Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TREASON'S LAST DEVICE, by EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TREASON'S LAST DEVICE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sons of new engaland in the fray
Last Line: But you -- do you hear it, yankee boys?
Subject(s): Emancipation Movement & Proclamation; Antislavery Movement - United States


"Who deserves greatness
Deserves your hate....
Yon common cry of curs, whose breath I loathe
As reek o' the rotten fens." CORIOLANUS.

"Hark! hark! the dogs do bark."
NURSERY RHYME.

SONS of New England, in the fray,
Do you hear the clamor behind your back?
Do you hear the yelping of Blanche and Tray?
Sweetheart, and all the mongrel pack?
Girded well with her ocean crags,
Little our mother heeds their noise;
Her eyes are fixed on crimsoned flags:
But you -- do you hear it, Yankee boys?

Do you hear them say that the patriot fire
Burns on her altars too pure and bright,
To the darkened heavens leaping higher,
Though drenched with the blood of every fight?
That in the light of its searching flame
Treason and tyrants stand revealed,
And the yielding craven is put to shame
On Capitol floor or foughten field?

Do you hear the hissing voice, which saith
That she -- who bore through all the land
The lyre of Freedom, the torch of Faith,
And young Invention's mystic wand --
Should gather her skirts and dwell apart,
With not one of her sisters to share her fate, --
A Hagar, wandering sick at heart?
A pariah, bearing the Nation's hate?

Sons, who have peopled the distant West,
And planted the Pilgrim vine anew,
Where, by a richer soil carest,
It grows as ever its parent grew, --
Say, do you hear, -- while the very bells
Of your churches ring with her ancient voice,
And the song of your children sweetly tells
How true was the land of your fathers' choice, --

Do you hear the traitors who bid you speak
The work that shall sever the sacred tie?
And ye, who dwell by the golden Peak,
Has the subtle whisper glided by?
Has it crost the immemorial plains
To coasts where the gray Pacific roars,
And the Pilgrim blood in the people's veins
Is pure as the wealth of their mountain ores?

Spirits of sons who, side by side,
In a hundred battles fought and fell,
Whom now no East and West divide,
In the isles where the shades of heroes dwell, --
Say, has it reached your glorious rest,
And ruffled the calm which crowns you there, --
The shame that recreants have confest
The plot that floats in the troubled air?

Sons of New England, here and there,
Wherever men are still holding by
The honor our fathers left so fair, --
Say, do you hear the cowards' cry?
Crouching among her grand old crags,
Lightly our mother heeds their noise,
With her fond eyes fixed on distant flags;
But you -- do you hear it, Yankee boys?





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