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The Battle Hymn of the Republic

    MINE eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword,
    His truth is marching on.

    I have seen him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
    They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
    I can read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
    His day is marching on.

    I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
    "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
    Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
    Since God is marching on!"

    He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment-seat;
    Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer him! be jubilant at my feet!
    Our God is marching on.

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
    As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
    While God is marching on!

    Julia Ward Howe


The Dead Christ

    TAKE the dead Christ to my chamber,
    The Christ I brought from Rome;
    Over all the tossing ocean,
    He has reached his western home;
    Bear him as in procession,
    And lay him solemnly
    Where, through weary night and morning,
    He shall bear me company.

    The name I bear is other
    Than that I bore by birth,
    And I've given life to children
    Who'll grow and dwell on earth;
    But the time comes swiftly towards me
    (Nor do I bid it stay),
    When the dead Christ will be more to me
    Than all I hold to-day.

    Lay the dead Christ beside me,
    Oh, press him on my heart,
    I would hold him long and painfully
    Till the weary tears should start;
    Till the divine contagion
    Heal me of self and sin,
    And the cold weight press wholly down
    The pulse that chokes within.

    Reproof and frost, they fret me,
    Towards the free, the sunny lands,
    From the chaos of existence
    I stretch these feeble hands;
    And, penitential, kneeling,
    Pray God would not be wroth,
    Who gave not the strength of feeling,
    And strength of labor both.

    Thou'rt but a wooden carving,
    Defaced of worms, and old;
    Yet more to me thou couldst not be
    Wert thou all wrapt in gold,
    Like the gem-bedizened baby
    Which, at the Twelth-day noon,
    They show from the Ara Coeli's steps,
    To a merry dancing tune.

    I ask of thee no wonders,
    No changing white or red;
    I dream not thou art living,
    I love and prize thee dead.
    That salutary deadness
    I seek, through want and pain,
    From which God's own high power can bid
    Our virtue rise again.

    Julia Ward Howe


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