The American Civil War was looming on the immediate horizon and everywhere one looked there were problems with no easy solutions. Opinions were polarized and there was no apparent means for compromise. Leaders were stepping back instead of stepping up due to fear and the overwhelming size of the challenges.
It was in this environment that the following was penned. May it be true of you and me as we go forward to face the challenges of our own day.
The Day’s Demand
GOD, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office can not buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
Josiah Gilbert Holland Circa 1860