Suggestive programs for special day exercises/Lincoln Day

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search




Roll CallEach response, a quotation.

Flag Drill by School, followed by singing of “God Bless Our Native Land.”

Reading by Young PupilLincoln’s Boyhood.

RecitationOh! Why should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud? (Lincoln’s favorite poem.)

Singing by SchoolGod Speed the Right.

OrationThe Gettysburg Address.

EssayLife Sketch of Lincoln.

RecitationJustice tempered with Mercy.

RecitationEducation a Growth.


Address—The Benefit derived from Special Day Observance. (By the Commissioner or some patron.)

ReadingConclusion of Lincoln’s First Inaugural.

OrationCharacteristics of Lincoln.

SongYour Mission. (Lincoln’s favorite hymn.)


[Adopted by the National Societies G. A. R and W. R. C.]

SALUTE.—We Give Our Heads and Our Hearts to God and Our Country. One Country, One Language, One Flag.


The pupils having been assembled and being seated, and the flag borne by the standard bearer being in front of school, at the signal (either by a chord struck on the piano or, in the absence of a piano, from a bell) each scholar seizes the seat preparatory to rising.

Second Signal.—The whole school rises quickly, as one person, each one standing erect and alert.

Third Signal.—The right arm is extended, pointing directly at the flag; as the flag-bearer should be on the platform where all can see the colors, the extended arm will be slightly raised above a horizontal line.

Fourth Signal.—The forearm is bent so as to touch the forehead lightly with the tip of the fingers of the right hand. The motion should be quick, but graceful, the. elbow being kept down and not allowed to “stick out” to the right. As the fingers touch the forehead, each pupil will exclaim in a clear voice, We give our ' heads ' (emphasizing the word ' heads ').

Fifth Signal.—The right hand is carried quickly to the left side and placed flat over the heart with the words, ”and our hearts!“ (after the movement has been made).

Sixth Signal.—The right hand is allowed to fall quickly, but easily to the right side; as soon as the motion is accomplished, all will say, “{{sc|to God and our Country!”

Seventh Signal.—Each scholar still standing erect, but without moving, will exclaim, “One country!” (emphasis on country).

Eighth Signal.—The scholars still standing motionless, will exclaim: “One language!” (emphasis on language).

Ninth Signal.—The right arm is suddenly extended to its full length, the hand pointing to the flag, the body inclining slightly forward, supported by the right foot slightly advanced. The attitude should be that of intense earnestness. The pupil reaches, as it were, toward the flag, at the same time exclaiming with great force—“One flag!”

Tenth Signal.—The right arm is dropped to the side and the position of attention recovered.

Eleventh Signal.—Each scholar seizes the seat preparatory to turning it down.

Twelfth Signal.—The school is seated.

Flag-bearer.—The color-bearer grasps the staff at the lower end with his right hand and a foot or more (according to the length of the staff) above the end of the staff with his left hand. The staff is held directly in front of the middle of the body, slightly inclined forward from the perpendicular. At the fourth signal, the flag will be dipped, returning the salute; this is done by lowering the left hand until the staff is nearly horizontal, keeping it in that position until the tenth signal, when it will be restored to its first or nearly vertical position.

Abraham Lincoln-Suggestive Programs-0011.jpg


[Air: “ America.”]

God bless our native land,
On this firm shore we stand
For Freedom’s right.
Let us arise in might,
Dispel the shades of night.
And banish them for light
And truth, we pray.

Send us thy truth and love,
Guide us to look above

For all we need.

Show us the way to go,
From thee all mercies flow,
Teach us thy name to know,—

For this we pray.

This hymn of praise we sing
To God, the mighty King,

Enthroned above.

May he our nation guide,
From every danger hide.
And with us still abide,

To shield and bless!


[For Quotation Exercise.]

The Union must be preserved.

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.

A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its laws.

I believe this government cannot permanently endure half slave and half free.

No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty.

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.

If our sense of duty forbid slavery, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively.

