Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

human skill ; though the geographer may find no place where he can split our country, - the strife of hostile ideas will rend it as the valley yawns by the wrench of the earthquake.

4. It is the office of Patriotism to see this and to say it;- to say plainly and solemnly that no political unity, no charter, however wisely penned or however actively defended by the most stalwart mental muscles, can stand before the fierce and equal combat of two mutually aggressive principles. There is no treason, no lack of patriotism, in saying this, unless it is unpatriotic to say that chemical opponents will not combine, and that powder and fire will not marry peaceably. We need the feeling of brotherhood; we need to be knit together in ties of cordial amity; but no amity can be manufactured where the laws of spiritual affinity interpose a bar.

5. The inward, vivifying principle of our government must be SYMPATHY WITH LIBERTY ; its attitude must be respect for liberty; the spread of its domain must be under the sanction and for the ends of liberty, or the inspiring sentiment of union and the bond of unity, that which filled the hearts and quickened the intellects of the noble men who built our Constitution, that which gives glory and renown to our character, — will wither and die.

6. “Behold,” said David, “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” But if the time is to come when a large section of our land insist that human bondage is to be sanctioned and extended wherever our banner and our eagles go; that the haggard genius of oppression must sit, with equal privilege and honor, with the spirit of freedom, in the exalted seats of our nation, then (I utter only the simplest lesson of science), then, there can be no unity, for we shall no more be brethren; the gulf of antagonistic ideas will divide us. Then will the nerve of

patriotism, in the best souls, be shriveled; for the ideal beauty of our republic will be expunged ; its hovering genius will flee; there will be no America to serve ; and our glory, whose auroral promise tinges our first annals, and whose beams are now gilding the mountaintops, will be stained with blood.

7. We conclude, then, by saying that patriotism is not only a legitimate sentiment, but a duty. There are countless reasons why, as Americans, we should love our native land. We may feel no scruples, as Christians, in welcoming and nourishing a peculiar affection for its soil, its coasts, and its hills, its memories and its flag. We cannot more efficiently labor for the good of all men, than by pledging heart, brain, and hands to the service of keeping our country true to its mission, obedient to its idea.

8. Our patriotism must draw its nutriment and derive its impulse from the knowledge and love of the ideal America, as yet but partially reflected in our institutions, or in the general mind of the republic. Thus quickened, it will be both pure and practical. The agency of an overruling and friendly Power is suggested by the study of the critical seasons of our past history. But our patriarchal and heroic periods have passed.

9. Having endowed us with the means of our own development, the divine agency retreats to leave the field to human responsibility. We cannot rely, for our honor or safety, upon the past; with the principle we must reject the privileges of primogeniture. We are here by favor, to do a vast and noble work. “ To whom much is given, of him will much be required.”

10. We may feel, as we look upon our territory, which exhibits every zone, and represents lands that invite all varieties of industry, that God grooved our noble rivers, and stretched our prairies on their level base, and unrolled our rich savannahs, and reared the pomp of our forests, and washed the long line of our

coasts with generous ocean waves, and wove all these diversities into one, to be the home of no mean people, and the theatre of no paltry destiny. The world waits to see the quality and energy of our patriotism. The book of our country's history, preserved by human heroism and providential care, is handed to us, that we may inscribe there the records of its glory or its shame!

CV. - THE BRAVE MAN.

BURGER.

The river Adige (pronounced ad'e-je or ad'ij), in Northern Italy, having suddenly overflowed its banks, the bridge of Verona was carried away, with the exception of the centre arch, on which stood a house, the inmates of which besought help, as the foundations were visibly giving way. Count Spolverini offered a hundred French louis to the person who would rescue the family. The rest of the incident, the truth of which seems to be well established, is told in the following spirited ballad by a German poet.

See in Index, strew, WRACK, BURGER.

Delivery. The poem should be read with generally quick time and pure quality of tone, though, here and there, expressive pauses and an aspirate quality may be appropriate. A lively sense of the scene depicted should be conveyed in the delivery. See remarks, 54, on the passion of fear.

LOUD let the Brave Man's praises swell
As organ blast or clang of bell !
Of lofty soul and spirit strong,

He asks not gold, — he asks but song!
Then glory to God, by whose gift I raise
The tribute of song to the Brave Man's praise !

The thaw-wind came from the southern sea,
Dewy and dark o'er Italy;
The scattered clouds fled far aloof,
As flies the flock before the wolf;

It swept o'er the plain, and it strewed the wood,
And it burst the ice-bands on river and flood.

III.

The snow-drifts melt, till the mountain calls
With the voice of a thousand waterfalls ;
The waters are over both field and dell, -

Still doth the land-flood wax and swell :
And high roll its billows, as in their track
They hurry the ice-crags, — a floating wrack.

IV.
On pillars stout, and arches wide,
A bridge of granite stems the tide ;
And midway o'er the foaming flood,

Upon the bridge the toll-house stood;
There dwelleth the toll-man, with babes and wife;
O toll-man! O toll-man! quick ! flee for thy life!

v.
Near and more near the wild waves urge;
Loud howls the wind, loud roars the surge;
The toll-man sprang on the roof in fright,

And he gazed on the waves in their gathering might. “ All-merciful God! to our sins be good! We are lost! we are lost! The flood! the flood !”

[ocr errors]

High rolled the waves! In headlong track
Hither and thither dashed the wrack !
On either bank uprose the flood ;

Scarce on their base the arches stood !
The toll-man, trembling for house and life,
Outscreams the storm with his babes and wife.

VII.

· High heaves the flood-wreck, - block on block

The sturdy pillars feel the shock;
On either arch the surges break,

On either side the arches shake.
They totter! they, sink ’neath the whelming wave!
All-merciful Heaven, have pity and save!

VIII.

Upon the river's farther strand
A trembling crowd of gazers stand ;
In wild despair their hands they wring,

Yet none may aid or succor bring;
And the hapless toll-man, with babes and wife,
Is screaming for help through the stormy strife.

IX.
When shall the Brave Man's praises swell
As organ blast or clang of bell ? —
Ah! name him now, he tarries long ;

Name him at last, my glorious song!
O speed, for the terrible death draws near !
O Brave Man! O Brave Man! arise, appear !

Quick gallops up, with headlong speed,
A noble Count on noble steed!
And, lo ! on high his fingers hold

A purse well stored with shining gold. “ Two hundred pistoles' for the man who shall save Yon perishing wretch from the yawning wave!”.

. XI.
Who is the Brave Man, say, my song :
Shall to the Count thy meed belong ?
Though, Heaven be praised, right brave he be,

I know a braver still than he :
O Brave Man! O Brave Man! arise, appear!
O speed, for the terrible death draws near !

XII.
And ever higher swell the waves,
And louder still the storm-wind raves,
And lower sink their hearts in fear, —

O Brave Man! Brave Man! haste, appear!
Buttress and pillar, they groan and strain,
And the rocking arches are rent in twain !

XIII.
Again, again before their eyes,
High holds the Count the glittering prize ;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »