They heard the South wind sighing
A murmur of the rain;
And they knew that Earth was longing
To see them all again.

While the snow-drops still were sleeping
Beneath the silent sod;
They felt their new life pulsing
Within the dark, cold clod.

Not a daffodil nor daisy
Had dared to raise its head;
Not a fairhaired dandelion
Peeped timid from its bed;

Though a tremor of the winter
Did shivering through them run;
Yet they lifted up their foreheads
To greet the vernal sun.

And the sunbeams gave them welcome.
As did the morning air
And scattered o'er their simple robes
Rich tints of beauty rare.

Soon a host of lovely flowers
From vales and woodland burst;
But in all that fair procession
The crocuses were first.

First to weave for Earth a chaplet
To crown her dear old head;
And to beautify the pathway
Where winter still did tread.

And their loved and white haired mother
Smiled sweetly 'neath the touch,
When she knew her faithful children
Were loving her so much.

President Lincoln's Proclamation Of Freedom

IT shall flash through coming ages;
It shall light the distant years;
And eyes now dim with sorrow
Shall be clearer through their tears.

It shall flush the mountain ranges;
And the valleys shall grow bright;
It shall bathe the hills in radiance,
And crown their brows with light.

It shall flood with golden splendor
All the huts of Caroline,
And the sun-kissed brow of labor
With lustre new shall shine.

It shall gild the gloomy prison,
Darken'd by the nation's crime,
Where the dumb and patient millions
Wait the better coming time.

By the light that gilds their prison,
They shall seize its mould'ring key,
And the bolts and bars shall vibrate
With the triumphs of the free.

Like the dim and ancient chaos,
Shrinking from the dawn of light,
Oppression, grim and hoary,
Shall cower at the sight.

And her spawn of lies and malice
Shall grovel in the dust,
While joy shall thrill the bosoms
Of the merciful and just.

Though the morning seemed to linger
O'er the hill-tops far away,
Now the shadows bear the promise
Of the quickly coming day.

Soon the mists and murky shadows
Shall be fringed with crimson light,
And the glorious dawn of freedom
Break refulgent on the sight.

Death Of The Old Sea King

'Twas a fearful night -- the tempest raved
With loud and wrathful pride,
The storm-king harnessed his lightning steeds,
And rode on the raging tide.

The sea-king lay on his bed of death,
Pale mourners around him bent;
They knew the wild and fitful life
Of their chief was almost spent.

His ear was growing dull in death
When the angry storm he heard,
The sluggish blood in the old man's veins
With sudden vigor stirred.

"I hear them call," cried the dying man,
His eyes grew full of light;
"Now bring me here my warrior robes,
My sword and armor bright.

"In the tempest's lull I heard a voice,
I knew 'twas Odin's call.
The Valkyrs are gathering round my bed
To lead me unto his hall.

"Bear me unto my noblest ship,
Light up a funeral pyre;
I'll walk to the palace of the braves
Through a path of flame and fire."

Oh! wild and bright was the stormy light
That flashed from the old man's eye,
As they bore him from the couch of death
To his battle-ship to die,

And lit with many a mournful torch
The sea-king's dying bed,
And like a banner fair and bright
The flames around him spread.

But they heard no cry of anguish
Break through that fiery wall,
With rigid brow and silent lips
He was seeking Odin's hall.

Through a path of fearful splendor,
While strong men held their breath,
The brave old man went boldly forth
And calmly talked with death.

Do Not Cheer, Men Are Dying, Said Capt. Phillips

Do not cheer, for men are dying
From their distant homes in pain;
And the restless sea is darkened
By a flood of crimson rain.

Do not cheer, for anxious mothers
Wait and watch in lonely dread;
Vainly waiting for the footsteps
Never more their paths to tread.

Do not cheer, while little children
Gather round the widowed wife,
Wondering why an unknown people
Sought their own dear father's life.

Do not cheer, for aged fathers
Bend above their staves and weep,
While the ocean sings the requiem
Where their fallen children sleep.

Do not cheer, for lips are paling
On which lay the mother's kiss;
'Mid the dreadful roar of battle
How that mother's hand they miss!

Do not cheer: once joyous maidens,
Who the mazy dance did tread,
Bow their heads in bitter anguish,
Mourning o'er their cherished dead.

