A Song for the Time
Written in the summer of 1856, during the political campaign of the Free Soil party under the candidacy of John C. Fremont.
Up, laggards of Freedom!--our free flag is cast
To the blaze of the sun and the wings of the blast;
Will ye turn from a struggle so bravely begun,
From a foe that is breaking, a field that's half won?
Whoso loves not his kind, and who fears not the Lord,
Let him join that foe's service, accursed and abhorred
Let him do his base will, as the slave only can,--
Let him put on the bloodhound, and put off the Man!
Let him go where the cold blood that creeps in his veins
Shall stiffen the slave-whip, and rust on his chains;
Where the black slave shall laugh in his bonds, to behold
The White Slave beside him, self-fettered and sold!
But ye, who still boast of hearts beating and warm,
Rise, from lake shore and ocean's, like waves in a storm,
Come, throng round our banner in Liberty's name,
Like winds from your mountains, like prairies aflame!
Our foe, hidden long in his ambush of night,
Now, forced from his covert, stands black in the light.
Oh, the cruel to Man, and the hateful to God,
Smite him down to the earth, that is cursed where he trod!
For deeper than thunder of summer's loud shower,
On the dome of the sky God is striking the hour!
Shall we falter before what we've prayed for so long,
When the Wrong is so weak, and the Right is so strong?
Come forth all together! come old and come young,
Freedom's vote in each hand, and her song on each tongue;
Truth naked is stronger than Falsehood in mail;
The Wrong cannot prosper, the Right cannot fail.
Like leaves of the summer once numbered the foe,
But the hoar-frost is falling, the northern winds blow;
Like leaves of November erelong shall they fall,
For earth wearies of them, and God's over all!