Who's Ready?

God help us! Who 's ready? There 's danger before!
Who 's armed and who 's mounted? The foe 's at the door!
The smoke of his cannon hangs black o'er the plain;
His shouts ring exultant while counting our slain;
And northward and northward he presses his line:
Who 's ready? O, forward! — for yours and for mine!

No halting, no discord; the moments are Fates;
To shame or to glory they open the gates;
There 's all we hold dearest to lose or to win;
The web of the future to-day we must spin;
And bid the hours follow, with knell or with chime:
Who 's ready? O, forward! — while yet there is time!

Lead armies or councils — be soldier a-field —
Alike, so your valor is Liberty's shield!
Alike, so you strike when the bugle-notes call,
For country, for fireside, for Freedom to all!
The blows of the boldest will carry the day:
Who 's ready? O, forward! — there 's death in delay!

Earth's noblest are praying, at home and o'er sea,
" God keep the great nation united and free! "
Her tyrants watch, eager to leap at our life,
If once we should falter or faint in the strife;
Our trust is unshaken, though legions assail:
Who 's ready? O, forward! — and Right shall prevail!

Who 's ready? " All ready! " undaunted we cry,
Our hands on our rifles, our hearts beating high;
" No traitor, at midnight, shall pierce us in rest;
No alien, at noonday, shall stab us abreast;
The God of our Fathers is guiding us still:
All Forward! we 're ready, and conquer we will! "
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