Do not cheer while maid and matron
In this strife must bear a part;
While the blow that strikes a soldier
Reaches to some woman's heart.

Do not cheer till arbitration
O'er the nations holds its sway,
And the century now closing
Ushers in a brighter day.

Do not cheer until the nation
Shall more wise and thoughtful grow
Than to staunch a stream of sorrow
By an avalanche of woe.

Do not cheer until each nation
Sheathes the sword and blunts the spear,
And we sing aloud for gladness:
Lo, the reign of Christ is here,

And the banners of destruction
From the battlefield are furled,
And the peace of God descending
Rests upon a restless world.

Home, Sweet Home

Sharers of a common country,
They had met in deadly strife;
Men who should have been as brothers
Madly sought each other's life.

In the silence of the even,
When the cannon's lips were dumb,
Thoughts of home and all its loved ones
To the soldier's heart would come.

On the margin of a river,
'Mid the evening's dews and damps,
Could be heard the sounds of music
Rising from two hostile camps.

One was singing of its section
Down in Dixie, Dixie's land,
And the other of the banner
Waved so long from strand to strand.

In the land where Dixie's ensign
Floated o'er the hopeful slave,
Rose the song that freedom's banner,
Starry-lighted, long might wave.

From the fields of strife and carnage,
Gentle thoughts began to roam,
And a tender strain of music
Rose with words of "Home, Sweet Home."

Then the hearts of strong men melted,
For amid our grief and sin
Still remains that "touch of nature,"
Telling us we all are kin.

In one grand but gentle chorus,
Floating to the starry dome,
Came the words that brought them nearer,
Words that told of "Home, Sweet Home."

For awhile, all strife forgotten,
They were only brothers then,
Joining in the sweet old chorus,
Not as soldiers, but as men.

Men whose hearts would flow together,
Though apart their feet might roam,
Found a tie they could not sever,
In the mem'ry of each home.

Never may the steps of carnage
Shake our land from shore to shore,
But may mother, home and Heaven,
Be our watchwords evermore.

She came from the East a fair, young bride,
With a light and a bounding heart,
To find in the distant West a home
With her husband to make a start.

He builded his cabin far away,
Where the prairie flower bloomed wild;
Her love made lighter all his toil,
And joy and hope around him smiled.

She plied her hands to life's homely tasks,
And helped to build his fortunes up;
While joy and grief, like bitter and sweet,
Were mingled and mixed in her cup.

He sowed in his fields of golden grain,
All the strength of his manly prime;
Nor music of birds, nor brooks, nor bees,
Was as sweet as the dollar's chime.

She toiled and waited through weary years
For the fortune that came at length;
But toil and care and hope deferred,
Had stolen and wasted her strength.

The cabin changed to a stately home,
Rich carpets were hushing her tread;
But light was fading from her eye,
And the bloom from her cheek had fled.

Slower and heavier grew her step,
While his gold and his gains increased;
But his proud domain had not the charm
Of her humble home in the East.

Within her eye was a restless light,
And a yearning that never ceased,
A longing to see the dear old home
She had left in the distant East.

A longing to clasp her mother's hand,
And nestle close to her heart,
And to feel the heavy cares of life
Like the sun-kissed shadows depart.

Her husband was adding field to field,
And new wealth to his golden store;
And little thought the shadow of death
Was entering in at his door.

He had no line to sound the depths
Of her tears repressed and unshed;
Nor dreamed 'mid plenty a human heart
Could be starving, but not for bread.

The hungry heart was stilled at last;
Its restless, baffled yearning ceased.
A lonely man sat by the bier
Of a corpse that was going East.

Like a fawn from the arrow, startled and wild,
A woman swept by us, bearing a child;
In her eye was the night of a settled despair,
And her brow was o'ershaded with anguish and care.

She was nearing the river—in reaching the brink,
She heeded no danger, she paused not to think!
For she is a mother—her child is a slave—
And she'll give him his freedom, or find him a grave!

'Twas a vision to haunt us, that innocent face—
So pale in its aspect, so fair in its grace;
As the tramp of the horse and the bay of the hound,
With the fetters that gall, were trailing the ground!

