Father Abe

(Song of the American Sons of Labour)

The Song

O WE knew so well, dear Father,
When we answered to your call,
And the Southern Moloch stricken
Shook and tottered to his fall —
O we knew so well you loved us,
And our hearts beat back to yours
With the rapturous adoration
That through all the years endures!
Mothers, sisters bade us hasten
Sweethearts, wives with babe at breast;
For the Union, faith and freedom,
For our hero of the West!
And we wrung forth victory blood-stained
From the desperate hands of Crime,
And our Cause blazed out Man's beacon
Through the endless future time!
And forgiven, forever we bade it
Cease, that envy, hatred, strife,
As he willed, our murdered Father
That had sealed his love with life!
O dear Father, was it thus, then?
Did we this but in a dream?
Is it real, this hideous present?
Does our suffering only seem?
Bend and listen, look and tell us!
Are these joyless toilers We?
Slaves more wretched, patient, piteous
Than the slaves we fought to free!
Are these weak, worn girls and women
Those whose mothers yet can tell
How they kissed and clasped men god-like
With fierce faces fronting hell?
Bend and listen, look and tell us!
Is this silent waste, possessed
By bloat thieves and their task-masters,
Thy free, thy fair, thy fearless West?
Are these Eastern mobs of wage-slaves,
Are these cringing debauchees,
Sons of those who slung their rifles
Shook the old Flag to the breeze?

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"Father Abe" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 20 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/14014/father-abe>.

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