James M. Whitfield's America and Other Poems

  Table of Contents:
Cover Page
"Christmas Hymn"
"Lines on the Death of J. Quincy Adams"
"To Cinque"
"New Year's Hymn"
"To A.H."
"How Long"
"The Arch Apostate"
"The Misanthropist"
"A Hymn"
"Yes! strike again that sounding string"
"To -------"
"Prayer of the Oppressed"
"To S.A.T."
"Delusive Hope"
"To M.E.A."
"A Hymn"
"Ode for the Fourth of July"
"Midnight Musings"
"Ode to Music"
"Stanzas for the First of August"
"The North Star"
(text of all poems)

  Yes! Strike Again That Sounding String p1
"Yes! Strike Again
That Sounding String"

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YES! strike again that sounding string,
   And let the wildest numbers roll;
Yes! Strike Again That Sounding String p2 Thy song of fiercest passion sing ---
   It breathes responsive to my soul!

A soul, whose gentlest hours were nursed,
   In stern adversity’s dark way,
And o’er whose pathway never burst
   One gleam of hope’s enlivening ray.

If thou wouldst soothe my burning brain,
   Sing not to me of joy and gladness;
‘T will but increase the raging pain,
   And turn the fever into madness.

Sing not to me of landscapes bright,
   Of fragrant flowers and fruitful trees ---
Of azure skies and mellow light,
   Or whisperings of the gentle breeze;

But tell me of the tempest roaring
   Across the angry foaming deep,
Or torrents from the mountains pouring
   Down precipices dark and steep.

Sing of the lightning’s lurid flash,
   The ocean’s roar, the howling storm,

  Yes! Strike Again That Sounding String p3 The earthquake’s shock, the thunder’s crash,
   Where ghastly terrors teeming swarm

Sing of the battle’s deadly strife,
   The ruthless march of war and pillage,
the awful waste of human life,
   The plundered town, the burning village!

Of streets with human gore made red,
   Of priests upon the alter slain;
The scenes of rapine, woe and dread,
   That fill the warrior’s horrid train.

Thy song may then an echo wake,
   Deep in this soul, long crushed and sad,
The direful impressions shake
   Which threaten now to drive it mad.

Introduction Biography Contexts Critical Voices Teaching Approaches Bibliography