What I Have Heard and Seen – Aderiondak, 1864

Who act like slaves, yet talk Iike men,
With wavering will but true convictions,
Now fired to high resolve, and then
Swayed by low party predilections,
Are like the tempest driven spray,
The sport of every change of weather,
While Union gives the deep waves sway.
To shake the rock-bound coast together.

I have seen freemen placed in docks.
Or dragged to die, unheard, in prison,
While others blessed the rise in stocks,
As if salvation’s sun had risen.
When, had the all-expectant mass,
One true man’s mind, to give it motion-
That power th’ attendant planet has-
‘Twould shake the earth, like waves of ocean.

I’ve heard men swear, a thousand times,
Upon Iheir sacred words of honor(?)
That ne’er should Abolition crimes
Usurp the land, nor batten on her,
And yet, like Lazarones they stood,
To bandy badinage at random,
E’en while the crimes their oaths eschewed
Usurped their charters ad-caplandum.

I’ve seen the little children taught
To hold the Constitution precious;
That it, and each memento got
From Washington, were good and precious-
But now I see them on the stoops,
Before they cast their first dentition,
Hold Washington and Hancock dupes,
And wave their flags for Abolition.

I have heard country Yankees swear-
When treason wrought, through false alarms-
If Abolition should impair
Their charters-they’d reverse their arms-
I see them now in camp and street,
Strut proud in Abolition armors,
Of all the vilest things you meet,
The very vilest nigger charmers.

I’ve heard honest fathers’ sons,
When first they entered in commission,
Swear on their bayonets, swords and guns,
They’d never fight for Abolition-
I see them now, with stolid grin,
And, gracious, how I blush to see them!-
By Alla, link with colored menI
And mess, and sleep, and toddy with them.
I’ve heard a leader of brigade,
To solders on a rostrum belch him,
Fling odium on the Copper-head,
And tell the sensless dupes to “squelch him”
How swift the specious treason runs,
How soon even manhood bends the knee, men!
He was an honest patriot once,
And they who heard him once were freemen!

Still soldiers blessed the despot’s “cause!”
And still the song of freedom chanted,
Even when their charters and their laws
Were tattered like the flags they flaunted!
And still the people looked in vain,
Anorth for even a manly token-
Alas for baffled manhood, when
The plighted faith of chiefs is brokenl
As mountain snows, when winter-locked,
Descend-in spring-through countless branches,
But shaken by the thunder-shock,
Sweep down resistless avalanches;
Such leaders thawed the people’s hearts,
And wasted all their high endeavor-
Which, touched aright, would tear apart
The chains they now must wear forever.

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