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Under the roses, the Blue:
So, with an equal splendor,
The morning sun rays fall,
With a touch, impartially tender,
So, when the summer calleth,
Waiting the judgment day;
Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done;
In the storm of the years that are fading,
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day;
No more shall the war cry sever,
They banish our anger forever,
When they laurel the graves of our dead;
Under the sod and the dew,
Tears and love, for the Gray.
NOTE. The above touching little poem first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in September, 1867. It commemorates the noble action on the part of the women at Columbus, Miss., who in decorating the graves strewed flowers impartially on those of the Confederate and of the Federal soldiers.
SPEECH BEFORE THE VIRGINIA CONVEN
BY PATRICK HENRY.
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and
that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past; and, judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the house? Is it that
insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves, how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves. These are the implements of war and subjugation, the last arguments to which
I ask, gentlemen, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us into submission?
Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? We have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light in which it was capable; but it has been
all in vain.
Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, deceive ourselves longer. We have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we
have prostrated ourselves at the foot of the throne, and implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications disregarded, and we have been spurned with contempt from the foot of the throne.
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained we must fight! I repeat it, we must fight! An appeal to arms and the God of Hosts, is all that is left us.
They tell us that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? We are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send
against us. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and, let it come! I repeat it, let it come!
Besides, we shall not fight our battles alone.
It is in vain to extenuate the matter.
cry peace, peace; but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.
DEFINITIONS. Il lū'sions, unreal images presented to the bodily or mental vision. Si'ren, alluding to the fabled sea nymphs whose singing lured mariners to destruction. In sid'i ous, deceptive, sly. Rec'on cil ia'tion, renewal of friendship. Ac cũ mu la'tion, gathering together. Sup pli ca'tions, prayers. In vī′o lāte, uninjured. Cōpe, to encounter. Sū pine'ly, indolently. Phăn'tom, an image having no real existence. Vig'i lant, watchful. Ex ten'u ate, to make excuses.
NOTE. This speech was made in 1775 in support of a resolution that the colony of Virginia "be immediately put in a state of defense." The pupil while studying it should read in some standard history a full account of the opening scenes of the Revolution.