Jacob Hoke Beidler.

Lincoln; or, The prime hero of the nineteenth century (Volume 2) online

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From Gen. Mc Connell, old and best friend of Mr. Lincoln, to Dr. Beid-
ler : —

Dr. J. JL Beidler.

Dear Sir : I listened with great pleasure to your poem on Abraham
Lincoln, and must say that I never heard anything that did more justice to
that great and good man. It should'be in the hands of every lover of liberty
throughout the entire world, and especially should no American family be
without it. With kindest regards and appreciation, I remain,

Yours very truly,

John Mc Connell.

The following is from the pen of Col. Babcock, who was Lincoln's early
friend and coworker in the formation of the Republican party, and was
offered the nomination for governor, but would not accept. He was for
years the chairman of the Illinois Republican committee : —

Chicago, Sept. 14, 1896.
Dr. J. H. Beidler.

Dear Doctor : I have read with great interest the manuscript of your
poem, entitled "Lincoln, or the Prime Hero of the Nineteenth Century."

From an intimate acquaintance with Mr. Lincoln, commencing in 1852
(before he had a national reputation), and terminating with his death in
1865, I can truthfully say that I have read all of the biographies that have
been written by men who were closely identified with him, by reason of
intimate association, political and otherwise, but none have so vividly por-
trayed the inner nature of the immortal savior of his country as your
admirable classical and truthful poem. Hoping you will place it before the

public in book form, that it may be read by the masses who now as a rule
revere by name only, the greatest, best, and most heroic man this nation
has produced, and then become more conversant with his immortal nature
and impulses,

I am yours respectfully,

A. C. Babcock.

From Rev. Isaac Collier, A. M., one of the most scholarly theologians in
the Reformed Church, as well as an accomplished poet and scientist : —

Dr. J. H. Beidler.

Dear Sir : I have read in manuscript with much interest and pleasure
your poem, entitled "Lincoln, or the Prime Hero of the Nineteenth Cen-
tury." It bears the stamp of genius and poesy. It cannot fail to awaken
a new interest in, and appreciation of, the noble hero of your remarkable
epic. The character and example of Abraham Lincoln cannot be too well
known; and your masterpiece has given his deeds and life a new and bril-
liant setting. You have brought to light the inner traits and hidden springs
which gave strength and luster to the noble deeds and heroic life of this
great and good man. Your intimate acquaintance with the home life and
public career of your hero, has enabled you to sketch a more vivid and
lifelike portraiture than has yet been given to the world. You have even,
in fancy, drawn aside the curtain and introduced us to the scenes and events
of the heavenly world. There his life is carefully reviewed, approved, and
rewarded. I am pleased to learn of its early publication in book form, and
bespeak for it a wide circulation and a rare treat to every thoughtful reader.
With sincere thanks for its early perusal, I am

Cordially yours,

I. Collier, A. M.




Prime Hero of the Nineteenth





Entered According to Act of Congress, in the Year 1895, by


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

All Rights Reserved.

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England.


No ancient rule or style-constructing lines

Diverting author from his own designs,

Who sought the trail the lad and Hero did,

Whose mind was dauntless, and no fault was hid,

Imbuing author thus, inspiring heart

To build in freedom, if not framed in art ;

The terse and rugged was his Hero's style,

As midst the rumbling thunders he would smile,

Love's tenderness and truth made Lincoln strong

To live, to labor, rectifying wrong.



Here thirteen thousand syllables of sound,
Of breathing life in giving facts, are found ;
From helpless babe to youth, from lad to age
And empty hands, to power and tragic stage,
The grandeur of his force, and how it grew
Until it compassed what was then in view ;
His human efforts built with proper plan
To dignify the highest place of man,
With upright heart, and fertile brain of toil,
And power within himself, as seed in soil.



Shall I regret the authorship of this

The many days and nights of mental toil,
As labor mingled with its fleeting bliss,

Whilst mixing iridescence with the oil ?
Shall I regret I ever knew the man,

Whose living presence studied with an aim,
As hidden embers winds began to fan,

Igniting like volcano into flame ?

I heard him speak, accenting special word —

Observing mind as he declaimed for hours,
With thorny wit his jury often stirred,

Then striking blows with great forensic powers.
Shall I regret I lived within his years,

Partaking of his times with mighty men ?
The thinking era, full of love and tears, —

A thousand years were crystalized in ten.