I hope peace will come soon and come to stay, and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time.

In giving freedom to the slaves we assure freedom to the free, honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.

If this country cannot be saved without giving up the principle of Liberty, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.

To sell or enslave any captured person on account of his color and for no offense against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime against the civilization of the age.

Do not worry, eat three square meals a day, say your prayers, be courteous to your creditors, keep your digestion good, steer clear of biliousness, (exercise, go slow and go easy. Maybe there are other things that your special case requires to make you happy; but, my friend, these I reckon will give you a good lift.

Gold is good in its place; but living, patriotic men are better than gold.

God must like common people or he would not have made so many.

I am indeed very grateful to the brave men who have been struggling with the enemy in the field.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.

Let us have that faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

The reasonable man has long since agreed that intemperance is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all evils among mankind.

The purposes of the Almighty are perfect and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance.

Of the people, when they rise en masse in behalf of the Union and the liberties of their country, truly may it be said,—“The gates of hell can not prevail against them.”

I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you (the people), and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office seekers, but with you, is the question. Shall the Union and shall the liberties of the country be preserved to the latest generation?

(The following lines were written by him on a leaf of his copy-book, when he was about eight years old.—)

Abraham Lincoln
his hand and pen.
he will be good but
God knows when.


Fearless in Speech.—One of the numerous paymasters at Washington sought an introduction to Mr. Lincoln. He arrived at the White House quite opportunely, and was introduced to the President by the United States Marshal, with his blandest smile. While shaking hands with the President, the paymaster remarked, “I have no official business with you, Mr. President; I only called to pay my compliments.” “I understand,” replied “honest Abe;” “and from the complaints of the soldiers, I think that is all you do pay.”

Apt in Illustration.—The following is one of Mr. Lincoln’s characteristic stories:—

I once knew a good, sound churchman, whom we’ll call Brown, who was on a committee to erect a bridge over a very dangerous and rapid river. Architect after architect failed, and at last Brown said he had a friend named Jones, who had built several bridges and could build this. ‘Let’s have him in,’ said the committee. In came Jones. “Can you build this bridge, sir?” “Yes,” replied Jones; “I could build a bridge to the infernal regions, if necessary.” The sober committee were horrified; but when Jones retired, Brown thought it but fair to defend his friend. “I know Jones so well,” said he, “and he is so honest a man, and so good an architect, that, if he states soberly and postively that he can build a bridge to Hades—why, I believe it; but I have my doubts about the abutment on the infernal side.” So, Lincoln added, when politicians said they could harmonize the Northern and Southern wings of the Democracy, why, I believed them; but I had my doubts about the abutment on the Southern side.

Humorous Tact.—As soon as the West Virginia State bill passed Congress, Mr. Carlisle, true to his purpose, went at once to the President. “Now, Mr. Lincoln,” said he, “you must veto that bill.” “Well,” said the honest president, with just the least bit in the world of humor, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do; I’ll split the difference and say nothing about it.”

Mirthful Irony.—Judge Baldwin, an old and highly respectable gentleman, solicited a pass outside the Union lines to see a brother in Virginia, but being refused, finally obtained an interview with Lincoln and stated his case. “Have you applied to General Halleck?” inquired the President. “And met with a flat refusal,” said Judge B. “Then you must see Stanton,” continued the President. “I have, and with the same result,” was the reply. “Well, then,” said the President with a smile of good humor, “I can do nothing, for you must know that I have very little influence with this Administration!

Unselfish Patriotism.—During a conversation on the approaching election, in 1864, a gentleman remarked to President Lincoln that nothing could defeat him but Grant’s capture of Richmond, to be followed by his nomination at Chicago and acceptance. “Well,” said the President, “I feel very much like the man who said he didn’t want to die particularly, but if he had got to die, that was precisely the disease he would like to die of.”

Note.—These anecdotes may be made a part of the quotation exercise.


[Illuminated by his own words.]


