Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Retrospect Of Song

I've sung of Spring, her buds and flowers,
Of Summer suns and Summer roses;
Of golden Autumn's dreamy skies,
The wealth her bounteous reign discloses.
I've sung of Winter, stern and drear,
His drifting snows and storm blasts chilling;
Of horrid war's embattled fields,
And thousands wounded, killed, or killing.
And I have sung, and I have wept,
O'er one sad theme: O how I shrink
With horror at the foul contact,
When thou art near me, Belial drink!
And I have hymned fair Nature's praise
With ardent love and high devotion,
And Garibaldi's hymn, that swells
Round yon lone islet of the ocean.
The song of liberty I've sung,
And joined the high triumphant strain,
When she unlocked the dungeon cells,
And broke Italia's galling chain.
And ah! how gladly I would join
The song of peace-the jubilee
Of concord between sister lands,
When love, not wrath, bids slaves be free.
O! cease, thou horrid trump of war,
With brazen clangor loudly blaring,
Arousing all the soul of man
To deeds of blood and hostile daring.
'Hang ye the trumpet in the hall;'
Let brother clasp the hand of brother,
And learn the arts of war no more;
All strife and civil discord smother.
'But appetite, I fear, has grown
By what it feeds on,' blood must flow;
And o'er earth's fairest lands still rolls
The tide of carnage, spoil, and woe.
May He who rides upon the storm
Of human passion fierce and strong,
Curb and subdue the demon steeds
Of civil war!-O Lord, how long?
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