Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

With trailing through Jerusalem, was laid
Reversed beside him: and the jewelled hilt
Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade,
Rested like mockery on his covered brow.
The soldiers of the king trod to and fro,
Clad in the garb of battle, and their chief
The mighty Joab stood beside the bier,
And gazed upon the dark pall silently,
As if he feared the slumberer might stir.
A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade
As if a trumpet rang: but the bent form

Of David entered, and he gave command
In a low tone to his fellow followers,

And left him with his tead. The King stood still
Till the last echo died then throwing off
The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child,
He bowed his head upon him, and broke forth
In the resistless eloquence of woe:

"Alas my

noble boy! that thou should'st die, Thou who wert made so beautifully fair! That death should settle on thy glorious eye,

And leave his stillness in this clustering hairHow could he mark thee for the silent tomb My proud boy Absalom!

Cold is thy brow my son! and I am chill

As to my bosom I have tried to press theeHow was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,

Like a rich harp string, yearning to caress theeAnd hear thy sweet, my father,' from these dumb And cold lips, Absalom!

The grave hath won thee. I shall hear the voice
Of music, and the voices of the young:
And life will pass me in the mantling blush,

And the dark tresses to the soft winds fling,
But thou no more with thy sweet voice shall come
To meet me Absalom!

And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart

Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken, How will its love for thee, as I depart,

Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token! It were so sweet amid death's gathering gloom To see thee, Absalom!

And now farewell! 'tis hard to give thee up, With death so like a gentle slumber o'er thee; And thy dark sin-oh! could drink the cup




He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A moment o'er his child: then giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer:
And, as a strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly and composed the pall
Fairly and quietly, and left him there
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep!



FRIENDS and fellow-citizens, of this conflictuous community:-I'se riz to give you warnin', and make a political speech, and tell you what I'se gone to talk about and allude to-"I now, I'd like to have you pay particular attention;" tas the preacher says, when the boys are pitchin' beans at his nose) I say a crisis has arrived-the wheels of government is stopped;-the rudder's unshipped;-the biler busted;and we're afloat and the river risin;-our glorious Ship of State, that like a bobtailed gander has so peacefully glided adown the current of time, has had its harmony disturbed; and is now driftin' with fearful rapidity towards the shoals and quicksands of disunion, threatenin' to bust everything into fiinders, and pick itself up in the end, "a gone goslin.' Hearken no longer ye worthy denizens of Goose Hollow, Terrapin Neck, Possum Swamp, and adjacent regions, to the siren voice that whispers in your ear the too delusive sound of peace, peace;-for peace has sloped, and flowed to other lands or div to the depths of the mighty deep;—or in the emphatic language of Tecumphsorun;

"Gone flickerin through the frogs of other climes,
To aid the miser watcher in his dimes:"

or like the great Alexander, who at the battle of Hunker's

Dill in the

of desveie frantically shrieked out:

confusion runs riot and anarchy reigns supremest; rise up, then, like pokers in a tater-patch, and fall into ranks; sound the tocsin, blow the drum, and beat the tin-horn-till, the startled echoes, reverberatin' from hill-top to hill-top, and from gopher-hill to gopher-hill, shall reach the adamantine hills of New England, and the ferruginious disporitions of Missouri, and the auriferous particles of California, to pick up their ears, and in whispered accents, inquire of her valors: "what's



Feller-citizens and the wimmin: I repeat it, to your posts, and from the top-most peak of the Ozark Mountains bid defiance to the hull earth, by hollerin “who's afeard,” in such thunderin' tones, that quakin with fear, you'll forget what danger is. Don your rusty regimentals, and wipe the flints of your old guns; beat up your scythes and make swords of them, put on your huntin' shirts, mount your hosses, and save the nation, or bust.


My dear hearers, and the rest of the boys; time's critical--and every man that's got a soul as big as the white of a "culled pusson's" eye, will fight, bleed, and die for his country. Thems the times you want men in the council of the nation you can depend on-that's me-elect me to Congress, and I'll stick to you through thick and thin, like a lean tick to a nigger's shin. You all know me, I've been fotched up among ye;-already, on the wings of top-lifted imagination, I fancy I can see you marching up to the polls in solid phalanx, and with shouts that make the earth ring. Hurrah! for Jim Smith; come down on my opponent like a thousand of brick on a rotten pumkin.

But, my devoted constituency, I'm not going to make an electioneerin' speech, I'd scorn the act from the lowest depths of my watch fob,-words are inadequate to fully portray my feelings towards you, and my love for office. All I ask is your votes, and leave everything else with the people ;— concluding in the touchin' words of that glorious old martyr in the wax figger bizness;-"Be virtuous and you'll be happy."

[ocr errors]


Governor Johnstone is said to have offered Gen. Joseph Reed £10,000 sterling, if he would try to re-unite the colonies to the mother country. Said he, "I am not worth purchasing; but, such as I am, the King of Great Britain is not rich enough to buy me."

I SPURN your gilded bait, oh, King, my faith you cannot buy;
Go, tamper with some craven heart, and dream of victory;
My honor never shall be dimmed by taking such a bribe;
The honest man can look above the mercenary tribe.

Carlisle and Eden may consort to bring about a peace;
Our year of Jubilee will be the year of our release.
Until your fleets and armies are all remanded back,
Freedom's avenging angel will kee
upon your track.

What said our noble Laurens? What answer did he make?
Did he accept your overtures, and thus our cause forsake?
No! as his country's mouth-piece, he spoke the burning words,
"Off with Conciliation's terms-the battle is the Lord's!"

Are ye afraid of Bourbon's house? And do ye now despair,
Because to shield the perishing the arm of France is bare?
That treaty of alliance, which makes a double strife,
Has, like the sun, but warmed afresh your viper brood to life.

And art thou, Johnstone, art thou, pray, upon this mission sent,
To keep at distance, by thy craft, the throne's dismemberment?
Dismemberment !-ahi, come it must, for union is a sin,
When parents' hands the furnace heat, and thrust the children in

Why, English hearts there are at home, that pulsate with our own.
Voices beyond Atlantic's waves send forth a loving tone;
Within the Cabinet are men who would not offer gold,
To see our country's liberty, like chattel, bought and sold.

You say that office shall be mine, if I the traitor play;
Can office ever compensate for honesty's decay?

Ten thousand pounds! ten thousand pounds! Shall I an Esau


I PROFESS, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our federal union. It is to that union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That union we reached, only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and, although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us all, a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness.

I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together, shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counsellor in the affairs of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not how the union should be preserved, but how tolerable might be the condition of the people, when it shall be broken up and destroyed.

While the union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects 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 ir heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dis

« ZurückWeiter »