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"Make some way there!" "Let me nearer!" "I am stifling!” "Stifle, then! When a nation's life's at hazard,

We've no time to think of men!"

So they surged against the State House,
While all solemnly inside
Sat the "Continental Congress,"
Truth and reason for their guide.
O'er a simple scroll debating,

Which, though simple it might be,
Yet should shake the cliffs of England
With the thunders of the free.

Far aloft in that high steeple

Sat the bellman, old and gray;
He was weary of the tyrant

And his iron-sceptred sway.
So he sat, with one hand ready
On the clapper of the bell,
When his eye could catch the signal,
The long expected news to tell.

See! See! The dense crowd quivers
Through all its lengthy line,
As the boy beside the portal

Hastens forth to give the sign!
With his little hands uplifted,

Breezes dallying with his hair, Hark! with deep, clear intonation,

Breaks his young voice on the air :

Hushed the people's swelling murmur,
Whilst the boy cries joyously;
"Ring!" he shouts, "Ring! grandpapa,
Ring! oh, ring for Liberty!"
Quickly, at the given signal,
The old bellman lifts his hand,
Forth he sends the good news, making
Iron music through the land.

How they shouted! What rejoicing!
How the old bell shook the air,
Till the clang of freedom ruffled

The calmly gliding Delaware!
How the bonfires and the torches

Lighted up the night's repose, And from the flames, like fabled Phoenix, Our glorious liberty arose !

That old State House bell is silent,

Hushed is now its clamorous tongue; But the spirit it awakened,

Still is living-ever young;

And when we greet the smiling sunlight
On the fourth of each July,
We will ne'er forget the bellman
Who, betwixt the earth and sky,
Rung out, loudly, "Independence;"

Which, please God, shall never die !


THE wind it wailed, the wind it moaned,

And the white caps flecked the sea; "An' I would to God," the skipper groaned, "I had not my boy with me!"

Snug in the stern-sheets little John
Laughed as the scud swept by;
But the skipper's sunburnt cheek grew wan
As he watched the wicked sky.

"Would he were at his mother's side !"
And the skipper's eyes were dim.
"Good Lord in heaven, if ill betide,
What would become of him?


"For me-my muscles are as steel;
For me let hap what may;

I might make shift upon the keel
Until the break o' day.

"But he he is so weak and small,
So young, scarce learned to stand—
Oh, pitying Father of us all,

I trust him in Thy hand!

"For Thou, who markest from on high A sparrow's fall-each one!

Surely, O Lord, Thou'lt have an eye
On Alec Yeaton's son !"

Then, helm hard aport, right straight he sailed
Toward the headland light;

The wind it moaned, the wind it wailed,
And black, black fell the night.

Then burst a storm to make one quail,
Though housed from winds and waves—
They who could tell about that gale
Must rise from watery graves!

Sudden it came, as sudden went;
Ere half the night was sped

The winds were hushed, the waves were spent,
And the stars shone overhead.

Now, as the morning mist grew thin,
The folks on Gloucester shore

Saw a little figure floating in,
Secure on a floating oar !

Up rose the cry: "A wreck! a wreck !
Pull, mates, and waste no breath-"
They knew it, though 'twas but a speck
Upon the edge of death!

Long did they marvel in the town
At God, His strange decree,
That let the stalwart skipper drown
And the little child go free!


THE boy stood on the burning deck,
Whence all but him had fled;

The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,

A proud though childlike form.

The flames rolled on; he would not go
Without his father's word;

That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.

He called aloud, "Say, father, say,
If yet my task be done!"

He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.

"Speak, father," once again he cried,
"If I may yet be gone!"
And but the booming shot replied,
And fast the flames rolled on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair;
And looked from that lone post of death
In still yet brave despair;

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