‘Tis a time for much rejoicing;
      Let each heart be lured away;
Let each tongue, its thanks be voicing
      For Emancipation Day.
Day of victory, day of glory,
For thee, many a field was gory!

Many a time in days now ended,
      Hath our fathers’ courage failed,
Patiently their tears they blended;
      Ne’er they to their, Maker, railed,
Well we know their groans, He numbered,
When dominions fell, asundered.

As of old the Red Sea parted,
      And oppressed passed safely through,
Back from the North, the bold South, started,
      And a fissure wide she drew;
Drew a cleft of Liberty,
Through it, marched our people free.

And, in memory, ever grateful,
      Of the day they reached the shore,
Meet we now, with hearts e’er faithful,
      Joyous that the storm is o’er.
Storm of Torture! May grim Past,
Hurl thee down his torrents fast.

Bring your harpers, bring your sages,
      Bid each one the story tell;
Waft it on to future ages,
      Bid descendants learn it well.
Kept it bright in minds now tender,
Teach the young their thanks to render.

Come with hearts all firm united,
      In the union of a race;
With your loyalty well plighted,
      Look your brother in the face,
Stand by him, forsake him never,
God is with us now, forever.

More by Priscilla Jane Thompson

Song of the Moon

Oh, a hidden power is in my breast, 
    A power that none can fathom; 
I call the tides from seas of rest, 
They rise, they fall, at my behest; 
And many a tardy fisher’s boat, 
I’ve torn apart and set afloat, 
     From out their raging chasm. 

For I’m an enchantress, old and grave; 
      Concealed I rule the weather; 
Oft set I, the lover’s heart a blaze, 
With hidden power of my fulgent rays, 
Or seek I the souls of dying men, 
And call the sea-tides from the fen,
      And drift them out together. 

I call the rain from the mountain’s peak,
     And sound the mighty thunder; 
When I wax and wane from week to week,
The heavens stir, while vain men seek,
To solve the myst’ries that I hold, 
But a bounded portion I unfold, 
     So nations pass and wonder. 

Yea, my hidden strength no man may know;
     Nor myst’ries be expounded;
I’ll cause the tidal waves to flow, 
And I shall wane, and larger grow, 
Yet while man rack his shallow brain, 
The secrets with me still remain, 
      He seeks in vain, confounded. 

Related Poems

Home, Sweet Home

Sharers of a common country,
They had met in deadly strife;
Men who should have been as brothers
Madly sought each other’s life.

In the silence of the even,
When the cannon’s lips were dumb,
Thoughts of home and all its loved ones
To the soldier’s heart would come.

On the margin of a river,
‘Mid the evening’s dews and damps,
Could be heard the sounds of music
Rising from two hostile camps.

One was singing of its section 
Down in Dixie, Dixie’s land,
And the other of the banner
Waved too long from strand to strand.

In the lawn where Dixie’s ensign
Floated o’er the hopeful slave,
Rose the song that freedom’s banner,
Starry-lighted, long might wave.

From the fields of strife and carnage,
Gentle thoughts began to roam,
And a tender strain of music
Rose with words of “Home, Sweet Home.”

Then the hearts of strong men melted,
For amid our grief and sin
Still remains that “touch of nature,”
Telling us we all are kin.

In one grand but gentle chorus,
Floating to the starry dome,
Came the words that brought them nearer,
Words that told of “Home, Sweet Home.” 

For awhile, all strife forgotten,
They were only brothers then,
Joining in the sweet old chorus,
Not as soldiers, but as men.

Men whose hearts would flow together,
Though apart their feet might roam,
Found a tie they could not sever,
In the mem’ry of each home.

Never may the steps of carnage
Shake our land from shore to shore,
But may mother, home and Heaven,
Be our watchwords evermore. 

A Far Country

Beyond the cities I have seen,
Beyond the wrack and din,
There is a wide and fair demesne
Where I have never been.

Away from desert wastes of greed,
Over the peaks of pride,
Across the seas of mortal need
Its citizens abide.

And through the distance though I see
How stern must be the fare,
My feet are ever fain to be
Upon the journey there.

In that far land the only school
The dwellers all attend
Is built upon the Golden Rule,
And man to man is friend.

No war is there nor war’s distress,
But truth and love increase—
It is a realm of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.

To One of the Brave

Written While a Soldier, at Fort Washakie, Wyo., for First Sergeant William Barnes, Troop "F," 10th Cavalry, on the Occasion of His Forthy-Fifth Birthday

Though forty-five long years, you say, 
Have silvered o'er your head with gray, 
Your friends rejoice, to-day, that you 
Stand hale and hearty in your "blue."

Long for Old Glory you have stood
With truest sense of brotherhood; 
Long may you live a useful life—
Noble and true in peace of strife.