He came unconscious to parental care,

Whose mind burst open full as rose on thorn,
Spontaneous evidence made him aware

That great inherent force in him was born.
With ax^and book, no day of life to waste,

Whose mental energies increase desires,
In eagerness developed solid taste —

That thoughts and soul, with purposes inspires.

All perfect children in their being hold

A spark of God's divinity in trust,
For human knowledge kindly to unfold,

And spirit power with intellect adjust.
The more divinity, the purer child,

Exhibited by modesty, so much
That growing manhood could not be defiled ;

Was Lincoln not the evidence of such ?
Park Beidler, Beidler.

July 4, it


I often gazed on his athletic form,

As if I stood before approaching storm ;

I felt a hidden force was brewing there,

To culminate would energize despair.

His face an outline map, distinct in shape,

And one the student's eye could not escape.

Each line marked vastness, tho' in strange reserve,

As strength and wonder formed the line of curve,

His soul and intellect expansion sought —

Unfettered spirit, shackles ever fought.

Corroding avarice dishonors bring,

The stingy dollar had to him no ring.

He looked through telescope of largest lens

To see beginning, and where purpose ends.

The planets intonated songs to him —

Sad Luna, queen of eve, his solace hymn ;

The wind, his song of nature's lullaby,

And storm, his oratorio of sky ;

The wildest nature charmed the searching man,

And no phenomenon he did not scan.



Was he the child of freedom destiny had shaped
Within the womb of purity, feebleness escaped,
Whose mother's blood, Teutonic, pure and undefiled,
Through Anglo-Saxon father came the rugged child ?
What drafts of inspiration mother did enjoy,
In giving proud Kentucky enigmatic boy,
With all climatic forces, food and healthy air,
The greater force prenatal, — mother's larger share.

That she was overshadowed heaven better knows,
That he was born for purpose country's record shows.
How ultra complicated ; simple tho' the truth,
The helpless babe of love developed into youth ; —
For boy of tangled hair becomes the ruling force,
And destinies of nations tremble at his course.
The birth of Lincoln fixed the epoch of the age,
And most heroic actor on the tragic stage.

Unheralded- he came with his reliant power,
To grow in silent culture till the promised hour,
Then rise above horizon, vulcan-like he grows,
To forge new sentiments by his resistless blows.
He shaped his span of time with purposes to fit,
With wisdom more elastic than didactic wit ;
He conquered peace with war, the nation's foremost son;
And fell in tragic fame, when victory was won.


The climbing rose around this cabin bloomed,
And Open-Acre's solitude perfumed ;
Its tendrils clasp the logs with sacred cling,
And lending pleasure to each living thing.
Here child and mother hours in silence spent,
Enduing each with its inspiring scent.



From manger to the sacrificial cross,
What holy way He trod, no second's loss,
From conquest unto victory. His march
The way prepared 'neath firmamental arch.


Again behold ! Where solitude repines

And virtue reigns, whilst Heaven still designs,

In deep seclusion rocked a blessed babe ;

Prophetic faith of love dictated Abe.

What rugged road he trod to marble flights,

A sacrifice of life to human rights.



Dear hearth of childhood, sacred still that home,
With clay-built chimney ventilating dome ;
Thy fire ignited torch with lurid blaze
To light my path that leads to broader ways.


This home of manhood now inspiring life
With ties of love in children, mother, wife ;
Undying embers changeless glow the same,
That lit ambition's torch to modest flame.



As chosen magistrate its duties I assume,

Midst overspreading clouds, and deep, foreboding gloom ;

To unify in peace becomes my sacred task.

Will heaven grant us that for which I humbly ask ?

May God turn back the dark approaching storm of woe,

And wisdom grant to all, and mercy still bestow,

And save the daring father and intrepid son ;

In union must be peace, disunion offers none.

L 12 ]



"Thou God who heard a Solomon at night,

When praying for true wisdom and for light,

Hear me ! I cannot lead this people so,

I 'cannot guide affairs of nation, No !

Without Thy help. I'm sinful, poor, and weak,

Thy holy wisdom I in mercy seek,

O God ! who didst hear Solomon, and gave

Him wisdom, hear me ; and the Nation save."



That fatal eve lit star-bespangled skies —

A cloud obscured a star from Lincoln's eyes,

Remarking, "Night, let not a star be hid.

Thy splendor's infinite, what shall forbid ?