She was nerved by despair, and strengthen'd by woe,
As she leap'd o'er the chasms that yawn'd from below;
Death howl'd in the tempest, and rav'd in the blast,
But she heard not the sound till the danger was past.

Oh! how shall I speak of my proud country's shame?
Of the stains on her glory, how give them their name?
How say that her banner in mockery waves—
Her "star-spangled banner"—o'er millions of slaves?

How say that the lawless may torture and chase
A woman whose crime is the hue of her face?
How the depths of forest may echo around
With the shrieks of despair, and the bay of the hound?

With her step on the ice, and her arm on her child,
The danger was fearful, the pathway was wild;
But, aided by Heaven, she gained a free shore,
Where the friends of humanity open'd their door.

So fragile and lovely, so fearfully pale,
Like a lily that bends to the breath of the gale,
Save the heave of her breast, and the sway of her hair,
You'd have thought her a statue of fear and despair.

In agony close to her bosom she press'd
The life of her heart, the child of her breast:—
Oh! love from its tenderness gathering might,
Had strengthen'd her soul for the dangers of flight.

But she's free!—yes, free from the land where the slave
From the hand of oppression must rest in the grave;
Where bondage and torture, where scourges and chains
Have plac'd on our banner indelible stains.

The bloodhounds have miss'd the scent of her way;
The hunter is rifled and foil'd of his prey;
Fierce jargon and cursing, with clanking of chains,
Make sounds of strange discord on Liberty's plains.

With the rapture of love and fullness of bliss,
She plac'd on his brow a mother's fond kiss:—
Oh! poverty, danger and death she can brave,
For the child of her love is no longer a slave!

.
I remember, well remember,
.
That dark and dreadful day,
.
When they whispered to me, "Chloe,
.
Your children's sold away!" 1.
It seemed as if a bullet
.
Had shot me through and through,
.
And I felt as if my heart-strings
.
Was breaking right in two. 1.
And I says to cousin Milly,
.

"There must be some mistake;
.

Where's Mistus?" "In the great house crying --
.

Crying like her heart would break. 1.

"And the lawyer's there with Mistus;
.

Says he's come to 'ministrate,
.

'Cause when master died he just left
.

Heap of debt on the estate. 1.

"And I thought 'twould do you good
.

To bid your boys good-bye --
.

To kiss them both and shake their hands,
.

And have a hearty cry. 1.

"Oh! Chloe, I knows how you feel,
.

'Cause I'se been through it all;
.

I thought my poor old heart would break,
.

When master sold my Saul." 1.

Just then I heard the footsteps
.

Of my children at the door,
.

And then I rose right up to meet them,
.

But I fell upon the floor. 1.

And I heard poor Jakey saying,
.

"Oh, mammy, don't you cry!"
.

And I felt my children kiss me
.

And bid me, both, good-bye. 1.

Then I had a mighty sorrow,
.

Though I nursed it all alone;
.

But I wasted to a shadow,
.

And turned to skin and bone. 1.

But one day dear uncle Jacob
.

(In heaven he's now a saint)
.

Said, "Your poor heart is in the fire,
.

But child you must not faint." 1.

Then I said to uncle Jacob,
.

If I was good like you,
.

When the heavy trouble dashed me
.

I'd know just what to do. 1.

Then he said to me, "Poor Chloe,
.

The way is open wide:"
.

And he told me of the Saviour,
.

And the fountain in His side. 1.

Then he said "Just take your burden
.

To the blessed Master's feet;
.

I takes all my troubles, Chloe,
.

Right unto the mercy-seat." 1.

His words waked up my courage,
.

And I began to pray,
.

And I felt my heavy burden
.

Rolling like a stone away. 1.

And a something seemed to tell me,
.

You will see your boys again --
.

And that hope was like a poultice
.

Spread upon a dreadful pain. 1.

And it often seemed to whisper,
.

Chloe, trust and never fear;
.

You'll get justice in the kingdom,
.

If you do not get it here. [2] The Deliverance 2.
Master only left old Mistus
.
One bright and handsome boy;
.
But she fairly doted on him,
.
He was her pride and joy. 2.
We all liked Mister Thomas,
.
He was so kind at heart;
.
And when the young folkes got in scrapes,
.
He always took their part. 2.
He kept right on that very way
.

