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312 The National Music of America.
though composed for war times, very well suited to a celebration of peace. The typical American poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes, was requested to change the sentiments of the war-song.1 It became a lofty theme of reunion, in its new phase beginning:
" Angel of Peace, thou hast wandered too long! Spread thy white wings to the sunshine of Love! Come while our voices are blended in song, — Fly to our ark, like the storm-beaten dove! Speed o'er the far-sounding billows of song, Crowned with thine olive-leaf garland of Love. Angel of Peace, thou hast waited too long ! "
Although even this song does not scale the topmost heights of national music, it may well stand as a type of what we hope our country to be. It speaks of a united nation and of a peaceful one; it is a song of welcome to the suffering from every clime.
We may soon hope to possess a nobler national hymn than any of those which are
1 Keller died very poor, soon after his fame was established by the Peace Jubilee chorus.