How willingly would I exchange places today with the soldier who sleeps on the ground in the Army of the Potomac!—To Hon Schuyler Colfax, upon receiving bad news from the army.


I do not believe that any compromise embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible. All that I learn tends to a directly opposite belief. The strength of the rebellion is its military—its army. In any compromise we should waste time, which the enemy would improve to our disadvantage; and that would be all.—August, 1863


There will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue and clenched teeth and steady eye and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation; while, I fear, there will be some white ones unable to forget that, with malignant heart and deceitful speech, they have striven to hinder it.—August, 1863.


If all that has been said since the creation in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice.—March, ’64.


I cannot but know, what you all know, that without a name, perhaps without a reason why I should have a name, there has fallen upon me such a task as did not rest even upon the Father of his Country; and, so feeling, I cannot but turn and look for that support without which it will be impossible to perform that great task. I turn, then, and look to the great American people, and to that God who has never forsaken them.—February, ’61.


Yesterday little indorsements of mine went to you in two cases of postmasterships, sought for widows whose husbands have fallen in the battles of this war. These cases, occurring on the same day, brought me to reflect more attentively than I had before done as to what is fairly due from us here in the dispensing of patronage toward the men who, by fighting our battles, bear the chief burden of saving our country. My conclusion is that, other claims and other qualifications being equal, they have the right; and this is especially applicable to the disabled soldier and the deceased soldier’s family.—Letter to the Postmaster General, July 27, 1863.


Gentlemen and fellow-citizens: I presume you all know who I am; I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by my many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet; I am in favor of a national bank, I am in favor of the internal improvement system and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles. If elected, I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same.—First political speech, delivered at Poppsville, Sangamon Co., Ill., in 1832.


Not far from Hodgensville, in Kentucky, there once lived a man whose name was Thomas Lincoln. This man had built for himself a little log cabin by the side of a brook, where there was an ever-flowing spring of water.

There was but one room in this cabin. On the side next to the brook there was a low doorway; and at one end there was a large fire-place, built of rough stones and clay.

The chimney was very broad at the bottom and narrow at the top. It was made of clay, with flat stones and slender sticks laid around the outside to keep it from falling apart. In the wall, on one side of the fireplace, there was a square hole for a window; but there was no glass in this window. In the summer it was left open all the time; in cold weather a deerskin, or a piece of coarse cloth, was hung over it to keep out the wind and the snow. At night or on stormy days, the skin of a bear was hung across the doorway; for there was no door on hinges to be opened and shut. There was no ceiling to the room; but the inmates of the cabin, by looking up, could see the bare rafters and the rough roof-boards, which Mr. Lincoln himself had split and hewn. There was no floor, but only the bare ground that had been smoothed and beaten until it was as level and hard as pavement.

For chairs there were only blocks of wood and a rude bench on one side of the fireplace. The bed was a little platform of poles, on which were spread the furry skins of wild animals, and a patchwork quilt of homespun goods.

In this poor cabin, on the 12th of February, 1809, a baby boy was born. There was already one child in the family—a girl, two years old, whose name was Sarah.

The little boy grew and became strong like other babies, and his parents named him Abraham, after his grandfather, who had been killed by the Indians many years before.

When he was old enough to run about, he liked to play under the trees by the cabin door. Sometimes he would go with his little sister into the woods and watch the birds and the squirrels. He had no playmates; he did not know the meaning of toys or playthings; but he was a happy child and had many pleasant ways.

Thomas Lincoln, the father, was a kind-hearted man, very strong and brave. Sometimes he would take the child on his knee and tell him strange, true stories of the great forest and of the Indians and the fierce beasts that roamed among the woods and hills. For Thomas Lincoln had always lived on the wild frontier; and he would rather hunt deer and other game in the forest than do anything else. Perhaps this is why he was so poor, perhaps this is why he was content to live in the little log cabin with so few of the comforts of life.