Till he got big and tall,
.

And old Mistus used to chide him
.

And say he'd spile us all. 2.

But somehow the farm did prosper
.

When he took things in hand;
.

And though all the servants liked him,
.

He made them understand. 2.

One evening Mister Thomas said,
.

"Just bring my easy shoes;
.

I am going to sit by mother,
.

And read her up the news." 2.

Soon I heard him tell old Mistus
.

We're bound to have a fight;
.

But we'll whip the Yankees, mother,
.

We'll whip them sure as night!" 2.

Then I saw old Mistus tremble;
.

She gasped and held her breath;
.

And she looked on Mister Thomas
.

With a face as pale as death. 2.

"They are firing on Fort Sumpter;
.

Oh! I wish that I was there! --
.

Why, dear mother! what's the matter?
.

You're the picture of despair." 2.

"I was thinking, dearest Thomas,
.

'Twould break my very heart
.

If a fierce and dreadful battle
.

Should tear our lives apart." 2.

"None but cowards, dearest mother,
.

Would skulk unto the rear,
.

When the tyrant's hand is shaking
.

All the heart is holding dear." 2.

I felt sorry for old Mistus;
.

She got too full to speak;
.

But I saw the great big tear-drops
.

A running down her cheek. 2.

Mister Thomas too was troubled
.

With choosing on that night,
.

Betwixt staying with his mother
.

And joining in the fight. 2.

Soon down into the village came
.

A call for volunteers;
.

Mistus gave up Mister Thomas,
.

With many sighs and tears. 2.

His uniform was real handsome;
.

He looked so brave and strong;
.

But somehow I could'nt help thinking
.

His fighting must be wrong. 2.

Though the house was very lonesome,
.

I thought 'twould all come right,
.

For I felt somehow or other
.

We was mixed up in that fight. 2.

And I said to Uncle Jacob,
.

"How old Mistus feels the sting,
.

For this parting with your children
.

Is a mighty dreadful thing." 2.

"Never mind," said Uncle Jacob,
.

"Just wait and watch and pray,
.

For I feel right sure and certain,
.

Slavery's bound to pass away; 2.

"Because I asked the Spirit,
.

If God is good and just,
.

How it happened that the masters
.

Did grind us to the dust. 2.

"And something reasoned right inside,
.

Such should not always be;
.

And you could not beat it out my head,
.

The Spirit spoke to me." 2.

And his dear old eyes would brighten,
.

And his lips put on a smile,
.

Saying, "Pick up faith and courage,
.

And just wait a little while." 2.

Mistus prayed up in the parlor,
.

That the Secesh all might win;
.

We were praying in the cabins,
.

Wanting freedom to begin. 2.

Mister Thomas wrote to Mistus,
.

Telling 'bout the Bull's Run fight,
.

That his troops had whipped the Yankees
.

And put them all to flight. 2.

Mistus' eyes did fairly glisten;
.

She laughed and praised the South,
.

But I thought some day she'd laugh
.

On tother side her mouth. 2.

I used to watch old Mistus' face,
.

And when it looked quite long
.

I would say to Cousin Milly,
.

The battle's going wrong; 2.

Not for us, but for the Rebels. --
.

My heart would fairly skip,
.

When Uncle Jacob used to say,
.


"The North is bound to whip." 2.


And let the fight go as it would --
.


Let North or South prevail --
.


He always kept his courage up,
.


And never let it fail. 2.


And he often used to tell us,
.


"Children, don't forget to pray;
.


For the darkest time of morning
.


Is just 'fore the break of day." 2.


Well, one morning bright and early
.


We heard the fife and drum,
.


And the booming of the cannon --
.


The Yankee troops had come. 2.


When the word ran through the village,
.


The colored folks are free --
.


In the kitchens and the cabins
.


We held a jubilee. 2.


When they told us Mister Lincoln
.


Said that slavery was dead,
.


We just poured our prayers and blessings
.


Upon his precious head. 2.


We just laughed, and danced, and shouted
.


And prayed, and sang, and cried,
.


And we thought dear Uncle Jacob
.


Would fairly crack his side. 2.


But when old Mistus heard it,
.


She groaned and hardly spoke;
.


