Bluegrass Ballads

Complete Text & Lyrics

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Of rich success almost a decade passed,
When fell disaster, red and roaring, came, And prone, Chicago, torn and ravaged, lay,
Where stalked the monstrous monarch of the Flame. Along the fire despot's cindering march,
And where beneath his white-hot, iron heel, Huge walls of steel and stone are crushed, his imps And myrmidons before him dance and reel, And hiss and scream in devilish, ribald play; With blazing besoms sweeping homes away.
In league with havoc, rush the wanton winds,
That drive about destruction's burning rain, And shriek in hoarse discordance with the flames
That screech like fiends infernal and insane, Till miles and miles of torrid fury boil;
A sea of hell upon the sodden earth ; A molten belt across the city lay,
And glowing as Gehenna's candent hearth. Along the shores of this plutonic sea Howl packs of human wolves, in beastly glee
In crumbling ruin lay Chicago's halls, Her temples and her monuments of art,
The homes of rich and poor, of pure and vile, The palace and the hut, the merchant's mart;
Her churches, and the gilded dens of vice;