KENTUCKIANS TO ARMS !!!
 

A broadside with the poem below was published in Louisville in 1861. It illustrates the fact that there were Confederate sympathies in that area of the state despite being so close to the North.

 

Kentuckians, rise!

You have lain too long in a stupor deep;

Rise like young giants refresh'd with sleep;

Sweep, as the billows shoreward sweep,

And chase the foe from your boundaries.

 

Kentuckians, arm!

Grasp the good rifles wherewith your sires

Quench'd with red rain the hostile fires;

Fling back the hireling to him that hires,

Or trample him out like a loathsome worm.

 

Kentuckians, stand!

Firm as the rock when floods are high;

Stand by your native sovereignty,

And be, "State and home" your rallying cry,

Through the length and breadth of the wakening land.

 

Kentuckians, dare

The tyrants rage, for your grievous wrong.

The "hour and the man" to you belong;

Let not the foe in your midst wax strong.

The time is over to stay and spare.

 

Kentuckians, strike!

If needs must be, both swift and sore;

Scatter the Northmen from stream to shore;

Until, panic-stricken, they come no more

To see what our neutral soil is like.

 

But let no stain

Of brother's blood be on hand or blade -

Ev'n if his feet from truth have stray'd;

"Hew hip and thigh" where hosts invade,

But draw not upon you the curse of Cain.

 
Louisville, KY - 1861
 
 
Back to Kentucky Poetry
Back to Kentucky Arts
Back to Table of Contents