Document from May. 1, 1865

Treason's Masterpiece

  • Full Title

    Treason's Masterpiece

  • Description

    Broadside printed with ballad in tribute to Lincoln.

  • Transcription

    Treason's Masterpiece.

    To be recited Wed Aug 26th.
    Treason’s Masterpiece
    Treason has done his worst!
    A hand accurst
    Has made the Nation orphan by a blow:
    Has turned its hymns of joy to wail and woe,
    As for a Father lost, a Saviour slain-
    And blood, and toil, and anguish spent in vain!
    Half his great work was done,
    By victory won
    O’er recreant chiefs and rebels in the field,
    Compelled to bow the knee and homage yield;
    And his calm breast, from war and vengeance turned,
    With generous pity tow’rds the vanquished yearned.
    Deep joy was in his soul
    As o’er it roll
    Sweet thoughts of peace and magnanimity,
    Wounds healed, wrath quelled, his country free,
    Foes turned to friends, the bitter past forgiven;
    Such thoughts as earthly power make like to heaven.
    While all suspicion slept,
    The assassin crept
    Into the circle where, in guardless state,
    The simple chief in friendly converse sate,
    And in an instant, ere a hand could rise,
    The Nation’s Hope a slaughtered Martyr lies!
    In peace, great Martyr, sleep!
    Thy people weep,
    But stop their tears to swear upon thy grave,
    The cause thou died’st for they but live to save;
    And the great Bond, cemented by thy blood,
    Shall stand unbroken, as it still hath stood!
    The traitor’s fiendlike act
    By stern compact
    Binds us still closer ‘gainst the murderous band
    That fain with blood would deluge all the land,
    But, vanquished by the sword, for mercy kneel,
    And pay it, granted, with the assassin’s steel.
    O, for this heelish deed
    Thousands shall bleed,
    That else had lived to bless thy gentle name
    By mercy wreathed with an immortal fame;
    And traitors, from a Nation’s wrath, shall learn
    That outraged Pity’s tears to drops of vengeance turn.
    Geo. Vandenhoff.
    New York, 17, April , 1865.

    [Transcription by Alicia B., Ford’s Theatre Society.]

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    Unknown. "Treason's Masterpiece". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed April 1, 2023.