Poem of the Day.
Our Faith in '61. By A. J. Requier. "That governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed: that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as TO THEM SHALL SEEM most likely to effect their safety and happiness."--[Declaration of Independence, July 4, '76.] Not yet one hundred years have flown Since on this very spot, The subjects of a sovereign throne-- Liege-master of their lot-- This high degree sped o'er the sea, From council-board and tent, "No earthly power can rule the free But by their own consent!" For this, they fought as Saxons fight, On bloody fields and long-- Themselves the champions of the right, And judges of the wrong; For this their stainless knighthood wore The branded rebel's name, Until the starry cross they bore Set all the skies aflame! And States co-equal and distinct Outshone the western sun, By one great charter interlinked-- Not blended into one; Whose graven key that high decree The grand inscription lent, "No earthly power can rule the free But by their own consent!" Oh! sordid age! Oh! ruthless rage! Oh! sacrilegious wrong! A deed to blast the record page, And snap the strings of song; In that great charter's name, a band By grovelling greed enticed, Whose warrant is the grasping hand Of creeds without a Christ-- States that have trampled every pledge Its crystal code contains, Now give their swords a keener edge To harness it with chains-- To make a bond of brotherhood The sanction and the seal, By which to arm a rabble brood With fratricidal steel. Who, conscious that their cause is black, In puling prose and rhyme, Talk hatefully of love, and tack Hypocrisy to crime; Who smile and smite, engross the gorge Or impotently frown; And call us "rebels" with King George, As if they wore his crown! Most venal of a venal race, Who think you cheat the sky With every pharisaic face And simulated lie; Round Freedom's lair, with weapons bare, We greet the light divine Of those who throned the goddess there, And yet inspire the shrine! Our loved ones' graves are at our feet, Their homesteads at our back-- No belted Southron can retreat With women on his track; Peal, bannered host, the proud decree Which from your fathers went, "No earthly power can rule the free But by their own consent!"
(Tuesday, 24 November, 2020.)