Bush, Olivia Ward
|Lights Along -- Shore|
A mighty tempest swept the Nation's course
And strong men sank beneath the ruthless blast
And feared to rise amid the wreck and ruin
Of Slave-bound misery and woe,
Nor dared to rally to the Call of Right,
Yet still despising the ignoble reign
Of Serfdom and its pitiless design
Upon man's helpless brother-man.
O, direful was the need in that sad hour
And blessed was the sound of that rare voice
Of those strong words of challenge and demand
To save a Nation from itself.
Full willingly this tender sapling bowed,
Yet did not break beneath the weight of scorn,
Beneath the hatred of his fellow-man
Nor would not hold his peace.
How mightily he rose amid the ruin,
Amid the blighting blast of Slavery's power,
And wrought, full hopeful of the righteous end,
Until the souls of men revived
And caught a vision of the better way,
The nobler standard of a Nation's might,
The consciousness of human brotherhood,
The priceless boon of liberty.
O, heart of love! thine was the fine desire
To aid thy helpless brother in his need,
To teach thy kind the error and the shame
Of holding back another's right.
May we, whose chafing fetters were unbound
By thine outspoken word of strong defence,
Keep burning on the altar of our souls
The incense of thy sacrifice.