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One fair ideal led our chieftain on.
So came the Captain with the mighty heart:
Biographical: Edwin Markham was born in Oregon, taught school
in California, and more recently has been a resident of Brooklyn. His poem “The Man with the Hoe” brought him immediate fame.
O CAPTAIN ( MY CAPTAIN
O CAPTAIN my Captain our fearful trip is done,
But O heart' heart heart |
O Captain' my Captain rise up and hear the bells;
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
Biographical and Historical: Walt Whitman will always be remem. bered as the author of this poem. It differs from his other poems in that it shows a great deal of attention to form, to metre, and rhyme. He wrote not so much with the aim to please as to arouse and uplift. He was very democratic in his taste, and loved to mingle with the crowds on the ferries and omnibuses. At different times he was school teacher, carpenter, and journalist. This poem was written in appreciation of Lincoln, at the time of his death.
EXTRACTS FROM WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE
FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENs, The period for a new election of a Citizen, to administer the Executive Government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important
trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made. The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence,—the support of your tranquillity at home and your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively, though often covertly and insidiously, directed,—it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourself to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved your essay, by the adoption of the constitution of a government better calculated than your former for an inti
mate union, and for the efficacious management of your common COIncern S. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitution of government; but the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. All obstructions to the executions of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests. However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to
subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterward the very engines which had lifted them to unjust dominion. Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that
you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowl
edged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember especially that for the efficient management of your common interest in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed
100 by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil
enjoyment of the rights of person and property. It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free
country should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its admin
istration, to confine themselves within their respective constitu
105tional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one
department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and