A series by Clyde Wilson

Alexander Beaufort Meek,  Part  2

The Rose of Alabama

I loved, in boyhood’s happy time,
When life was like a minstrel’s rhyme,
And cloudless as my native clime,
The Rose of Alabama.
Oh, lovely rose!
The sweetest flower earth knows,
Is the Rose of Alabama!

One pleasant, balmy night in June,
When swung, in silvery clouds, the moon,
My heart awoke love’s vesper tune,
For Rose of Alabama!

She caught the strain, and to the bower,
Impelled by love and music’s power,
Stole like an angel, at that hour,
The Rose of Alabama!

Beside me there her form she placed,
My arm stole gently ‘round her waist,
And earth seemed with new beauty graced,
By Rose of  Alabama!

The breeze and streamlet ceased their tone;
Like winged gems the fire-flies shone;
The flowers gazed envious on my own
Sweet Rose of Alabama!

‘Tis vain our mutual vows to tell–
One strain upon my plaintive shell,
And then I bade a sad farewell
To Rose of Alabama!

Long years have passed; by fortune driven,
I wander ‘neath a stranger heaven;
But, ah! love’s ties are not yet riven
From Rose of Alabama!

Hope smiles upon my pilgrim way,
Ere long my feet shall homeward stray,
And time bring round my nuptial day
With Rose of Alabama!

Then, shrine-like, in my native land,
Love’s Eden! shall my cottage stand,
With happiness on every hand!
Sweet Rose of Alabama!


The Homes of Alabama

The homes of Alabama,
How beautiful they rise,
Throughout her queenly forest realm,
Beneath her smiling skies!
The richest odors fill the breeze,
Her vallies teem with wealth,
And the homes of Alabama,
Are the rosy homes of health!

The homes of Alabama,—
The cottage and the hall,—
Her institutions spread alike
A guardian care o’er all!—
No titled fopling spurns aside
The peasant from his way,
But the homes of Alabama
Are blessed by equal sway!

The homes of Alabama,
The prairie’s flowery bed,—
The broad fields decked with snowy wreaths,—
The mountain’s star-crowned head :
The forest and the fertile soil,
Each, all, their tributes bring,
And the homes of Alabama,
Teem with the offering!

The homes of Alabama,
The shrines of Faith and Love,
Where honest hearts forever lift
Their incense-prayers above!
Where science, art and peace combine
To scatter bliss around,
And make the once rude savage wastes
Now consecrated ground!

The homes of Alabama,
Homes of the Brave and Free,—
Stout hearts beneath their cabin roofs
Pulsate with liberty!
They scorn the despot’s iron rule,
The zealot’s galling chain,—
And the homes of Alabama
Shall ever free remain!

The homes of Alabama,
Let the tyrant keep his own,
The bigot nurse his narrow creed,
But not pollute her zone!
Should War and Frenzy ever strive
To crush her strength, they’ll feel
That the homes of Alabama
Are filled by hearts of steel!


Land of the South

LAND of the South! – imperial land! –
How proud thy mountains rise!
How sweet thy scenes on every hand!
How fair thy covering skies!
But not for this – oh, not for these –
I love thy fields to roam;
Thou hast a dearer spell to me, –
Thou art my native home!

Thy rivers roll their liquid wealth,
Unequaled to the sea;
Thy hills and valleys bloom with health,
And green with verdure be!
But not for thy proud ocean streams,
Not for thy azure dome,
Sweet, sunny South, I cling to thee, –
Thou art my native home!

I’ve stood beneath ltalia’s clime,
Beloved of tale and song,
On Helvyn’s hills, proud and sublime,
Where nature’s wonders throng;
By Tempe’s classic sunlit streams,
Where Gods, of old, did roam, –
But ne’er have found so fair a land
As thou, my native home!

And thou hast prouder glories, too,
Than nature ever gave;
Peace sheds o’er thee her genial dew,
And Freedom’s pinions wave;
Fair Science flings her pearls around,
Religion lifts her dome, –
These, these endear thee to my heart,
My own, loved native home!

And “Heaven’s best gift to man” is thine –
God bless thy rosy girls!
Like sylvan flowers they sweetly shine,
Their hearts are pure as pearls!
And grace and goodness circle them,
Where’er their footsteps roam;
How can I then, whilst loving them,
Not love my native home?

Land of the South! – imperial land! –
Then here’s a health to thee:
Long as thy mountain barriers stand,
May’st thou be blest and free!
May dark dissension’s banner ne’er
Wave o’er thy fertile loam!
But should it come, there’s one will die
To save his native home!



A Fragment.—1848.

While thus our country, in her eagle flight,
Bears proudly upward to the Orb of Light,
Shall we, her sons, forget the claims of those,
Who now are struggling with oppression’s woes?
No, o’er the waters of the Atlantic deep,
Our warmest sympathies, like ark-doves, sweep,
And, to the sufferers of the Emerald Isle,
Would bear the branch of love, and freedom’s smile!
The land of Grattan, Curran, Emmet, Tone,—
The trampled footstool of a foreign throne!
Oh, blood of martyrs!—staining all her green,
Soon may ye wash her spotted garments clean!
The harp of Tara!—soon may it pour forth
The olden anthems through the island-north!—
And Emmet’s epitaph ring o’er the sea—
“Erin Mavourneen!—thou art free—art free!”

Clyde Wilson

Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews and is co-publisher of www.shotwellpublishing.com, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books.

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