Monday, November 8, 2010

Harper's Weekly reaction to Election Day - November 8, 1864

In honor of the recent election day 2010, I'm reprinting another period poem, this one from the November 26, 1864 edition of Harper's Weekly.

On the back page of the same edition is published the following illustration.

Long Abraham Lincoln a Little Longer

Here is the poem itself, a celebration of Lincoln's victory over George McClellan in the 1864 Presidential election, though it sounds more like a celebration of victory in a battle or the war. Apparently the author thought the former ensured the latter, and he or she may have been right.

November 8, 1864
We breathe more freely now the struggle's done, 
Now that the glorious victory is won;
The grandest civil triumph which shall stand
Recorded in the annals of the land.
We trusted in the cause - we knew that Right
Must conquer Wrong, however hard the fight;
That not in vain by patriots had been shed
The precious blood with which our soil is red.

No, not in vain; to-day the pledge we give.
that by that blood the Union yet shall live;
And from the strong lips of the loyal North
In thunder tones the promise now goes forth.
Faith in that promise makes my eyes to see
Peace rising through the smoke of victory;
And as the cloud of battle drifts away
I see the white dawn of a future day.
Above the din of war i seem to hear
From tower and roof the sweet-toned bells of cheer
Ring out the welcome tidings to the skies,
While joyful paeans on the air arise. 

I see bold Freedom with a giant's stroke
Hurl to the earth the bondman's heavy yoke; 
I see her strike from off his horny hands
The galling chains and fetters where he stands.

I see a temple; from its dome on high
A glorious banner greets the broad blue sky;
The starry emblem of a mighty land,
Whose people all are on in heart and hand. 


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