Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

America In 1863: Her

Still beyond the wild Atlantic
Weeping Peace, dishevelled, frantic,
Shrieking, flies from shore to shore,
Hearing still the cannons roar-
Seeing through the skies afar
The deadly bomb's red trailing star,
Thundering volleys, sabres gleaming,
Kindred blood in torrents streaming.
Onward still, her white feet plashing
Deep in blood, while fluttering, dashing,
Her snow-white doves with wings outspread,
In terror hover round her head.
Hark! the ear of Heaven assailing,
A mighty voice of woe and wailing,
Through the boundless forest shivering,
O'er the lakes and rivers quivering;
'Tis the orphan's piteous moan;
'Tis the widow's bursting groan;
'Tis the wail of parents 'reft-
No hope, no stay, no succour left.
Louder, louder still it rolls,
That awful voice-the cry of souls
Cast off from life, unfit to die.
Land of blood! Heaven asks thee, why?
'Why? we fight the slave to free.'
Fool and blind the man must be,
Who, ignoring truth and sense,
Credence gives to such pretence-
Fool if he admire your acts,
And takes the bosh you give for facts-
Fool who knows not this your aim,
The Union whole-unrivalled claim
To empire, and the subject world
Bowing before your flag unfurled.
Your bloody drama never will
Be well brought out: you want the skill,
The courage, and the desperate daring
The invaded feels when sternly baring
His arm and sword for home and hearth.
Were he the veriest wretch on earth,
We would admire his tact and bravery,
Though from our souls abhorring slavery.
Ah! you have given a white man's life,
And paupers made of child and wife
(A fearful price), for every slave
That you have freed: the thought is grave.
145 Total read