But Nancy Lincoln, the young mother, did not complain. She, too, had grown up among the rude scenes of the backwoods. She had never known better things. And yet she was by nature refined and gentle; and people who know her said she was very handsome. She was a model housekeeper, too; and her poor log cabin was the neatest and best-kept house in all that neighborhood. No woman could be busier than she. She know how to spin and weave, and she made all the clothing for her family. She knew how to wield the axe and the hoe; and she could work on the farm or in the garden when her help was needed.

She had also learned how to shoot with a rifle, and she could bring down a deer or other wild game with as much ease as could her husband; and when the game was brought home, she could dress it, she could cook the flesh for food, and of the skins she could make clothing for her husband and children.

There was still another thing that she could do — she could read; and she read all the books that she could get hold of. She taught her husband the letters of the alphabet, and she showed him how to write his name. For Thomas Lincoln had never gone to school, and he had never learned how to read.

As soon as little Abraham Lincoln was old enough to understand, his mother read stories to him from the bible. Then, while he was still very young, she taught him to read the stories for himself. The neighbors thought it a wonderful thing that so small a boy could read. There were very few of them who could do as much. Few of them thought it of any great use to learn how to read.

There were no school houses in that part of Kentucky in those days, and of course there were no public schools. One winter a traveling schoolmaster came that way. He got leave to use a cabin not far from Mr. Lincoln’s, and gave notice that he would teach school for two or three weeks. The people were too poor to pay him for teaching longer. The name of this schoolmaster was Zachariah Riney.

The young people for miles around flocked to the school. Most of them were boys and girls, and a few were grown-up young men. The only little child was Abraham Lincoln, and he was not yet five years old. There was only one book studied at the school, and it was a spelling book. It had some easy reading lessons at the end, but these were not to be read until after every word in the book had been spelled. You can imagine how the big boys and girls felt when Abraham Lincoln proved that he could spell and read better than any of them.


[The following poem, written by William Knox, a Scottish poet of considerable talent, has been widely published. It was a great favorite with President Lincoln, by whom it was often recited.]

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift, fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.

The infant a mother attended and loved;
The mother that infant's affection who proved,
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

The hand of the king that the scepter hath borne,
The brow of the priest that the miter hath worn,
The eye of the sage and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.

The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap,
The herdsman who climed with his goats to the steep,
The beggar who wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure—her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those who loved her and praised,
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

The saint who enjoyed the communion of heaven,
The sinner who dared to remain unforgiven,
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

So the multitude goes, like the flower or ’the weed
That withers away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes, even those we behold.
To repeat every tale that has often been told.

For we are the same our fathers have been;
We see the same sights our fathers have seen;
We drink the same stream and view the same sun
And run the same course our fathers have run.

The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;
From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink;
To the life we are clinging they also would cling,
But it speeds for us all like a bird on the wing.

They loved, but the story we cannot unfold;
They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;
They grieved, but no wail from their slumber will come;
They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

They died, aye! they died; we things that are now
That walk on the turf that lies over their brow,
And make of their dwellings a transient abode.
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.

Yea! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
We mingle together in sunshine and rain;
And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge.
Still follow each other like surge upon surge.

’Tis the wink of an eye, ’tis the draft of a breath;
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and shroud—
Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?


[The music of this familiar song is found in Riverside Song Book, published by Houghton, Mifflin, etc. Price 40c.]

Now to heav’n our pray’r ascending
God speed the right;
In a noble cause contending.
God speed the right;
Be our zeal in heav’n recorded.
With success on earth rewarded,
God speed the right,
God speed the right!

Be that pray’r again repeated,
God speed the right;
Ne’er despairing, tho’ defeated,
God speed the right;
Like the good and great in story
If we fail we fail with glory,
God speed the right,
God speed the right!

Patient, firm, and persevering,
God speed the right;
Ne’er th’ event nor danger fearing,
God speed the right;
Pains nor toils nor trials heeding,
In the strength of heav’n succeeding,
God speed the right,
God speed the right.


