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CHOICE SELECTIONS ￼
PROGRESS.— N. Michhll.
Progress! progress! all things cry;
Progress, nature's golden rule;
Learn in nature's wondrous school:
Broad-armed oaks from acorns grow,
Mighty islands from below;
Rough may be the mountain road
Dull the souls that grope behind.
Faint not in the noble chase,
He who fights shall vanquish ill;
Broad the tract that lies before us;
Never mourn the days of old,
Past is iron—future, gold!
Slave! your fetters shake till free;
Sinks unworthy of his race;
Hearts that struggle, souls despised!
Work your own high destiny:
Onward!—orient nations know
Nothing of that magic word;
lis the spirit's conquering sword!
Which should flash around the earth,
Tis a word of heavenly birth;
BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.—FnedebnK S. Cozzens.
It was a starry night in June, the air was soft and still, When the "minute men" from Cambridge came, and gathered on the hill; Beneath us lay the sleeping town, around us frowned the fleet;
But the pulse of freemen, not of slaves, within our bosoms beat,
And every heart rose high with hope, as fearlessly we said, "We will "be numbered with the free, or numbered with the dead."
"Bring out the line to mark the trench, and stretch it on the sward;"
The trench is marked, the tools are brought, we utter not a word,
But stack our guns, then fall to work with mattock and with spade,—
\ thousand men w ith sinewy arms, and not a sound is made So still were we the stars beneath that scarce a whisper fell; We heard the red-coat's musket-click, and heard him cry "All's well!"
And here and there a twinkling port, reflected on the deep, In many a wavy shadow showed their sullen guns asleep. Sleep on, ye bloody, hireling crew! In careless slumber lie! The trench is growing broad and deep, the breastwork broad and high.
No striplings we, but bear the arms that held the French in check,
The drum that beat at Louisburg, and thundered in Quebec
And thou whose promise is deceit, no more thy word we'll trust;
Thou butcher Gage, thy power and thee we'll humble in the dust;
Thou and thy tory minister have boasted to thy brood, "The lintels of the faithful shall be sprinkled with our blood." But though these walls those lintels be, thy zeal is all in vain,—
A thousand freemen shall rise up for every freeman slain! And when o'er trampled crowns and thrones they raise the mighty shout,
This soil their Palestine shall be—their altar this redoubt!
See how the morn is breaking! the red is in the sky;
For the ruddy flash and round shot part in thunder from her side;
And the Falcon and the Cerberitx make every bosom thrill. With gun and shell and drum and bell and boatswain's whistle shrill,
But'deep and wider grows the trench as spade and mattock
For we have to cope with fearful odds, and the time is drawing nigh.
Up with the pine-tree banner! Our gallant Prescott stands Amid the plunging shell and shot, and plants it with his hands;
Up with the shout! for Putnam comes upon his recking bay, With bloody spur and foamy bit, in haste to join the fray; And Pomeroy, with his snow-white hairs, and face all flush and sweat,
Unscathed by French and Indian, wears a youthful glory yet.
But thou, whose soul is glowing in the summer of thy years Unvanquished Warren, thou—the youngest of thy peers— Wert born, and bred, and shaped and made to act a patriot's part,
And dear to us thy presence is as life-blood to the heart. Well may you bark, ye British wolves—with leaders such as they,
Not one will fail to follow where they choose to lead the way I As once before, scarce two months since, we followed on your track.
And*with our rifles marked the road yon took in going lxu:k! Ye slew a sick man in his bed; ye slew with hands accursed A mother nursing,and her blood fell on the babe she nursed', By their own doors our kinsmen fell, and perished in the strife;
But as we hold a hireling's cheap, and dear a freeman's life, Bv Tanner-Brook and Lincoln-Bridge, before the shut of sun, We took the recompense we claimed,—a scon'for every one!
Hark! from the town a trumpet! The barges at the wharf Are crowded with the living freight, and now they're pushing off;
With clash and glitter, trump and drum, in all its bright array,
Behold the splendid sacrifice move slowly o'er the bay I
And now they're forming at the Point, and now the lines advance;
We see beneath the sultry sun their polished bayonets glance; We hear a-near the throbbing drum, the bugle challenge ring;
Quick bursts and loud the flashing cloud, and rolls from wing to wing.
But on the height our bulwark stands, tremendous in its gloom,
As sullen as a tropic sky, and silent as a tomb;
From every gun the livid light, upon the foe accursed.
Then quailed a monarch's might before a freeborn people's ire—
Then drank the sward the veteran's life, where swept the yeoman's fire;
Then, staggered by the shot, we saw their serried columns reel
And fall, as falls the bearded rye beneath the reaper's steel; And then arose a mighty shout, that might have waked the dead,—
"Hurrah! they run—the field is won! Hurrah ! the foe is fled!"
And every man has dropped his gun to clutch a neighbor's hand,
A.u his heart keeps praying all the while for home and na tive land.
4'hrice on that day wo stood the shock of thrice a thousand
And thrice that day within our lines the shout of victory
And though our swift fire slackened then, and, reddening in the skies,
We saw from Charlestown's roofs and walls the flamy columni
Yet while we had a cartridge left, we still maintained th* fight,
\or gained the foe one foot of ground upon that blood-stain ed height.
What though for us no laurels bloom, nor o'er the nameles* brave
No sculptured trophy, scroll, nor hatch, records a warrior's grave?
What though the day to us was lost? Upon the deathless page
The everlasting charter stands, for every land and age! For man hath broke his felon bonds and cast them in the dust,
And claimed his heritage divine, and justified his trust; While through his rifted prison-bars the hues of freedom pour,
O'er every nation, race, and clime, on every sea and shore, Such glories as the patriarch viewed, when, 'mid the darkest skies,
He saw above the ruined world the bow of promise rise.
THE AMERICAN FLAG.—H. W. Beecher.
A thoughtful mind, when it. sees a nation's flag, sees not ine flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the government, the principles, the truths, the history, which belong to the nation that sets it forth.
When the French tricolor rolls out to the wind, we see France. When the new-found Italian flag is unfurled, we see resurrected Italy. When the other three-cornered Hungarian flag shall be lifted to the wind, we shall see in it the long-buried but never dead principles of Hungarian liberty. When the united crosses of St. Andrew and St. George on a fiery ground set forth the banner of Old England, ive see