Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rebels: We Glory in the Name - a poem

It has been a while since I posted something from The Civil War in Song and Story 1860-1865 by Frank Moore, but I like the style and rhyme scheme of these verses. In my few attempts to write poetry, I never have been able to do anything other than have every other line rhyme.

I also have no doubt this represents the feelings of many Confederates (perhaps most, perhaps all) of the time. Perhaps the reference to"slavish fear" is a bit ironic since Confederate victory would have ensured the continuance of slavery, but that is just one line in this poetic message.

Rebels! 'tis a holy name!
The name our fathers bore,
When battling in the cause of Right,
Against the tyrant in his might, 
In the dark days of yore.

Rebels! 'tis our family name!
Our father, Washington,
Was the arch-rebel in the fight,
And gave the name to us - a right
Of father unto son

Rebels! 'tis our given name!
Our mother, Liberty,
Received the title with her fame,
In days of grief, of fear and shame,
When at her breast were we.

Rebels! 'tis our sealed name!
A baptism of blood!
The war - ay, and the din of strife - 
The fearful contest, life for life - 
The mingled crimson flood

Rebels! 'tis a patriot's name!
In struggles it was given; 
We bore it then when tyrants raved,
And through their curses 'twas engraved
On the doomsday book of heaven.

Rebels! 'tis our fighting name!
For peace rules o'er the land,
Until they speak of craven woe - 
Until our rights receive a blow,
From foe's or brothers' hand.

Rebels! 'tis our dying name!
For although life is dear, 
Yet, freemen born and freemen bred,
We'd rather live as freemen dead,
Than live in slavish fear.

Then call us Rebels if you will -
We glory in the name;
For bending under unjust laws,
And swearing faith to an unjust cause,
We count a greater shame.

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