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'Twas thus that when the angry cloud of war
Stood lurid in the sky, but ere it swept In raging storm across the troubled land,
And from its breast red battle's lightning leapt, In fair Chicago's halls the council met
That chose, to be the nation's head and guide, A gaunt and humble man, who, godlike, rose
To highest deeds, and, martyred, meekly died. His harshest foe begrudges not his fame, And written high is Lincoln's deathless name.
In blind and howling fury—as the sea,
That, tempest-driven, beats its dragon wing Against the time-hewn cliffs and glaciered walls
Of some bleak northern coast, and, bellowing, Roars its anger to the skies—so beat
The storm of civil war, in lashing rage, Against the young republic's battlements,
And shook the fabric, as when Titans wage Terrific strife, and in their wrestlings jolt The rock-ribbed hills as by a thunderbolt.
Then to the fore, in eager, bristling lines,
Chicago's steel-crowned columns swung along;
A great and grim array of fighting men, And singing freedom's ringing battle song.
Before the red-breathed cannon's brazen mouth, That belched torn death in hot and hurtling shot;