red glare is painting hell on the sky," and while the noble ship pitches and rolls under the lashings of the waves, the cry is heard that she has sprung a leak at many points that the rushing waters are mounting rapidly in the hold. The man who, at such an hour, will not work at the pumps, is either a maniac or u monster

We are

« ZurückWeiter »