The Old Flag. (Tyler, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 2, Ed. 1 Page: 2 of 4
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2. The Old Flag
A Nation’s memories climb thy sounding wires! / Awake, my harp! And thrill with loftier sway, / A Nation’s Father bends from Heaven this day; / From Heaven’s high hills, where Freedom’s angel waits / Closest to God, within the eternal gates; / Where Freedom’s martyrs, winged with crimson scars, / Gleam through the azure fields of endless stars! / From Heaven the Hero comes – his awful mien / Troubled yet calm, and sorrowing but serene. / With trembling glance his awful shade I mark, / Break through the storm and cleave the midnight dark. / O’er ice-browed Andes leans his sworded hand - / His rushing footfall spurns Pacific’s strand; / His helmet gleams o’er Alleghanian snows - / His lifted shield o’er hushed Atlantic glows; / His breast I see, beneath celestial wings - / And there – and there – my bleeding country clings; / Clings as a mother to her first born son - / Her hero-child – her godlike WASHINGTON!
Land of the North! Where loud Niagara’s roll / Voices to Heaven a free-born Nation’s soul! / Land of the North where wild Atlantic waves / Baptize for Freedom’s faith the souls of slaves! / From all thy plains, on all thy breezes borne, / How swells the exulting song this sacred morn! / Whose manhood’s shout and childhood’s lisping sweet / The dear-loved name of WASHINGTON repeat; / By tranquil Hudson’s sunlit wave they kneel, / Where WASHINGTON first turned the invader’s steel; / On Trenton’s plain and Monmouth’s field they pray, / Where WASHINGTON retrieved the eventful day, / And rolled hymns through Schuylkills wintry gorge, / Where once arose his prayer – from Valley Forge!
And thou imperial West, whose sylvan tongue / Hymned unto God while Saturn yet was young; / From voiceful symphonies of waving woods, / And solemn calms of silent solitudes / And low, soft melodies of breezes bland; / And rolling harmonies of rivers grand! / Thou nurse of empire, ut whose fostering heart / All nations drink, and all have equal part: / Enthroned on harvests – girt by garners wide - / Thy wealth our wonder, and thy power our pride. / Majestic West! thy millions kneel this hour, / To praise the Eternal for their Freedom’s dower. / By Mississippi’s shores their anthem flows, / And where MISSOURI laps her mountain snows; / And where the OHIO, nursed by crystal rills / Leaps to thine arms from Pennsylvanian hills! / There shalt thou kneel, O mightiest West, and tell, / Where Washington survives and Braddock fell - / When the young here jarred, with mailed hand, / The mystic gates that sealed our Western Land!
Land of the South! Whose glorious life distils / Balm from thy vales and odors from thy hills! / Thy brow all sunshine and thy heart all fire - / Thy breath a vintage and thy voice a lyre; / Land where the air with wildering fragrance swoons / And all the woodlands thrill with golden runes; Land where the Morn with nectar’d kisses woos, And where the soft Night weeps ambrosial dews!
O Queenly Southland! Crowned and zoned with flowers / Thy silken dials that mark the year’s sweet hours / Lilies whose silver moon no tempest mars, / Roses like suns, and violets like the stars! / Thy throne the summer and thy realm the soul, / Whose charméd senses own thy soft control - / All beauteous South! thy heart must share and claim / Our Father’s kindred and our Hero’s fame! / Thy myrtle blooms his radiant brows to twine - / His name – his heritage – his birth place thine! / We yield thee this – bright mistress of the sun; / Thy bosoming flowers first cradled Washington!
Virginia! from whose breast the milk outran, / That nursed with godlike strength the immortal man, / Whose sacred groves enshrine the hero’s clay; / Where wondering pilgrims pause, and patriots pray; / Virginia! underneath whose trampling heel / Sceptres lie crushed, and crownless tyrants kneel - / From thee, from thine, he drank his impulse brave; / For thee – for all – this broad, free land he gave! / From thy blue hills his soaring sense he caught - / They share his fame, but all the world his thought! / Thy gates the portal whence his soul outspeeds - / But all the earth a temple for his deeds! / Thy hero-chiefs the priesthood of his shrine - / That all mankind might learn his faith divine: - / The faith that shatters thrones and sunders chains / And floods with freedom’s tides the landmans’ veins, / And shapes from freemen’s souls the Almighty’s fanes!
O proud Virginia! loftiest was thy trust - / His grand example, and his peaceful dust! / Thou wert our Mecca – thou our Delphic ground / Where kneeling seers were awed with Voice profound / Thee clustering round, uptowered the shielding States, / And young Republics kept they sunset gates! / From northern mountains and from southern leas, / From orient headlands and from westering seas - / Each gladsome breeze new freights of blessings won, / For Old Virginia – Nurse of Washington! / And o’er thy hills it broods – that form of might - / Parting the storm and towering through the night - / That awful Presence, moving from above, / Grief on its brow, but in its glances – love! / From heaven it comes, o’er Vernon’s gloom descends / And where my mournful country kneels, it bends / And softly murmurs – sheltering her head - / “What ails thee, mother? Are they children dead?”