[Dedication of National Cemetery, Nov., 1863.]

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this; but in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be dedicated here to do the great task remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


Mr. Lincoln himself told the following story of his life.—“When I was about eighteen years old I went into an office to study law. After a while I saw that a lawyer’s business was largely to prove things, and I said to myself, “Lincoln, when is a thing proved?” That was a poser. I could not answer that question. What constitutes a proof? Not evidence, that was not to the point. There may be evidence enough, but wherein consists the proof? I was reminded of the story of the German who was tried for some crime, and they brought half-a-dozen respectable men who swore that they saw the prisoner commit the crime. “Vel, vot of dot?” said the Teuton; “six men schvears dot dey sees me do the pishness, I prings more as two tozen good men, who schvears dey did not see me do it.” So, wherein is the proof? I fairly groaned over the question and finally said to myself, “Ah, Lincoln, you can’t tell.” Then I thought, what use is it for me to be in a law office, if I can’t tell when a thing is proved? So I gave it up and went back home over in Kentucky. Soon after I returned to the old log cabin, I fell in with a copy of Euclid. I had not the slightest notion what Euclid was, and I thought I would find out. I found out; but it was no easy job. I looked into the book and I found it was all about lines, angles, surfaces, and solids; but I could not understand it at all. I therefore began very deliberately at the beginning. I learned the definitions and axioms, I demonstrated the first proposition; I said that is simple enough. I went on to the next, and before spring I had gone through that old Euclid and could demonstrate every proposition in it. I knew it from beginning to end; you could not stick me on the hardest of them. One day in the spring, when I had got through with it, I said to myself, “Ah, do you know now when a thing is proved?”; and I answered out loud, “Yes, sir, I do, and you may go back to the law shop.” In a few weeks I went, and to this circumstance I owe all the logical acumen that I possess. I dug it out of that old geometry, often by the light of pine knots; but I got it, and I think that nothing but geometry will teach a man the power of abstract reasoning.”


[Little Blossom’s Visit to President Lincoln.]

“Well, my little child,” he said, in his pleasant, cheerful tone, “what do you want, so bright and early in the morning?”

“Bennie’s life, please, sir,” faltered Blossom.

“Bennie? Who is Bennie?”

“My brother, sir. They are going to shoot him for sleeping at his post.”

“Oh, yes;” and Mr. Lincoln ran his eye over the papers before him. “I remember. It was a fatal sleep. You see, child, it was a time of special danger. Thousands of lives might have been lost for his culpable negligence.”

“So my father said,” replied Blossom, gravely; “but poor Bennie was so tired and Jemmie so weak. He did the work of two, sir, and it was Jemmie’s night, not his; but Jemmie was too tired, and Bennie never thought about himself, that he was tired, too.”

“What is this you say, child? Come here; I do not understand,” and the kind man caught eagerly, as ever, at what seemed to be a justification of an offense.

Blossom went to him; he put his hand tenderly on her shoulder and turned up the pale, anxious face towards his. How tall he seemed! and he was President of the United States, too. But Blossom told her simple and straightforward story, and handed Mr. Lincoln Bonnie’s letter to read.

He read it carefully; then, taking up his pen, wrote a few hasty lines and rang his bell.

Blossom heard this order given: “Send this dispatch at once?”

The president then turned to the girl and said: “Go home, my child, and tell that father of yours, who could approve his country’s sentence even when it took the life of a child like that, that Abraham Lincoln thinks the life far too precious to be lost. Go back, or—wait until tomorrow. Bennie will need a change after he has so bravely faced death; he shall go with you.”

“God bless you, sir,” said Blossom; and who shall doubt that God heard and registered the request.

