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Full text of "An ode upon the semi-centennial of Franklin & Marshall college, June, 1903"

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AN ODE 



UPON THE 

SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF FRANKLIN AND MARSHALL COLLEGE, 

JUNE, 1903 



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BY LLOYD MIFFLIN 



Si monumentum requiris, circumspice 



Now, on this memorable day, 
Within this fertile garden of the land 

Blessed with perennial streams, 
Swatara, Conowingo, and Pequea, 

And hundred brooklets clear as they 

With which the region teems ; 
Rich with alluvial valleys, that the hand 
Sprung from the German, honorably tills, 
And where the cattle on a thousand hills 

Browse ankle-deep in clover-bloom, 
Or by the Conestoga margin wade 

Far in the willowy shade ; 
Now, when the green illimitable vales 

And dimpled slopes and dells 

Shed round the rare perfume 
Of coming harvests with their wealth replete. 



And here, returning to the dales 
Amid the fruitful heat, 
June, reminiscent of the rippling sea 

And all its rolling swells, 
Waves with her breath our ripening fields of grain 
And makes a billowy ocean of the wheat ; 

Now, when the lambs are in the flock 
And call across the o^reen ; 
And when the red-winged blackbird on the dock 

Sings as he settles down, serene 
In cloudless ecstasy, 
And the dear lark, with joy akin to pain, 
Floats o'er our fields — a feathered song- — 

Pathetically sweet ; — 
In such a time — so joyous — it were meet 

That we, ephemera of an hour 

Who to the living still belong. 
Should lift our voices through the lips of Song 

In recognition of the price, 
In recognition of the faith — the power, 

The courage and the sacrifice, 

The struggles, often threatening defeat, — 
The final triumph of the men now dead, 

English and German bred. 

Whose effort and whose aid 
Made possible this studious retreat. 
These College Halls, cresting the gentle glade, 



These Academic bowers^ 
These stately Walls in classic shade 
Crowned with their clustered towers ! 

Well may we praise these men of old, 

Whose work of faith untold — 
A faith that here survives — 

Helped rear this dual Hall ; 

And those who brought their gold, 
And those who, being poor, gave more than all 

In that they gave their lives ! 
Honor the Founders ! men to be revered ; 
We need not name them, are they not renownetl 

And to the heart endeared ? 

And those that clustered round 

Your alien Flower from Heidelberg ; 
And him who drew the lightnings down. 

The o-enerous Printer of renown 

Who, at the age of eighty-one, 
With patriot hands — 
That now are dust a hundred years and more — 

Here where the Colleofe stands. 

Laid the first corner-stone, — 
His name in part your Alma Mater bears ; 
While as an added coronal she wears 

Others especially her own — 

A glorious line of men of lore : 



Your College knows each honored name, 
She held them reverent of yore 
And worthy of acclaim ; 
And in your Annals where each one appears 
The page is blotted by her grateful tears. 
You love their memory, and they live apart 
Enshrined within the sanctum of the heart : 
Honor the Scholar, and the Good, the Just ! 
Honor the silent dust ! 

Yea ! honor them — the dead ! as time withdraws 
We see they bravely battled in their cause. 
Duty hath still her heroes — valiant Knights 
Unblazoned by the world, but in men's hearts 

Their silent deeds, like beacon-lights 

Shine on, and guide us from afar. 
The mortal comes ; he labors, and departs ; 
But strongly girt with spiritual powers 

His soul beams on us like a star 
That still doth shed 
Its first effulgence though the star be dead — 

Though gone, the light survives : 

And if our lips are sealed 
From plaudits for the living, none the less 
Time, the recorder, on his scroll revealed, 
Will show the morrow they fulfilled their trust 

With honor and with nobleness : 



Teachers of fervid zeal ; 
The guardian mentors in an age complex ; 

Torch-bearers of the future's weal ; 
True to the motto on their chosen Seal — 
Lux et Lex ! 
Lo, the old Nation, day by day, 

Passes, alas ! away. 
And the new Nation needs 
Men of high purpose and heroic deeds 
For the stern conflict of the Country's life. 
Send forth, O College, such as these ! 
Unto thy land give thou such legacies ! 
Equip thy youth with rugged virtues high, 
Not with that apathy the indifferent wear 

Fatal to man and state, 
But anchored, resolute to do and dare, 
Unpurchasable, of nerve and deed. 

Men simply-great. 
With deep conviction, who, at utmost need 
Would stand the champions of the State, 
Aofainst her foes 
Storming the enemy's gate 
With thundrous eloquence of patriot words ; 
Or, if necessity arose. 
Girt with inviolate swords 
Fulgent with light. 
Battle for Conscience, Liberty and Right ; 



Such men the voice of History doth revere — 
O nurture them within this College here ! 

What of the donors ? — those who in the stress 
Of arduous seasons to the rescue came, — 

Look o'er that fair demesne, — 
The statued lawn, the noble piles, the storied green, — 

Are not the beauty and the loveliness 

Of such Memorials sufficient fame, 
With sweet remembrance througrh the acjes hence ? 

— Sufficient recompense ? . . . . 
From the lone bourn of life's long pilgrimage 
Let him reply, who dwells in honored age — 
Founder of that fair Hall which bears his name — 
Is there a crown more grateful to the brow 

Than this that crowns him now ? 

Mother of Learning, hail ! 
Oh, mayst thou, prosperous, rejoice 
For years recurrent of thy Jubilee ! 
Long may thy turrets beckon, and thy voice 
Summon the youth from many a distant vale ! 

Long may men find in thee, 

Within thy classic pale. 

Blessing of studious serenity — 
The ethereal fruit and flower of the Wise ! 
And when this age shall pass, as pass it must, 



And crumble into dust, 
Thy towers shall still arise, gladding the eyes 

Of true men yet to be, 

And by the side of these 

Grouped 'mid the gracious trees, — 

Mater of sweet amenities ! — 
May added Halls and new-built spires 
Lift their enlightening crests above the lawn ; 
And the still Greater College rear her head — 

Greater, not dearer than the old, — 

And wider radiance shed, 
And by her lustrous effluence manifold 

Illumination spread, — 
True harbinger of the new-born world's desires. 

Forerunner of the hoped-for Dawn 

That ever in the future glows. 

To which the soul aspires ; 
And as the depths of Ignorance decrease 

And the dense darkness goes. 
Oh, mayst thou, filled with potency anew 

The sacred cause pursue 

Nor with the Century cease, 
But still may Learning blossom as the rose 

And all thy paths be peace ! 



Norwood 

June, 1903. 



PRINTED BY 
; HOFFER PRESS, 
MOUNT JOY, PA. 



Oaylord Bros. 

Makers 

Syracuse, N. Y. 

PAT. JAN. 21. 1908 



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