After The War The Peace Autumn

Written for the Fssex County Agricultural Festival, 1865.

THANK God for rest, where none molest,

And none can make afraid;

For Peace that sits as Plenty's guest

Beneath the homestead shade!

Bring pike and gun, the sword's red scourge,

The negro's broken chains,

And beat them at the blacksmith's forge

To ploughshares for our plains.

Alike henceforth our hills of snow,

And vales where cotton flowers;

All streams that flow, all winds that blow,

Are Freedom's motive-powers.

Henceforth to Labor's chivalry

Be knightly honors paid;

For nobler than the sword's shall be

The sickle's accolade.

Build up an altar to the Lord,

O grateful hearts of ours

And shape it of the greenest sward

That ever drank the showers.

Lay all the bloom of gardens there,

And there the orchard fruits;

Bring golden grain from sun and air,

From earth her goodly roots.

There let our banners droop and flow,

The stars uprise and fall;

Our roll of martyrs, sad and slow,

Let sighing breezes call.

Their names let hands of horn and tan

And rough-shod feet applaud,

Who died to make the slave a man,

And link with toil reward.

There let the common heart keep time

To such an anthem sung

As never swelled on poet's rhyme,

Or thrilled on singer's tongue.

Song of our burden and relief,

Of peace and long annoy;

The passion of our mighty grief

And our exceeding joy!

A song of praise to Him who filled

The harvests sown in tears,

And gave each field a double yield

To feed our battle-years.

A song of faith that trusts the end

To match the good begun,

Nor doubts the power of Love to blend

The hearts of men as one!

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