Obrázky na stránke

I'd be an orator-a Clay,

A Webster or Calhoun-
Oh no! I could not bear to say

What I'd unsay so soon.
I'd be a Cæsar-or I'd be

Napoleon, aye, Le grand !! What! live an exile out at sea,

Or die by Brutus' hand ?


I'd be a Sultan—a grand Turk;

I would not, ’pon my soul ! For there again is dreadful work,

The bowstring and the bowl-
An Autocrat, I would not be,

With his accursed knout,
And Poland! I would set thee free,

And turn all captives out.

Well, I'd be Louis Philippe then,

A citizen made king-
No-Frenchmen are ferocious men,

Assassins would upspring-
Gun barrels fixed all in a row,

Machines infernal-yes,'
That fifty balls at once will throw

Would not suit me, I guess.

I'd be a congressman, oh lud!

Why that is worse than all, Some ruffians there who thirst for blood

Would shoot me with a ball. To meet a man in argument,

The bully now disdains; 'Tis easier by a bullet sent

To blow out all one's brains.

I'd be a President-oh worse!

Much worse, upon my wordI'd be as soon yon carrion corse,

The prey of beast and bird

The party dogs around would growl,

The vultures flap their wings, The beasts of prey would ceaseless howl,

And tear my flesh to strings.

Will nothing do? must I eschew

All things beneath the sun ?
Oh no!-I'll tell you what I'd do,

I'd do like Washington!
There's nothing there to make one start,

“Room for the greatest !-room”No dagger for that noble heart !

No exile for his doom!

Egyptians harnessed slaves to bring

Their piles of cumbrous stone, To sepulchre some worthless king

Whose name is now unknown,
But freemen, for their godlike son,

Point us to nobler charts;
They tell us that their Washington

Is coffined in their hearts.

But is it so? and is he there?

I mourn to answer-no-
His labor has been spent in air,

His work they overthrow-
His warning voice, unheeded, falls,

His legacy forgot,
Their brotherhood is lost in brawls,

“Out-out, thou damned spot.”

Then welcome, welcome, humble lot !

What boots it to be great ?
I'll dig and delve this little spot,

Contented with my fate.
All things are but inanities!

The preacher tells us trueOh vanity of vanities !

What shadows we pursue !!

1 on the Ballot Box of the Senate.
This little simple ballot box
Is in itself a paradox-
It often proves the silent grave
Of all that's good and all that's brave;
And yet from hence the brave and good
Derive their breath and life's best blood;
It takes alike unto its breast,
The low, the high, the worst, the best-
It is a fount as all must know
Whence "sweet and bitter waters flow;"
Within this little box of state
Oft lies extremes of love and hate;
Within its close and dark recess
Lie gen'rous deeds, and littleness;
Here patriot warmth and sacrifice
Meet int’rest vile and prejudice;
Revenge and malice both here live
With charity which doth forgive;
Here friends and foes unite--and mark
They stab each other in the dark,
This hole has proved to one poor Jack
Like that of curst Calcutta-black;
But yet it led another John,
In triumph on to Washington ;
The road to heaven is straight, alas !
So is this hole through which they pass,
And yet to some it proves extensus
“Th’ Averni Facilis Descensus ! !

[ocr errors]

Oh spring and summer time of life!

Would I recall
Your days with disappointment rife?

Oh no-not all

Some few I might call back-how few !

But even those Brought with them as they past me flew,

Unnumber'd woes.

Autumn of life! thou hadst a haze

A soften'd light;
A melancholy twilight as of day's

Approaching night;
Leaf after leaf, I saw them fall,

Friend after friend,
Days sad as these, would I recall ?

Oh to what end?

Winter of life! thou’rt come at last

Descending snows
Upon my head fall thick and fast

Thick’ning like woes-
Life's landscape seems a dreary blank

Life's fire a spark,
Time past a dream with troubles rank,

The future dark.

What now can cheer thee, winter stern?

Summer nor spring;
For immortality I yearn,

And would take wing;
But through the coffin, it must come

Must come that crown-
What have I done for it? I'm dumb,

Christ 'tis thine own.

'Tis thine to give, oh grant it me,

Wretch that I am,
Unfit to lift my face to thee

Crucified Lamb!
Oh then 'round thine eternal throne

I'll join the choir,
Singing thy praises holy One,

Son thou and Sire.

« PredošláPokračovať »