Two days after this interview the young soldier came to the White House with his little sister. He was called into the President’s private room and a strap fastened upon the shoulder. Mr. Lincoln then said: “The soldier that could carry a sick comrade’s baggage and die for the act so uncomplainingly, deserves well of his country.” Then Bennie and Blossom took their way to their Green Mountain home. A crowd gathered at the Mill depot to welcome them back; and as Farmer Owen’s hand grasped that of his boy, tears flowed down his cheeks, and he was heard to say fervently: “The Lord be praised!”—Selected.


Air.—“ Hold the Fort.”


O’er the land today is ringing
Praise of Lincoln’s name;
Childish voices now are singing
And our Flag, in all its beauty,

Chorus:—Yes! we love the name of Lincoln;
Lincoln, good and true;
Under God, he saved the nation;
Saved for me, for you.

He had sworn to do his duty,
Sworn to do the right;
Lincoln’s glorious fame.
Saved from foeman’s spite.

Lord! we come to Thee confessing,
Bound in sin were we;
Lincoln, working with thy blessing,
Wrought,—and we are free.

(Written for Lincoln Day, to be sung in 4th and 5th year classes.)


Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal—the American people. By the frame of the Government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject! Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you, in hot haste, to a step which you would never have taken deliberately, that object would be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it, while the new administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either.

If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there is still no single reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patrotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulties.

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You can have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the Government while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend” it.

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.


[May be sung to the tune, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”]

If you cannot on the ocean
Sail among the swiftest fleet.
Rocking on the highest billows,
Laughing at the storms you meet.
You can stand among the sailors.
Anchored yet within the bay,
You can lend a hand to help them.
As they launch their boats away.

If you are too weak to journey,
Up the mountain steep and high,
You can stand within the valley,
While the multitudes go by.
You can chant in happy measure,
As they slowly pass along,—
Though they may forget the singer,
They will not forget the song.

If you have not gold and silver,
Every ready to command,
If you cannot to the needy
Reach an ever open hand.
You can visit the afflicted,
O’er the erring you can weep,
You can be a true disciple.
Sitting at the Savior's feet.

If you cannot in the conflict
Prove yourself a soldier true.
If where fire and smoke are thickest,
There’s no work for you to do,
When the battlefield is silent.
You can go with careful tread,
You can bear away the wounded,
You can cover up the dead.

Do not then stand idly waiting
For some greater work to do;
Fortune is a lazy goddess,
She will never come to you.
Go and toil in any vineyard.
Do not fear to do or dare;
If you want a field of labor.
You can find it everywhere.



His most marked characteristic was his artless simplicity. He was absolutely free from all pomposity or affectation, and yet possessed of a certain native dignity that never forsook him. In spite of his angularities and disregard for all conventionality, this simple dignity impressed all observers, and an accomplished foreigner well expressed it when he said, “ He seems to me one grand gentilhomme in disguise.”

He was slow and deliberate in his decisions, but Senator Sherman said of him, “When he puts his foot down, it is with the determination and certainty with which our generals take their steps.”

Tender-hearted as a woman, he would weep like a child over a story of woe; and his law partner, Mr. Herndon, declared that Lincoln more nearly approached the angelic nature than any person he ever saw, women not excepted, and speaks of his "angel-looking eye and face." This partner also testifies to his strict fidelity to principle in every way and especially to his sterling honesty. He relates that whenever Lincoln collected any money belonging to the firm, he would always fold up half, writing upon the wrapper "Billy" (the name by which he called his partner), and then lay it away in his pocket-book until it could be given over to its owner. It was this strict honesty in earlier days, when clerking in a small store, that caused him to walk some distance one evening to return 6½ cents to a lady with whom he had made wrong change, and at another time to carry a half pound of tea to a customer with whom a mistake in weight had occurred. And it was just such incidents as this that earned for him the only title he ever cared for, "Honest Abe."

Perchance no other man has ever had a greater number of descriptive adjectives applied to him—brave, true, patriotic; industrious, patient, persevering; kind, sympathetic, loving; unselfish, devout, earnest; often sad and sorrowful, yet withal shrewd, alert, droll—it has been truly said that his life will be forever a growing power and blessing to the human race.