Achsa White Sprague

Nov. 17, 1827 - Jul. 6, 1862


The Trial

by Achsa White Sprague

The Past lifts up its solemn voice:
America, it speaks to thee!
The blood of its old patriots cries,
Cease not till thou art wholly free!
Cease not, till broken every chain,
And all thy soil is free from stain!

Thou hast no common work to do;
'Tis for the coming years you bleed;
If thou art worthy of thy time,
Each drop of blood is precious seed.
The fathers framed thy glorious plan,
Now thou must prove its strength to man.

Not yet must this Republic fail;
For kings have wished long years to test
The people's power, and see it fall.
The hour demands it, do thy best!
Teach kings and kingdoms what's true power,
By being equal to this hour!

No wonder that the red right arm
Of battle, bares itself to thee;
God, may it never sheathe its sword,
Till all our soil and souls are free!
Till in our midst no slave can stand,
Give us alone the avenging hand!

And when at last our nation springs
At Freedom's stern, impartial-call,
Proclaiming liberty to man,
Sustaining equal rights to all,
Then, at the bondman's glad release,
May Freedom grasp the hand of Peace.

Ho, lovers of the true and right!
The blood of patriots calls to thee,
From out their long-forgotten graves --
The altars of true liberty:
Cease not to pour thy blood like rain,
Till it has cleansed the nation's stain!


The Poet And Other Poems.
Copyright 1864
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.
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