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MOVE ON THE COLUMNS!

(Autumn, 1861.]

MOVE on the columns! Why delay?

Our soldiers sicken in their camps ;

The summer heats, the autumn damps, Have sapped their vigor day by day;

And now the winter comes apace,

With death-chills in its cold embrace,
More fatal than the battle-fray.
Move on the columns! Hesitate

No longer what to plan or do:
Our cause is good-our men are true-
This fight is for the flag, the State,

The Union, and the hopes of man;

And Right will end what Wrong began, For God the right will vindicate.

Move on the columns! If the land

Is locked by winter, take the sea;

No possible barrier can be So fatal to a rightful stand,

As wavering purpose when at bay; This way, or that—"At once! to-day!" Were worth ten thousand men at hand.

Move on the columns! With the sweep

Of eagles let them strike the foe. The hurricane lays the forest low; Momentum wings the daring leap,

That clears the chasm ; the lightning stroke
Shivers the wind-defying oak;
The earthquake rocks the eternal steep.
Move on the columns! Why have sprung

Our myriad hosts from hill and plain?
Leaving the sickle in the grain-

Closing the harvest-hymn half sung

Hall-filled the granary and the mow,

Unturned the sod, untouched the plough, Scythes rusting where they last were swung. Move on the columns ! They are here

To found anew a people's faith ;

To save from treason and from death
A nation which they all revere ;

And on each manly brow is set
A purpose such as never yet
Was thwarted, when, as now, sincere.

Move on the columns ! Earth contains

No guerdon for the good and free

Like that which blessed our Liberty ; And while its banner still remains

The symbol of united power,

Nor man nor fiend can tell the hour
In which its star-lit glory wanes.
Move on the columns—strong and bright!

Strike down the sacrilegious hands

That clutch and wield the battle-brands Which menace with their Wrong our Right!

Words now are wasted: glittering steel

Alone can make this last appeal : They've willed it so—and we must fight.

Move on the columns! If they go

By ways they had not thought to take,

To fields we had not meant to make, Or if they bring unthought-of woe,

Let that which woke the fiery wrath Fall, scorched and blackening, in its path; Not man, but God, may stay the blow: Move on the columns !

W. D. GALLAGHER.

THE WASHERS OF THE SHROUD.

[October, 1861.] ALONG a river-side, I know not where, I walked one night in mystery of dream ; A chill creeps curdling yet beneath my hair, To think what chanced me by the pallid gleam Of a moon-wraith that waned through haunted air. Pale fireflies pulsed within the meadow-mist Their halos, wavering thistledowns of light; The loon, that seemed to mock some goblin tryst, Laughed; and the echoes, huddling in affright, Like Odin's hounds, fled baying down the night. Then all was silent, till there smote my ear A movement in the stream that checked my breath : Was it the slow plash of a wading deer? But something said, “This water is of Death! The Sisters wash a shroud-ill thing to hear !" I, looking then, beheld the ancient Three Known to the Greek's and to the Northman's creed, That sit in shadow of the mystic tree, Still crooning, as they weave their endless brede, One song:

“ Time was, Time is, and Time shall be.' No wrinkled crones were they, as I had deemed, But fair as yesterday, to-day, to-morrow, To mourner, lover, poet, ever seemed; Something too high for joy, too deep for sorrow, Thrilled in their tones, and from their faces gleamed. “Still men and nations reap as they have strawn," So sang they, working at their task the while; “The fatal raiment must be cleansed ere dawn; For Austria ? Italy? the Sea-Queen's isle ? O'er what quenched grandeur must our shroud be

drawn?

“ Or is it for a younger, fairer corse, That gathered States for children round his knees, That tamed the wave to be his posting-horse, Feller of forests, linker of the seas, Bridge-builder, hammerer, youngest son of Thor's? “What make we, murmur'st thou ? and what are

we? When empires must be wound, we bring the shroud, The time-old web of the implacable Three: Is it too coarse for him, the young and proud? Earth's mightiest deigned to wear it-why not he?" “ Is there no hope?" I moaned, “so strong, so fair ! Our Fowler whose proud bird would brook ere

while No rival's swoop in all our western air ! Gather the ravens, then, in funeral file For him, life's morn yet golden in his hair ? “ Leave me not hopeless, ye unpitying dames ! I see,

half seeing. Tell me, ye who scanned The stars, Earth's elders, still must noblest aims Be traced upon oblivious ocean-sand ? Must Hesper join the wailing ghosts of names?" “When grass-blades stiffen with red battle-dew, Ye deem we choose the victor and the slain : Say, choose we them that shall be leal and true To the heart's longing, the high faith of brain ? Yet there the victory lies, if ye but knew. “Three roots bear up Dominion : Knowledge.

Will — These twain are strong, but stronger yet the third Obedience—'tis the great tap-root that still, Knit round the rock of Duty, is not stirred, Though Heaven-loosed tempests spend their utmost

skill.

“Is the doom sealed for Hesper? 'Tis not we
Denounce it, but the Law before all time:
The brave makes danger opportunity ;
The waverer, paltering with the chance sublime,
Dwarfs it to peril: which shall Hesper be?
“ Hath he let vultures climb his eagle's seat
To make Jove's bolts purveyors of their maw?
Hath he the Many's plaudits found more sweet
Than Wisdom ? held Opinion's wind for Law ?
Then let him hearken for the doomster's feet !
“Rough are the steps, slow-hewn in flintiest rock,
States climb to power by; slippery those with gold
Down which they stumble to eternal mock:
No chafferer's hand shall long the sceptre hold,
Who, given a Fate to shape, would sell the block.
“We sing old Sagas, songs of weal and woe,
Mystic because too cheaply understood :
Dark sayings are not ours; men hear and know,
See Evil weak, see strength alone in Good,
Yet hope to stem God's fire with walls of tow.
“ Time Was unlocks the riddle of Time Is,
That offers choice of glory or of gloom;
The solver makes Time Shall Be surely his.
But hasten, Sisters ! for even now the tomb
Grates its slow hinge and calls from the abyss.”
“But not for him," I cried, “not yet for him,
Whose large horizon, westering, star by star
Wins from the void to where on Ocean's rim
The sunset shuts the world with golden bar,
Not yet his thews shall fail, his eye grow dim!
“His shall be larger manhood, saved for those
That walk unblenching through the trial-fires;
Not suffering, but faint heart, is worst of woes,
And he no base-born son of craven sires,
Whose eye need blench confronted with his foes.

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