Ode For July Fourth, 1917

As Columbia's brave scions, in anger array'd,
Once defy'd a proud monarch and built a new nation;
'Gainst their brothers of Britain unsheath'd the sharp blade
That hath ne'er met defeat nor endur'd desecration;
So must we in this hour
Show our valour and pow'r,
And dispel the black perils that over us low'r:
Whilst the sons of Britannia, no longer our foes,
Will rejoice in our triumphs and strengthen our blows!

See the banners of Liberty float in the breeze
That plays light o'er the regions our fathers defended;
Hear the voice of the million resound o'er the leas,
As deeds of the past are proclaim'd and commended;
And in splendour on high
Where our flags proudly fly,
See the folds we tore down flung again to the sky:
For the Emblem of England, in kinship unfurl'd,
Shall divide with Old Glory the praise of the world!

Bury'd now are the hatreds of subject and King,
And the strife that once sunder'd an Empire hath vanish'd.
With the fame of the Saxon the heavens shall ring
As the vultures of darkness are baffled and banish'd;
And the broad British sea,
Of her enemies free,
Shall in tribute bow gladly, Columbia to thee:
For the friends of the Right, in the field side by side,
Form a fabric of Freedom no hand can divide!

I am a peaceful working man,
I am not wise or strong,
But I can follow Nature's plan,
In labour, rest, and song.

One day the men that rule us all
Decided we must die,
Else pride and freedom surely fall
In the dim bye and bye!

They told me I must write my name
Upon a scroll of death;
That some day I should rise to fame
By giving up my breath.

I do not know what I have done
That I should thus be bound
To wait for tortures one by one
And then an unmark'd mound.

I hate no man, and yet they say
That I must fight and kill;
That I must suffer day by day
To please a master's will.

I used to have a conscience free,
But now they bid it rest;
They've made a number out of me,
And I must ne'er protest.

They tell of trenches, long and deep,
Fill'd with the mangled slain.
They talk till I can scarcely sleep,
So reeling is my brain.

They tell of filth, and blood, and woe;
Of things beyond belief;
Of things that make me tremble so
With mingled fright and grief.

I do not know what I shall do -
Is not the law unjust?
I can't do what they want me to,
And yet they say I must!

Each day my doom doth nearer bring;
Each day the State prepares;
Sometimes I feel a watching thing
That stares, and stares, and stares.

I never seem to sleep - my head
Whirls in the queerest way.
Why am I chosen to be dead
Upon some fateful day?

Yet hark - some fibre is o'erwrought
A giddying wine I quaff -
Things seem so odd, I can do naught
But laugh, and laugh, and laugh!

Lines On General Robert Edward Lee

Si veris magna paratur
Fama bonis, et se successu nuda remoto
Inspicitur virtus, quicquid laudamus in ullo
Majorum, ortuna fuit.

- Lucan

Whilst martial echoes o'er the wave resound,
And Europe's gore incarnadines the ground;
Today no foreign hero we bemoan,
But count the glowing virtues of our own!
illustrious LEE! around whose honour'd name
Entwines a patriot's and a Christian's fame;
With whose just praise admiring nations ring,
And whom repenting foes contritely sing!
When first our land fraternal fury bore,
And Sumter's guns alarm'd the anxious shore;
When Faction's reign ancestral rights o'erthrew,
And sunder'd States a mutual hatred knew;
Then clash'd contending chiefs of kindred line,
In flesh to suffer and in fame to shine.
But o'er them all, majestic in his might,
Rose LEE, unrivall'd, to sublimest height:
With torturing choice defy'd opposing Fate,
And shunn'd Temptation for his native State!
Thus Washington his monarch's rule o'erturned
When young Columbia with rebellion burn'd.
And what in Washington the world reveres,
In LEE with equal magnitude appears.
Our nation's Father, crown'd with vict'ry bays,
Enjoys a loving land's eternal praise:
Let, then, our hearts with equal rev'rence greet
His proud successor, rising o'er defeat!
Around his greatness pour disheart'ning woes,
But still he tow'rs above his conquering foes.
Silence! ye jackal herd that vainly blame
Th' unspotted leader by a traitor's name.
If such was LEE, let blushing Justice mourn,
And trait'rous Liberty endure our scorn!
As Philopoemen once sublimely strove,
And earn'd declining Hellas' thankful love;
So followed LEE the purest patriot's part,
And wak'd the worship of the grateful heart:
The South her soul in body'd form discerns;
The North from LEE a nobler freedom learns!
Attend! ye sons of Albion's ancient race,
Whate'er your country, and whate'er your place;
LEE'S valiant deeds, though dear to Southern song,
To all our Saxon strain as well belong,
Courage like his the parent Island won,
And led an Empire past the setting sun;
To realms unknown our laws and language bore,
Rais'd England's banner on the desert shore;
Crush'd the proud rival, and subdued the sea
For ages past, and aeons yet to be!
From Scotia's hilly bounds the paean rolls,
And Afric's distant Cape great LEE extols;
The sainted soul and manly mien combine
To grace Britannia's and Virginia's line
As dullards now in thoughtless fervour prate
Of shameful peace, and sing th' unmanly State;
As churls their piping reprobations shriek,
And damn the heroes that protect the weak;
Let LEE'S brave shade the timid throng accost,
And give them back the manhood they have lost!
What kindlier spirit, breathing from on high,
Can teach us how to live and how to die?