Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A CRY TO ARMS, by HENRY TIMROD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A CRY TO ARMS, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Ho! Woodsmen of the mountain side!
Last Line: And for the lily's sake!
Subject(s): American Civil War; Confederate States Of America; Patriotism; United States - History; Confederacy

Ho! woodsmen of the mountain-side!
Ho, dwellers in the vales!
Ho, ye who by the chafing tide
Have roughened in the gales!
Leave barn and byre, leave kin and cot,
Lay by the bloodless spade;
Let desk and case and counter rot,
And burn your books of trade!

The despot roves your fairest lands;
And till he flies or fears,
Your fields must grow but armed bands,
Your sheaves be sheaves of spears!
Give up to mildew and to rust
The useless tools of gain,
And feed your country's sacred dust
With floods of crimson rain!

Come with the weapons at your call --
With musket, pike, or knife;
He wields the deadliest blade of all
Who lightest holds his life.
The arm that drives its unbought blows
With all a patriot's scorn,
Might brain a tyrant with a rose
Or stab him with a thorn.

Does any falter? Let him turn
To some brave maiden's eyes,
And catch the holy fires that burn
In those sublunar skies.
Oh, could you like your women feel,
And in their spirit march,
A day might see your lines of steel
Beneath the victor's arch!

What hope, O God! would not grow warm
When thoughts like these give cheer?
The lily calmly braves the storm,
And shall the palm-tree fear?
No! rather let its branches court
The rack that sweeps the plain;
And from the lily's regal port
Learn how to breast the strain.

Ho, woodsmen of the mountain-side!
Ho, dwellers in the vales!
Ho, ye who by the roaring tide
Have roughened in the gales!
Come, flocking gayly to the fight,
From forest, hill, and lake;
We battle for our country's right,
And for the lily's sake!

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