Whose eyes could tire, as twinkling height declares

The majesty and power each planet shares ;

That changes darkness into stellar light —

Where distant space enjoys creative might ?

This night I '11 cherish heaven's luring charms,

With peace on earth, and hushed the rattling arms."

His soul ecstatic, contemplating peace,

He saw the fruits of war at once increase ;

Triumphant army welcomed had returned.

The gratitude of peace on altar burned,

And Lincoln's palm had grasped the soldier hand ;

The capital aflame as they disband,

As North rejoiced, the South could do no less,

Decree of right was honored, peace to bless.

The fatal hour approached, the moment came,

Our Hero fell from our last foeman's aim !


Lincoln's Heroic Address



Apostolic Servant :

A flying messenger of sudden death

Or painless shock, divorcing life of breath,

Has placed me by those portals I behold ;

The facts, by your permission, shall unfold,

As humble servant cheerfully I wait,

Before the majesty of heaven's gate ;

But yesterday I stood in whirling time,

I think, the public subject of a crime ;

Yet conscious, and with forcible surprise,

Identity in transit realize.

Four score and seven years ago, our sires

Brought forth a nation of their own desires,

Of equal states of free and slave in part,

A perfect union. Formed by brain and heart.

A nation "of the people" and the states.

Conceived in liberty and wise debates,

And "by the people" freedom to secure,

And "for the people" ever to endure,

"Not perish from the earth," as Greece and Rome,

"As government" protecting every home.


Lincoln's address. 17

Bright sun of freedom, long eclipsed in part,
Refused full glow of light to son of mart.
One pigment cell to line of human kin,
Denied them freedom, 'derm however thin.
Men saw pigmented Venus, blushing fresh,
Upon the owner's block, and sold as flesh.
I watched and trembled, thinking of my God,
Extending mercy and withholding rod,
But rights of man are heritage of brave,
Servility foul heritage of slave.

Had I electric tongue and lips of steel,
My ignified conclusions would reveal.
But let me speak as I have ne'er before,
Since called to serve my people, to restore
A fragmentary nation to a whole — ■
With sentiments divided to control ;
My life was as a ray, 'mong rising beams,
Commingled with horizon's morning gleams.
One single ray may light in early hour,
Some crooked path with unexpected power.

18 Lincoln's address.

My words of peace the cannon quickly hushed,

In mockery my sentiments were crushed,

A nation full of will, sublime in power,

Had plucked me as from limb in fruitful bower ;

Not ripe, as many others on the tree,

I grew on northern branch, by slow degree ;

Not season-painted beauty, tint of east,

The morning sun had flavored for a feast ;

My growth partook of twig, and soil of clay,

And all climatic forces of each day.

I speak in parable, as highest truth.

As of my own maturity and youth,

I am God's being, not deceptive ghost,

To higher rise than time's ethereal coast ;

I was not raised a Nero, cruel czar,

But faithful student at my country's bar.

The people's choice for magistrate as one

To catch the fiery darts whom others shun,

And heal the angry wounds already made,

While lending life of strength to country's aid.

Lincoln's address. 19

Impetuosity, climatic bred,

Secession's turbulence ambition fed ;

Men's long environments established law

No culpability in bondsman saw,

From sire to son, from bride to husband came,

Inheritance of slaves through legal claim ;

Like Ananias' land, the slave was sold,

Oft given church, converted into gold ;

The pious slave served man and God in fact

While deacon vigil kept o'er every act.

Servility had incubated rage,

With sword and arm to strike, at given stage,

Spasmodic spirits grew eccentric, wild,

The Constitution in their wrath reviled,

Defying power ordained by peace and war,

Distorting truth that virtue must abhor ;

State prejudices grew as sparks to flame,

While loyal Southerners their madness blame,

Fire-eaters and philosophers debate,

As sister States unsheathed the sword of fate.

20 Lincoln's address.

Our nation had a grand, exalted birth,

And therefore "shall not perish from the earth."

Dark pigment cell a mighty power concealed,

Mulatto with Caucasian blood revealed —

Preponderance increased no right or claim —

The master held all rights, in moral shame ;

The wrongs of man to man compounded hate,

And no relief from heaven, or of State.

The moans and groans, the whip and block of mart

Combustibles igniting human heart.

