« PreviousContinue »
01 say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ?
01 say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses ?
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
0! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home, and the war's desolation,
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation !
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,
“Capt. Benjamin Edes, who commanded a company at the battle of North Point, printed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at his office, on the corner of Baltimore and Gay streets, and scattered it broadcast,
on a single slip, throughout the saved city. It was everywhere sung with loud applause; and the prowess of Col. Armistead and his little band in defending Fort McHenry, was a theme for praise upon every lip."
Old Defenders of Baltimore! say can you still see, with the dim eye of age, that illustrious spot where you battled for freedom, and where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposed on the shores of Maryland ? If you still see that spot where your brothers' bones repose, does not your patriotism gain force, and your piety grow warmer when you contemplate your “heaven-rescued land ?" Has the lapse of half a century couled your hearts and rendered your flag less lovely ? Is not your flag lovelier now than then ? Visit North Point once more that the past may predominate over the present. “Far from me and from my friends," says Dr Johnson, quoting him once more, " be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us, indifferent and unmoved, over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery or virtue. That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force on the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona."
While you stand upon the last promontory of life, with more than half a century of years behind, and the great eternal ocean before you, will you not with me, in place of Marathon, substitute North Point, Fort McHenry, the Lazaretto, the six-gun battery, and Fort Covington ?
“Yankee Doodle Dandy,” which the Fathers of the Republic wrested from the foe at Concord and Lexington in ’75, the "Hail Columbia" of our Washington, and your own “Star-Spangled Banner,” whose air was wrested from the same foe in 1814, have been recently cast into the crucible, the spirit flame kindled, and the compound blow-pipe of treason applied, but they are destined to come forth from their intense heat without the smell of fire upon them, and live forever.
“The appearance of the Star-Spangled Banner in the public papers of 1814,” says Capt. Kilty, “was hailed with a degree of enthusiasm which knew no abatement until the outbreak now devastating our land." This has been strictly true in every nation under heaven that has heard the American name and the Star-Spangled Banner; and in no Trans-Atlantic country has the words or the air ever been assailed in public, except as in the following instance—the account we clip from the Liverpool Post of October 1, 1863. “The Americans carry their patriotic prejudices into the concert room. A few nights since, at Scarborough, Mrs. Howard Paul, while singing the Star-Spangled Banner, the national lyric of the United States, was assailed with a storm of hisses by a party of Southern Americans, who are sojourning at that watering place. One of the local journals, in commenting upon the affair, explains that Mrs. Howard Paul had not the slightest political motive in singing the lyric, but simply inserted it in her programme as a beautiful melody, which possessed an additional interest from its being an old English air, adopted and nationalized on the other side of the Atlantic." Americans !!
“Every people becomes imbued, steeped as it were, in the fervor, the inspiration, the fire of their bards. All great nations have become thrilled and moved to perform noble and heroic deeds by the rich melodies of their songsters. Every ordeal under which a nation moves, through strife or war, tends, like the subject which passes through the crucible, to make it more pure, more bright, and more powerful.
“By contention, by friction, by abrasion, all the powers of human ingenuity become exerted, and invention and construction in multitudinous forms, is the result. No nation has ever surpassed this in these powers. The poet, among the rest, has winged his soul towards heaven, and, basking in the sun-light there, has daguerreotyped his feelings into poetry and transmitted them into song. These feelings, thoughts, and instincts, will live forever. The nation which fails to transmit ennobling song to its posterity, thereby writes its own epitaph-it sounds its own death-knell from the belfry above, whilst the church below is all on fire.”
“Wouldst thou know," says Confucius, "if a people be well governed, if its manners be good, examine the music it practices.”
“When I play upon my king,” says Kouie, a Chinese musician, “the animals range themselves spell-bound before me with melody."
The skill with which Orpheus struck the lyre was fabled to have been such as to move the very trees and rocks, and the beasts of the forests assembled around him as he touched its chords. Armed with his lyre he entered the realms of Hades, and gained an easy admittance to the palace of Pluto. At the music of his golden shell, to borrow the beautiful language of ancient poetry, the wheel of Ixion ceased to revolve, Tantalus forgot the thirst that tormented him, and the inhabitants of that dark despair were for a season refreshed by the dew-laden balmy notes of music.
Sing on then, bards of Americal engrave your national melodies on every heart; then purple mountains of fame, like Alps on Alps, will loom up before you—and as long as a nation lives on this continent, consecrated by the foot-prints of Washington, may the melodies of Yankee Doodle Dandy, Hail Columbia, and the Star-Spangled Banner, never cease to refresh the heart of every nation of the world, nor fail to rally the noble sons of freedom to the American standard.
Hail ! Sovereign of the world of flags ! whose majesty and might
No fleets can stop thy progress, no armies bid thee stay,
the moon, and all the orbs that shine upon thee now,
We'll rally round the stars and stripes until the victory's won,
Gloom at Mount Vernon-Death of Washington—His last words,
Asrs. Washington—The Funeral, Washington's Will— His Negroes all free-Death of Mrs. Washington—Her Will— Her Slaves not free—The old Vault-Robbery of the Dead—The new Vault- Washington and Lady's remains re-entombed in 1837—Death of Father Jack-Flis Grave-Servants scattered— Scomberry a Hermit— Aaron Burr—His Treason-Scomberry's Prophecy–His Death-Mount Vernon in 1861.
Jn 1799 we left Mount Vernon with solemn reflections, on account of the pall of gloom that was about to darken the bright skies of autumn there; for on the 14th of December, in that year, it was announced that “Washington is no more."
“These are my Wills,” said he, just before he died. “Preserve this and burn the other.”
“The designated will was burned.”
“The group gathered near to the couch of the sufferer, watching with intense anxiety for the slightest dawning of hope.”
“I am very ill,” he said in reply to an affectionate old servant that smoothed down his pillow.
“I am dying, sir, but am not afraid to die,” said he to Dr. Craik.
“I find I am going :” said he, “my breath cannot last long; 1 believed from the first that my disorder would prove fatal. Arrange my accounts and settle my books."
“Let Mr. Rawlins finish recording my other letters which he has begun."
“I am certainly near my end,” said the dying chief. "It is a debt we all must pay. I look to the event with perfect resignation.”
“I am afraid I fatigue you too much," the General would say.
“Christopher, sit down,” said he to his faithful body-servant, who had been standing by him all day.
“Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go," said he, turning his eyes on Dr. Craik.