In the Strife of Truth With Falsehood

American History, blogging, Iraq War

Back in 1845, American poet James Russell Lowell wrote a poem, published in the Boston Courier, protesting the Mexican War. Some time later the words were set to “Ton-y-Botel” by Welsh composer Thomas J. Williams and became the hymn “Once to Every Man and Nation.” [Workplace warning: The page plays a midi file upon opening.] First verse:

    Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

While stumbling around looking for something else I came across a post by rightie blogger Carol Platt Liebau, who misplaces “Once to Every Man and Nation” in the Civil War era, and then claims it as a pro-war hymn. Talk about the strife of truth with falsehood! The pseudo-conservative struggle to mangle and destroy all of American history, institutions, and democracy itself continues.

Last verse:

    Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
    Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

Let’s hope. Anyway, I say Liebau owes James Russell Lowell an apology and her readers a public correction.

Update: I’ve found at least one source that calls what Lowell wrote an “abolitionist” poem, although the large bulk of references say it was an antiwar poem. However, no one calls it a “pro-war” poem.

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  1. D.R. Marvel  •  Feb 27, 2007 @11:17 am

    Does she also side with the Confederacy?

  2. maha  •  Feb 27, 2007 @11:18 am

    D.R. — She doesn’t say.

  3. D.R. Marvel  •  Feb 27, 2007 @12:45 pm

    Well…She uses three names…

    Sounds mighty “secesh” to me…

  4. joanr16  •  Feb 27, 2007 @1:09 pm

    Considering how often the Right misinterprets the Bible, Shakespeare, the signs of global warming, and (on a regular basis) maha’s posts, I must say this doesn’t surprise me.

  5. fshk  •  Feb 27, 2007 @1:11 pm

    Speaking of mangling history, did you see Keith Olbermann’s special comment about Condi Rice last night? By now it’s probably up on YouTube if you didn’t. Good stuff.

  6. justme  •  Feb 27, 2007 @1:38 pm

    You know, it dawns on me how easy it would be for bush to get these folks to line up for the train and it scares the hell out of me.I have always said that those who stand for nothing will fall for anything…I didn’t need any help proving my point, but thanks anyway carol.
    And FSHK is so right,Olbermanns comments last night were OUTSTANDING….too bad he is the only one in the main stream media who bothered to point out the many levels of wrong in condis comments.

  7. PurpleGirl  •  Feb 27, 2007 @4:11 pm

    C&L has the Olbermann’s special comment on Ms. Rice (video and transcript). Olbermann was great. She has no integrity left, whatever amount of it she may have started with.

  8. felicity smith  •  Feb 28, 2007 @1:14 pm

    The Republicans also owe Abe Lincoln an apology. Even recently on the floor of the House those who supported Bush’s surge invoked Lincoln to taint their opponents with the charge of treason. Wartime Congressmen who “damage morale and undermine the military” should be “exiled and hanged” – supposedly said by Lincoln has been floating around in conservative circles for years. According to Glenn Greenwald the “quote” is a complete fabrication.