She hears his voice, and wakes from sleeping trance, / Her ebbing life-tides swayed beneath his glance! / That mailed breast, that souring helm she sees, / And the strong hand that lifts her from her knees; / And now she speaks, whilst all my flattering breath, / Waits for her voice, but hears no word she saith; / For muttering winds upswell, and thunders roll, / And the wild tempest fright my listening soul! / I only hear, around Mount Vernon’s tomb, / The roar of cannon and the crash of bomb. / I only hear, upon Virginia’s air / The drum’s wild rattling, and the trumpet’s blare, / While charging armies shake the shuddering meads, / And the hills reel with mingling mean and steeds, / And the wide land with mortal wound out-bleeds! / I only hear the shout, the curse, the groan; / I only hear a low, heart-broken moan, / Where sinks my country’s head, where droops her head / And the great Voice demands, in whisper dread, / “What ails thee, Mother? Are they children dead?
Dead! dead! O heaven! the child is worse than dead / Who scorns her breast where first his fondness fed: / Dead! worse than dead! whose heart untouched with ruth, / That mother hates who watched his tenderest youth! / And spurns the matron crown that mother wore./ And leaves her sorrowing for the sons she bore./ And whence the gain; what heritage survives./ O’er wasted treasures, and o’er squandered lives,/ Are hatred’s heirlooms, hurled from son to son,/ More dear than loves that linked all hearts as one;/ Can sundered hearth-stones gleam with ruddier blaze,/ Than the old fireside of our father’s days?/ Can alien halls the old, old home replace,/ Or alien births our father’s graves effuse?*/ Samarea’s priests may build on Gerizim;/ But Mount Moriah still shrines the cherubim!/ Sanballat’s seed may drop from Hebrew slim,/ But Israel dwells where dwells Jerusalem./ O Washington! Thou drewest our faith from heaven!/ By heaven, through thee, our freedom’s love was given!/ They hope our Union, and our homes thy gift, -/ To thee, this day our Nation’s hands we lift!/ But veil thine eyes, and bow thy sorrowing head!/ Those hands, this day, with crimson drops are red-/ With crimson life-blood from thy country’s veins!/ O Father! weep! weep! and wash out the stains!
MARRIAGE AND ELOPEMENT IN HIGH-LIFE!!
In this borrough, on the evening of the 28th of February, 1868 (by candle-light,) by Chief justice MORTON, at the Office of His Excellency, MR. H.C. DANE, and Miss. S.E. THOMASON, both of this place. When last heard from, they were stopping at the FIFTH AVENUE HOUSE, evidently in blissful ignorance of the fact that the particulars of their disgraceful elopement was well known and understood by all in the House.
THE FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL
We desire to call the attention of Travel-lors and the Public generally to the fact of our having taken charge of the above well known and commodeous establishment, and to say that we are now fully prepared to accommodate all who will give us a call.
In connection with the Hotel, we have a fine Livery Stable, under the charge of MR. AMOS JOHNSON.
[Picture of a finger pointing to the beginning of this sentence] The finest CROCKER—Y is used at this establishment.
DILLINGHAM, NOTT & Co., Proprietors
THE FINEST CONCERT HALL IN THE CITY!
Nor surpassed by any for Concerts, Public Meetings, &o.
Corner of Battery-Place and Shin-bone Alley.
[Picture of a finger pointing to the beginning of this sentence] For further particulars, enquire
STEVENSON, COE & Co.
N.B. – A “FREE AND EASY” under charge of WM. JOHNSON, semi-weekly.
BY MULE EXPRESS!
By “JOHNSON’S MULE EXPRESS,”, which reached this point at 25 minutes past 11 o’clock, Feb. 28th, and just as we were “making-up” this last column of our paper preparatory to “going to press”, we received the most reliable and positive information, that many, if not all of the Federal Prisoners, now confined at CAMP FORD, Tyler, Texas, would be exchanged and in their own lines one month from this date; and that they are to leave their present camp, for such exchange about the 17th of MARCH!
There is no doubt of this.
*But vain the unequal strife! Would Baslum curse!/His trembling lips God’s blessings still rehearse./ Would Korah Rule? The earth drinks Korah’s cries,/ And plagues descend where Israels rebels rise!/ For ceaseless still o’er traitors quick or dead,/ A Nation’s feet their destined course must tread!/ And where the Ark of Freedom heads its march,/ God’s Pillar leads, and Angel wings o’er arch.
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May, William H. The Old Flag. (Tyler, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 2, Ed. 1, newspaper, March 1, 1864; Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth312473/m1/2/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.