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The Spirit of the Nation/The Gathering of the Nation

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THE GATHERING OF THE NATION.

A.D. 1646.

I.

Those scalding tears—those scalding tears,
Too long have fallen in vain—
Up with the banners and the spears,
And let the gather'd grief of years
Show sterner stuff than rain.
The lightning, in that stormy hour
When forth defiance rolls,
May change the poles of Saxon pow'r,
And melt the links our long, long show'r
But rusted round our souls.


II.

To bear the wrongs we can redress!
To make a thing of time
The tyranny we can repress—
Eternal by our dastardness!
Were crime—or worse than crime.
And we, whose best—and worst was shame,
From first to last, alike,
May take, at length, a loftier aim,
And struggle, since it is the same
To suffer—or to strike.


III.

What hatred of perverted might
The cruel hand inspires,
That robs the linnet's eye of sight,
To make it sing both day and night!
Yet thus they robb'd our sires,
By blotting out the ancient lore,
Where every loss was shone.
Up with the flag! we stand before
The Saxons of the days of yore,
In Saxons of our own.


IV.

Denial met our just demands!
And hatred met our love!
Till now, by Heaven, for grasp of hands,
We'll give them clash of battle brands,
And gauntlet 'stead of glove.
And may the Saxon stamp his heel
Upon the coward's front,
Who sheathes his own unbroken steel,
Until for mercy tyrants kneel,
Who forced us to the brunt.