When she had to lose her servants,
.


Her heart was almost broke. 2.


'Twas a sight to see our people
.


Going out, the troops to meet,
.


Almost dancing to the music,
.


And marching down the street. 2.


After years of pain and parting,
.


Our chains was broke in two,
.


And we was so mighty happy,
.


We didn't know what to do. 2.


But we soon got used to freedom,
.


Though the way at first was rough;
.


But we weathered through the tempest,
.


For slavery made us tough. 2.


But we had one awful sorrow,
.


It almost turned my head,
.


When a mean and wicked cretur
.


Shot Mister Lincoln dead. 2.


'Twas a dreadful solemn morning,
.


I just staggered on my feet;
.


And the women they were crying
.


And screaming in the street. 2.


But if many prayers and blessings
.


Could bear him to the throne,
.


I should think when Mister Lincoln died,
.


That heaven just got its own. 2.


Then we had another President, --
.


What do you call his name?
.


Well, if the colored folks forget him
.


They would'nt be much to blame. 2.


We thought he'd be the Moses
.


Of all the colored race;
.


But when the Rebels pressed us hard
.


He never showed his face. 2.


But something must have happened him,
.


Right curi's I'll be bound,
.


'Cause I heard 'em talking 'bout a circle
.


That he was swinging round. 2.


But everything will pass away --
.


He went like time and tide --
.


And when the next election came
.


They let poor Andy slide. 2.


But now we have a President,
.


And if I was a man
.


I'd vote for him for breaking up
.


The wicked Ku-Klux Klan. 2.


And if any man should ask me
.


If I would sell my vote,
.


I'd tell him I was not the one
.


To change and turn my coat; 2.


If freedom seem'd a little rough
.


I'd weather through the gale;
.


And as to buying up my vote,
.


I hadn't it for sale. 2.


I do not think I'd ever be
.


As slack as Jonas Handy;
.


Because I heard he sold his vote
.


For just three sticks of candy. 2.


But when John Thomas Reeder brought
.


His wife some flour and meat,
.


And told he had sold his vote
.


For something good to eat, 2.


You ought to seen Aunt Kitty raise,
.


And heard her blaze away;
.


She gave the meat and flour a toss,
.


And said they should not stay. 2.


And I should think he felt quite cheap
.


For voting the wrong side;
.


And when Aunt Kitty scolded him,
.


He just stood up and cried. 2.


But the worst fooled man I ever saw,
.


Was when poor David Rand
.


Sold out for flour and sugar;
.


The sugar was mixed with sand. 2.


I'll tell you how the thing got out;
.


His wife had company,
.


And she thought the sand was sugar,
.


And served it up for tea. 2.


When David sipped and sipped the tea,
.


Somehow it didn't taste right;
.


I guess when he found he was sipping sand
.


He was mad enough to fight. 2.


The sugar looked so nice and white --
.


It was spread some inches deep --
.


But underneath was a lot of sand;
.


Such sugar is mighty cheap. 2.


You'd laughed to seen Lucinda Grange
.


Upon her husband's track;
.


When he sold his vote for rations
.


She made him take 'em back. 2.


Day after day did Milly Green
.


Just follow after Joe,
.


And told him if he voted wrong
.


To take his rags and go. 2.


I think that Samuel Johnson said
.


His side had won the day,
.


Had not we women radicals
.


Just got right in the way. 2.


And yet I would not have you think
.


That all our men are shabby;
.


But 'tis said in every flock of sheep
.


There will be one that's scabby. 2.


I've heard, before election came
.


They tried to buy John Slade;
.


But he gave them all to understand
.


That he wasn't in that trade. 2.


And we've got lots of other men
.


Who rally round the cause,
.


And go for holding up the hands
.


That gave us equal laws, 2.


Who know their freedom cost too much
.


Of blood and pain and treasure,
.


For them to fool away their votes
.


For profit or for pleasure. [3] Aunt Chloe's Politics 3.
Of course, I don't know very much
.
About these politics,
.
But I think that some who run 'em,
.
Do mighty ugly tricks. 3.
I've seen 'em honey-fugle round,
.
And talk so awful sweet,
.
That you'd think them full of kindness
.
As an egg is full of meat. 3.
Now I don't believe in looking
.

