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New Year's Address Alton Telegraph. January 1st, 1848 Year after year! How like the phantoms of a troubled dream, - How like the visions of a youthful heart, - How like the shadows of the twilight hour, - Or morning's dew-drops - or the summer-cloud, - Pass our dead years away! Spring with her flowers Is gone, and Summer's richer glory; - Autumn with rainbow-woods, and purple shades, And sleepy fountains murmuring; while Winter, Like a pilgrim harper gray, bends o'er his chords, And wails the requiem of the dying year! Gone!-they are gone, with all their griefs and joys! - Their hours of rapture and their hours of wo! Symbols and shadows of the changeful life, Each one hath sought its own appointed home. Unto the silent mansions they have passed, And never more in all earth's pilgrimage Will they return. Like the Autumnal leaf-The fleecy flake of Winter, - like the bow, Which, with bright fillet, binds the brow of Heaven In dewy spring-time, -like as the foam-bell Iris'd on the flood, or, mists of morning By the dawn roll'd up the mountain's side, -thus- Visions of happiness are hurrying hence To visit us no more; -and this hath passed,-Forever passed, another year away. Yet may we grieve not, On the budding rose, - Time, the Perfecter, hath his finger pressed, And, in their delicate beauty, there have blushed Soft petals in a bright maturity. Upon the lip of grief, Time, the Consoler, Pillow'd, now plays the glad sunshine, Where was never hoped that joy could smile again. And Time, the Ravisher, hath strode the earth, And his dark path is marked by desolation. Affections, too, have they not been estranged? - Love blighted in the bloom, - deep feeling scathed? - And many a dream of earthly happiness Fled - fled forever from the world away? The year hath passed. And as with human hopes, And the fair forms of Nature, it hath passes With States and Empires. Billow on Billow O'er Time's stormy sea hath roll'd to shatter, - Kingdom on kingdom risen from its depths, Like stars amid the tempest of a night, Proudly to beam, and then go down forever: And garments roll'd in gore, and cities sack'd - The victor's conqu'ring shout, - the victim's groan, - Oppression's frown, - the silent suff'er's sigh, These- these have been as they had been before, - As they are now, - as they will ever be. Of kingdoms, as of man, Time hath its tale. On ev'ry brow, Old Year, they shadow rests, - On ev'ry clime-on ev'ry race, they mark is seen, [Dark?] pestillence again hath strode the earth, WIth death and desolation in his train. While on - still on that scourage of nations treads, In the terrific majesty of doom. And famine, with his gaunt and ghastly front, Hath reigned a despout o'er a victim land. Erin! - thou living emerald on ocean's breast! - A las-alas for thee! enslaved of man, - Almost forgot of Heaven, - When shall they woes,- They wrongs, - thy miseries, cease? When shall thy cry For vengeance reach the skies? And shall that prayer Ascend in vain to God? Is there no hope - No champion for man? Must the dark cloud Which now o'ershadows millions of our race Forever gloom upon a prostrate world? Shall Russia crush Circassia's free-born sons? Shall Albion's lion ravish half the Globe? Algeria be the victim of the Gaul? Perfidious Austria, 'neath her iron heel, Tramp out the last lone gem of Poland's crown? And Switzerland, - must thy green hills and vales Be drenched with blood, to buy the rights of man? Shall Europe never from her slumber wake, And whelm her tyrants with and earthquake's shock? Europe shall wake! Already half her thrones, From their deep base by centuries confirmed, Begin to heave. From thy dread halls, old Rome, Goes forth a shout, which ere long shall be heard Throughout the world; and "Freedom - Freedom To the race of man!" shall be the watchword of a Continent! Famine and Pestilence, And War, and Wrong, o'er other lands have swept, While on our own beloved soil the smile of health and plenty, peace and joy, hath reigned. Heaven hath bestowed its sunshine, - Earth her fruits; And, from the bounties of our harvest-fields The famished hosts of other lands are fed. Her white-winged Commerce visits ev'ry isle,-Her star-lit Flag illumines ev'ry wave. And Science, too, - bright Science, plumes her wing, And scales empyrean heights before unsought. Thought - feeling - passion, now on magic cord Circle the globe with speed of Fancy's flight! Old Ocean with the Sire of Waters meets! The ice-clad North salutes the flow'ry South! Thine azure wave, Lake Erie, greets the Gulf' And the blue heights of Alleghany's range Shout to the peaks which shade Pacific seas. O'er land and sea - o'er mountain, crag, and stream, - Through forest deep, and gloomiest wilderness, - ' Mild storm and tempest, - hurricane and flood, Gleameth that lighning line of though and feeling; Fleeteth those spirit words - that magic spell! And onward - onward still those lines shall press, Until all nations and all tongues of earth, By simultaneous sympathy are bound Into one mighty brotherhood of man. But not alone doth Peace her trophies show. Upon our border frowns War's iron cloud; And ev'ry genial gale from Southern shores Brings to the ear the clash and roar of battle. And glittering arms, and marshal'd hosts, And banners on the breeze, and dancing plumes, - All - all the pomp and pageantry of strife, - These have become almost as household scenes. Not have they come alone. The triumph-shout, Of each victorious field, hath found, alas! In the wild wail of many a broken heart A mournful echoing! The widow's moan, - The orphan's piercing cry,- the mother weeping For her first-born son; and smothered sighs of many a gentle breast whose hopes of happiness - Of love - of life, have fled, - forever fled! From our own homes and hearths have gone our sons. Our gallant sons, - to brave the foreign foe. And dell and desert,-mountain-height and plain Have echoed to the shout of victory. Where Montezuma reigned, and Cortez stood, There rule and stand the sons of Freedom's soil, And o'er their vanquish'd domes her banner waves. On that bright banner may no star grow dim! O'er the free sons of great and gallant sires Long may it stream in gorgeous heraldry! And as, upon that glorious standard-sheet, Oh, may it fling increasing light, Along the hill-tops of a midnight world!