On quiv'ring scale the poise of war was hung,
Two flags on native soil, to breezes flung,
Exaggeration's secessional shuttle drove,
And web of conflict in excitement wove,
Until the land, from rivers to the sea,
The threatened battle-ground between the free ;
Great brains and hearts, devoted to each cause,
Then rushed to arms without dissenting pause ;
The force of war's upheaval moved each one,
Conviction taking sides, from sire to son.

Lincoln's address. 21

The sword was not the weapon of my choice,
For reason passionless was heaven's voice.
But Southern chivalry first urged the powers,
For destiny to crush exotic flowers ;
They casting problems in disunion molds,
We twining olive-branch in starry folds,
The constellation peaceable would save ;
Its failure, pinioned harbinger of slave,
Seceding stars in darkness never set,
Nor struggle dimmed a ray with one regret.

Now dire transition peace at once expels ;

Fort guns were turned on ships, with shot and shells,

Which overt act inaugurated war,

Provoking North to its dilating core.

Cyclonic like, sons whirled to either side,

Two armies soon equipped, of youthful pride ;

On fields for gory deeds, in battle met,

Determined foes for conquest anxious fret,

Untarnished sword unsheathed for blood and death,

While peace neutrality was catching breath.

22 Lincoln's address.

The hearts of Christians felt the trial of woe

The church and state for decades helped to grow

Yet vying with each other in the dare,

In battle fought without a panic scare ;

No person '1 hatred had evolved the war,

All thought they knew what each was serving for,

Like eagles hatched in one parental nest

Of equal courage, on their valor rest,

And none but Heaven's power could call a halt —

Imperturbation heated to revolt.

State capitals became the camping-grounds,
And every wind full laden, hostile sounds,
Defenses built from coasts to hills and streams,
As bayonet by corps in battle gleams ;
Aggressive war finds forts and trenches filled
With native blood and restless heroes killed •
Two million men engaged in battle fray,
And crowded hospitals of Blue and Gray,
With prisons full, and land of open graves
To welcome soldiers ; mariners the waves.

Lincoln's address. 23

Defeat and victory, they each sustain,
As corps on corps repulsed to form again,
Both arms infatuated with success,
Attack with reinforcement, forward press ;
From horse to horse their sabers interchange,
While great columbiads swept at distant range ;
When thousands fell where slaves for ages trod,
All wounded prayed to one eternal God ;
Devoted to their cause of section '1 strife,
And sealed devotion with their ebbing life.

Hot battles fought in all the Southern States,
And death seemed swinging open holy gates,
For thousands fled with sunsets flushing red,
On whose fair border I now humbly tread ;
Defeat and victory did each inspire ;
From every section came the telling wire,
Intensifying minutes with the news.
War scenes occurred whatever place we choose,
' T was war at home, in church, in prayer, in song,
The talk of war was heard from every tongue.

24 Lincoln's address.

Perplexing and mysterious force of war

Was felt to ebb and flow from coast to shore

The change of politics rebuked a halt,

And captious Mars withdrew in cloudy vault ;

As doubt eclipsed bright visions with delays,

Cold, misanthropic minds reject God's ways ;

In midst of nation'l gravity I stood,

To halt, inglorious ; action, Freedomhood !

God's proclamation then to breezes hurled,

And stars and stripes to human rights unfurled.

Then followed victories, from forts to fleets,
As "Monitor" the "Merrimac" defeats.
While gulf and rivers ironclads patrol,
The world our navy victories extol,
Proud cities devastated 'neath our arms,
Plantation too, as cotton fields and farms,
The cry of war supplanting household joy,
While taxing art for engines to destroy ;
The trail of conflict drenched in crimson woe
As devastation wrought war's overthrow.

Lincoln's address. 25

What unsurpassing glory war revealed !

Brave generosity to heart appealed,

Capitulation came to sheathe the sword

In winding-sheet, "Lost Cause" to peace restored.

The brave surrender to the brave in arms,

Transmuting gore to antidotal charms,

The cry "To arms," was changed to whisp'ring peace,

As corps disperse, the strides for home increase,

With freedom's possibilities ajar,

To open swing, without a lock or bar.

Three long, disastrous years of war and gore,

With moral tension, strongest fiber tore.

All crops neglected, life and treasure lost,

And happy hearths destroyed at bitter cost ;

Then reconciliation ; peace restored,

And hostile flag was furled, and sheathed the sword.