Honest people in the face,
.

And saying when you're doing wrong,
.

That 'I haven't sold my race.' 3.

When we want to school our children,
.

If the money isn't there,
.

Whether black or white have took it,
.

The loss we all must share. 3.

And this buying up each other
.

Is something worse than mean,
.

Though I thinks a heap of voting,
.

I go for voting clean. [4] Learning to Read 4.
Very soon the Yankee teachers
.
Came down and set up school;
.
But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it, --
.
It was agin' their rule. 4.
Our masters always tried to hide
.
Book learning from our eyes;
.
Knowledge did'nt agree with slavery --
.
'Twould make us all too wise. 4.
But some of us would try to steal
.

A little from the book,
.

And put the words together,
.

And learn by hook or crook. 4.

I remember Uncle Caldwell,
.

Who took pot liquor fat
.

And greased the pages of his book,
.

And hid it in his hat. 4.

And had his master ever seen
.

The leaves upon his head,
.

He'd have thought them greasy papers,
.

But nothing to be read. 4.

And there was Mr. Turner's Ben,
.

Who heard the children spell,
.

And picked the words right up by heart,
.

And learned to read 'em well. 4.

Well, the Northern folks kept sending
.

The Yankee teachers down;
.

And they stood right up and helped us,
.

Though Rebs did sneer and frown. 4.

And I longed to read my Bible,
.

For precious words it said;
.

But when I begun to learn it,
.

Folks just shook their heads, 4.

And said there is no use trying,
.

Oh! Chloe, you're too late;
.

But as I was rising sixty,
.

I had no time to wait. 4.

So I got a pair of glasses,
.

And straight to work I went,
.

And never stopped till I could read
.

The hymns and Testament. 4.

Then I got a little cabin
.

A place to call my own --
.

And I felt as independent
.

As the queen upon her throne. [5] Church Building 5.
Uncle Jacob often told us,
.
Since freedom blessed our race
.
We ought all to come together
.
And build a meeting place. 5.
So we pinched, and scraped, and spared,
.
A little here and there:
.
Though our wages was but scanty,
.
The church did get a share. 5.
And, when the house was finished,
.

Uncle Jacob came to pray;
.

He was looking mighty feeble,
.

And his head was awful gray. 5.

But his voice rang like a trumpet;
.

His eyes looked bright and young;
.

And it seemed a mighty power
.

Was resting on his tongue. 5.

And he gave us all his blessing --
.

'Twas parting words he said,
.

For soon we got the message
.

The dear old man was dead. 5.

But I believe he's in the kingdom,
.

For when we shook his hand
.

He said, "Children, you must meet me
.

Right in the promised land; 5.

"For when I done a moiling
.

And toiling here below,
.

Through the gate into the city
.

Straightway I hope to go." [6] The Reunion 6.
Well, one morning real early
.
I was going down the street,
.
And I heard a stranger asking
.
For Missis Chloe Fleet. 6.
There was something in his voice
.
That made me feel quite shaky.
.
And when I looked right in his face,
.
Who should it be but Jakey! 6.
I grasped him tight, and took him home --
.

What gladness filled my cup!
.

And I laughed, and just rolled over,
.

And laughed, and just give up. 6.

"Where have you been? O Jakey, dear!
.

Why didn't you come before?
.

Oh! when you children went away
.

My heart was awful sore." 6.

"Why, mammy, I've been on your hunt
.

Since ever I've been free,
.

And I have heard from brother Ben, --
.

He's down in Tennessee. 6.

"He wrote me that he had a wife,"
.

"And children?" "Yes, he's three."
.

"You married, too?" "Oh, no, indeed,
.

I thought I'd first get free." 6.

"Then, Jakey, you will stay with me,
.

And comfort my poor heart;
.

Old Mistus got no power now
.

To tear us both apart. 6.

"I'm richer now than Mistus,
.

Because I have got my son;
.

And Mister Thomas he is dead,
.

And she's nary one. 6.

"You must write to brother Benny
.

That he must come this fall,
.

And we'll make the cabin bigger,
.

And that will hold us all. 6.

"Tell him I want to see 'em all
.

Before my life do cease:
.

And then, like good old Simeon,
.

I hope to die in peace."

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