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An' then a red-nosed, dranken tramp, of low-toned, rowdy style, Give an interductory hiccup, an' then staggered up the aisle. Then through thet holy atmosphere there crep' a sense er sin, An' through thet air of sanctity the odor uv old gin.
Then Deacon Purington he yelled, his teeth all set on edge,-“This man purfanes the house er God! W'y this is sacrilege !" The tramp did n' hear a word he said, but slouched 'ith stumblin'
feet, An' sprawled an' staggered up the steps, an' gained the organ seat. He then went pawin' through the keys, an’ soon there rose a strain Thet seemed to jest bulge out the heart an' 'lectrify the brain ; An' then he slapped down on the thing 'ith hands an'head an'
knees, He slam-dashed his hull body down kerflop upon the keys.
The organ roared, the music flood went sweepin' high an' dry;
An' then he tried a tender strain thet melted in our ears,
The morning stars together sung—no soul wuz left alone-
But we knew he'd tol his story, tho' he never spoke a word,
-S. W. Foss.
Who had thought, until Grant said it, that the crisis comes in battle when both armies are nearly exhausted, and that usually the one wins which attacks first? When did he ever fail to attack first? Who had thought, until he suggested it, that the trouble with the Potomac army, the pride of the nation, was, that it had not fought its battles through? Who then living has forgotten the utter downfall of hope, the absolute despair throughout the North, as the moan from the Wilderness came rolling up on the Southern breeze? Is the task hopeless ? Is this last mighty effort only more disastrous than that of McClellan, of Pope, of Burnside, of Hooker ? No! listen to the assurance. “I'll fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.” Every loyal heart in the land is inspired. That telegram to the president was the death-knell of rebellion.
But the test-hour of Grant had not yet come. Meade was glorious, Sherman magnificent; but Sigel is routed. Butler has not succeeded, Banks utterly failed. Shall Grant unloose his grip? Never! Was it, then, less than the inspiration of genius? Sheridan, take the Sixth Corps, and clean out the valley so a must take his rations when he flies over it.” Meade, absorb the army of the James, and never let Lee escape. Sherman, march to the sea as a cyclone of devastation. Thomas, play with Ilood until you draw him to destruction. Stoneman, take your bold riders across the mountains, into Virginia and the Carolinas, right across every line of supply to the enemy. Wilson, push your twelve thousand mounted men into the heart of Alabama. Canby, capture Mobile.
Such was the new combination, audacious in strategy beyond precedent; but, if faulty in any respect, military critics have not discovered it Its perfection, and the result of the execution, stamp it forever with the insignia of genius. Masterly tactics, brilliant mancuvring, bold fighting, though essential to success after the combinations have produced the strategical situation, yet rarely cure material defect in the latter. If cured at all, it is generally by blunders of the eneiny. Lee and Johnston, as defensive generals, were not blunderers. I pity the man who, in the face of the record, attacks General Grant as a master of grand strategy. I need not speak of his tactics. I believe mankind are agreed that
the history of war discloses no display of tactical skill and vigor superior to Grant's about Vicksburg, and from the 3d to the 9th of April, 1865, being directed to prevent General Lee's attempted escape from Petersburg and junction with Johnston in North Carolina. The annals of other wars seem tame when read by the side of the story of that week's work. It resulted in the despatch to Secretary Stanton, so simple and modest in language, yet the most momentous of all history : “General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia this afternoon on terms proposed by myself.” The work was done—done precisely as planned, not a vestige of luck in it. Every army was at the precise place designed, with the exact work accomplished that was marked out for it. Method, plan, design exclude the idea of luck.
Let us in humble reverence say, the God of nations blessed General Grant in his awful undertaking.
BRIDGE OF THE TAY.
The night and the storm fell together upon the old town of Dundee, And, trembling, the mighty Firth river held out its cold hand to
’T was a night when the landsman seeks shelter, and cares not to
venture abroad; When the sailor clings close to the rigging, and prays for the mercy
Look! the moon has come out, clad in splendor, the turbulent scene
to behold; She smiles at the night's devastation, she dresses the storm-king in
gold. She kindles the air with her cold flame, as if to her hand it were
given To light the frail earth to its ruin with the tenderest radiance of
heaven. To the south, like a spider-thread waving, there curves, for a twoThis world's latest man-devised wonder,—the far-famous bridge of
It stretches and gleams into distance; it creeps the broad stream
o'er and o’er, Till it rests its strong, delicate fingers in the palm of the opposite
shiore. But, look! through the mists of the southward there flash to the eye,
clear and plain, Like a meteor that's bound to destruction, the lights of a swift
'Mid the lights that so gayly are gleaming yon city of Dundee
within, Is one that is waiting a wanderer who long o'er the ocean has been. His age-burdened parents are watching, from the window that looks
on the firth, For the train that will come with their darling, their truest loved
treasure on earth. “He 'll be coming the nicht,” says the father, “ for sure the hand
writin''s his ain; The letter says, “Ha’ the lamp lichted, I'll come on the seven
o'clock train. Ye
may sit at the southermost window, for I will come hame from
I will fly where I swam when a youngster, across the broad Firth
o' the Tay.”
So they sit at the southernmost window, the parents, with hand
clasped in hand, And
gaze o'er the tempest-vexed waters, across to the storm-shaken
land. They see the bold acrobat-monster creep out on the treacherous line; Its cinder-breath glitters like star-dust, its lamp-eyes they glimmer
and shine. But, look! look! the monster is stumbling, while trembles the fragile
bridge-wallThey struggle like athletes entwining—then both like a thunder
bolt fall! No wonder the mother faints death-like, and clings like a clod to
No wonder the man writhes in frenzy, and dashes his way through
the door! He fights his way out through the tempest; he is beaten and baffled
and tossed; He cries, “ The train 's gang off the Tay brig! lend help here to
look for the lost ! Oh ! little to him do they listen, the crowds to the river that flee; The news like the shock of an earthquake has thrilled through the
town of Dundee. A moment they gaze down in horror; then creep from the death
laden tide, With the news “There's nae help for our loved ones, save God's
mercy for them who have died !” How sweetly the sunlight can sparkle o’er graves where our best
hopes have lain! How brightly its gold beams can glisten on faces that whiten with
Oh! never more gay were the wavelets, and careless in innocent
glee, And never more sweet did the sunrise shine over the town of
Dundee. “ 'T was sae sad,” moaned the crushed, aged mother, each word
dripping o'er with a tear, “Sae far he should come for to find us, and then he should perish
sae near! O Robin, my bairn ! ye did wander far from us for mony a day, And when ye ha' come back sae near us, why could na’ye come a’
the way ? "
“I hae come a’ the way,” said a strong voice, and a bearded and
sun-beaten face Smiled on them the first joyous pressure of one long and filial
embrace; “I cam' on last nicht far as Newport, but Maggie, my bride that 's
to be, She ran through the storm to the station to get the first greeting o'
I leaped from the carriage to kiss her; she held me sae fast and sae