The songs of peace were sung by soldiers' voice,

One common country, all in love rejoice ;

With crown of liberty on every head,

And green the graves of all the noble dead.

26 Lincoln's address.

Relieved by Providence, without appeal,

As chief of nation, nothing to conceal,

Rejoicing, for my country's peace I love ;

I 'm thankful to my God that I 'm above.

"With charity for all," I plead for each,

His benediction ask, and do beseech ;

For we were brothers, but not understood,

But now the problem 's solved for highest good ;

No life was given Heaven will not bless,

In solemn judgment I do here profess.

Our conflict raised my estimate of men,
Augmenting faith in righteous sword and pen ;
Our nation great, of chivalry and pluck,
The highest attitude of purpose struck ;
To struggle for their rights, with heart and hand,
And seeing right from their peculiar stand,
As your unselfish stroke when holding sword,
Who cut the ear, the Master's touch restored.
What grand display of love in each we see,
Who died for what he thought was God's decree !


He who doth give his life for noble cause,

Enshrines himself in highest moral laws ;

Such men crave naught but truth while loving right

Are ever rising upward in their flight ;

No fait 'ring second chills their honest soul,

Nor slow regret their purposes control ;

They die for love of right to better all,

Whose purpose flaming gulf cannot appal,

Their souls seem fortified with special grace ;

Where duty calls, they find their chosen place.

In dawn's dim distance utterance became

The power of language, as caloric flame ;

Elastic Anglo-Saxon, later born,

Our hearths and forums learnedly adorn ;

Selecting signs and Greek and Roman words,

Phenician sounds from hieroglyphic birds,

Our English must be clear to you, tho' young,

Your scope of knowledge takes in every tongue ;

Words are but laden breath of vocal sound,

Yet grave and simple as they are profound.


No royal despot breathes our native air
Nor crown conflicts with governmental care.
Had Christ been born on freedom's blessed land,
Where people rule, and legal votes command,
No hand had nailed Him to Historic Tree,
By strange ecclesiastical decree ;
Where thoughts are free as liberty on wings,
All blessing to the people equal brings,
The child of indigence, or Heaven's Son,
Bright stars and stripes enfold the weakest one.

The country, standing monument of right,

As Jesus taught before He took His flight,

Who elevated man to noble sphere,

Self-government approved is conscious clear ;

None have the right of other's blood and sweat,

Without the recompense their toils beget ;

Equality of Gentile and the Jew,

You taught so eloquently, must be true ;

I stood upon the bridged extending span,

To represent equality of man.

Lincoln's address. 29

That bridge was more than sordid human skill ;
Our fathers were the instruments of will,
Who built it strong on which I firmly stood,
With faith and trust in vitalizing good ;
That arch of liberty a union spans,
Unbroken structure, wisdom's latest plans ;
The weight of millions time shall never break,
That arch of strength what human efforts shake ?
It stands the glory of a struggling past,
Sustaining weight as limitless as vast.

My cabinet were men at once renowned,
Nor firmer counsel in the nation found.
Philosophers and statesmen my support,
Exalted jurists that composed the court.
Distinguished heroes, incarnated white,
As academic scholars taught to fight ;
While sovereign people to my counsel clung,
As true as bees, disloyal apis stung.
Each sacrificed without a murm'ring pause,
Upon the altar of their country's cause.

30 Lincoln's address.

The cross, with solemn purpose, light, and power,
Shed glory on the cause's triumphant hour.
The love of patriot partook of force, •
Evolving from the purest, noblest source,
Which justified the work of crimson flow,
With proffered charity at every blow ;
The Union crystalized without a flaw,
And Constitution saved as highest law,
"Unalienable rights" for all secured,
And constellated stars their light assured.

I held the sword of conflict at command.

One foot on waves, the other on the land ;

Where'er the flag was kissed by heaven's breeze,

Its majesty 's upheld on land or seas ;

As victories had vindicated cause,

Beneficent results acclaim applause.

Revenge I knew not, pity sought control,

While equity and mercy poised my soul ;

Responsibility I felt, of state,

As tragic force, accumulative weight.

Lincoln's address. 31

War-anguish mothers felt were pangs too keen

When mingled tears and kiss in parting seen ;

The sobbing child and melancholy lass,

Soul-painted pictures still through mem'ry pass.

My pen was ever ready life to save,

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Online LibraryJacob Hoke BeidlerLincoln; or, The prime hero of the nineteenth century (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 3)