THE day’s sharp strife is ended now,
Our work is done, God knoweth how !
As on the thronged, unrestful town
The patience of the moon looks down,
I wait to hear, beside the wire,
The voices of its tongues of fire.
Slow, doubtful, faint, they seem at first:
Be strong, my heart, to know the worst!
Hark!—there the Alleghanies spoke;
That sound from lake and prairie broke !
That sunset-gun of triumph rent
The silence of a continent !
That signal from Nebraska sprung,
This, from Nevada’s mountain tongue !
Is that thy answer, strong and free,
O loyal heart of Tennessee?
What strange, glad voice is that which calls
From Wagner’s grave and Sumter’s walls ?
From Mississippi’s fountain-head
A sound as of the bison’s tread!
There rustled freedom’s Charter Oak !
In that wild burst the Ozarks spoke!
Cheer answers cheer from rise to set
Of sun. We have a country yet!
The praise, O God, be thine alone !
Thou givest not for bread a stone ;
Thou hast not led us through the night
To blind us with returning light;
Not through the furnace have we passed,
To perish at its mouth at last.
O night of peace, thy flight restrain !
November’s moon, be slow to wane !
Shine on the freedman’s cabin floor,
On brows of prayer a blessing pour;
And give, with full assurance blest,
The weary heart of Freedom rest!