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strength. The mountains are not easily crossed, and the valleys are not easily retained. When the invader comes, he moves like an avalanche, carrying destruction in his path. The peasantry sinks before him. The country is too poor for plunder, and too rough for valuable conquest. Nature presents her eternal barriers, on every side, to check the wantonness of ambition ; and Switzerland remains, with her simple institutions, a military road to fairer climates, scarcely worth a permanent possession, and protected by the jealousy of her neighbors.
We stand the latest, and, if we fail, probably the last, experiment of self-government by the people. We have begun it under circumstances of the most auspicious nature. We are in the vigor of youth. Our growth has never been checked by the oppressions of tyranny. Our constitutions have never been enfeebled by the vices or luxuries of the old world. Such as we are, we have been from the beginning simple, hardy, intelligent, accustomed to self-government and self-respect. The Atlantic rolls between us and any formidable foe.
Within our own territory, stretching through many degrees of latitude and longitude, we have the choice of many products, and many means of independence. The government is mild. The press is free. Religion is free. Knowledge reaches, or may reach, every home. What fairer prospect of success could be presented ? What means more adequate to accomplish the sublime end? What more is necessary, than for the people to preserve what they themselves have created ?
Already has the age caught the spirit of our institutions. It has already ascended the Andes, and snuffed the breezes of both oceans. It has infused itself into the life-blood of Europe, and warmed the sunny plains of France, and the low lands of Holland. It has touched the philosophy of Germany and the north, and, moving onward to the south, Las opened to Greece the lessons of her better days.
Can it be that America, under such circumstances, can betray herself! that she is to be added to the catalogue of republics, the inscription upon whose ruins is, “ They were, but they are not !” Forbid it, my countrymen! forbid it, Heaven !
I call upon you, fathers, by the shades of your ancestors, by the dear ashes which repose in this precious soil, by all you are and all you hope to be : resist every project of disunion, resist every encroachment upon your liberties, resist every attempt to fetter your consciences, or smother your public schools, or extinguish your system of public instruction. I call upon you, mothers, by that which never fails in
the love of your offspring ; teach them, as they climb your knees, or lean on your bosoms, the blessings of liberty. Swear them at the altar, as with their baptismal vows, to be true to their country, and never to forget or forsake her.
I call upon you, young men, to remember whose sons you are, whose inheritance you possess. Life can never be too short, which brings nothing but disgrace and oppression. Death never comes too soon, if necessary in defence of the liberties of your country.
I call upon you, old men, for your counsels, and your prayers, and your benedictions. May not your gray hairs go down in sorrow to the grave, with the recollection that you have lived in vain! May not your last sun sink in the west upon a nation of slaves !
No! I read in the destiny of my country far better hopes, far brighter visions. We, who are now assembled here, must soon be gathered to the congregation of other days. The time of our departure is at hand, to make way for our children upon the theatre of life. May God speed them and theirs ! May he who, at the distance of another century, shall stand here, to celebrate this day, still look round upon A free, happy, and virtuous people! May he have reason to exult as we do! May he, with all the enthusiasm of truth, as well as of poetry, exclaim that here is still his country.
“ Zealous, yet modest; innocent, though free;
THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece !
Where burning Sappho* loved and sung,
Where Delos † rose and Phæbus sprung!
The Scian and the Teian Muse, I
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Their place of birth alone is mute
The mountains look on Marathon, ||
And Marathon looks on the sea;
* Sappho, a celebrated Greek poetess, was a native of the Island of Les bos. Her writings, of which very few fragments remain, were characterized by depth and fervor of feeling.
+ The Island of Delos is represented, in Greek legendary history, as having foated under the sea for a long period, and been called to the surface by the agency of Neptune. Apollo and Diana were born upon it.
I The Scian and the Teian muse means the epic and lyric poetry of Greece. Homer, the great epic poet, was born at Scio, according to some accounts: Anacreon, the lyric poet, was born in the Island of Teos.
§ The Greeks supposed that there were certain islands in the Atlantio Ocean, where good men were carried after death, and lived in perpetual happiness. These were called the islands of the blessed.
il Marathon is a village about twenty miles north-east of Athens. The Persians were defeated here by the Athenians, under the command of Miltiades.
And musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
A king sat on the rocky brow
Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis ;
; all were his !
And where are they? And where art thou,
My country ? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic bosom beats no more !
'Tis something, in the dearth of fame,
Though linked among a fettered race,
Even as I sing, suffuse my
Must we but weep o'er days more blessed ?
Must we but blush ? Our fathers bled.
A remnant of our Spartan dead !
Salamis is an island off the coast of Attica, near which the Persian fleet, during the invasion of Xerxes, was defeated by that of the confederated Greeks.
+ Thermopylæ was a narrow pass, leading from Thessaly into Locris and Southern Greece. The army of Xerxes was resisted here for some time by a band of three hundred Spartans, under Leonidas, who were at last all slain.
What, silent still? and silent all ?
the voices of the dead
And answer, “Let one living head, But one, arise, we come, we come!” 'Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain — in vain; strike other chords;
Fill high the cup with Samian wine ;
And shed the blood of Scio's vine !
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet
Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx * gone?
The nobler and the manlier one ?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine !
We will not think of themes like these !
He served — but served Polycrates † -
The tyrant of the Chersonese I
Was freedom's best and bravest friend;
* The Pyrrhic dance is a sort of warlike dance, performed exclusively by men, which has come down from the ancient Greeks. The Pyrrhic phalanx was the phalanx of Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, a celebrated general of antiquity.
+ Polycrates was king of the Island of Samos. He befriended and patronized the poet Anacreon.
# Chersonese means peninsula, and here designates the Thracian Chersonese, now called the Peninsula of the Dardanelles, or of Gallipoli. Mił