by Horace Greeley
Printed in the Sept. 24, 1846 edition Oregon Spectator
Long slumbered the world in the darkness of error,
And ignorance brooded o'er earth like a pall:
To the miter* and crown men abased them in terror,
Though gallling the bondage and bitter the thrall;
When a voice like the earthquakes revealed the dishonor--
A flash like the lightning's unseal'd every eye,
And o'er hil-top and glen floated liberty's banner,
While round it men gather'd to conquer or die!
'Twas the Voice of the Press--on the startled ear breaking,
In giant-born prowess, like Pallas** of old:
'Twas the flash of intelligence gloriously waking
A glow on the cheek of the noble and bold;
And tyranny's minions, o'erawed and affrighted,
Sought a lasting retreat in the cloister and cowl,
And the chains which bound nations in ages benighted
Were cast to the haunts of the bat and the owl.
Then Hail to the Press! Chosen Guardian of Freedom!
Strong sword-arm of justice! bright sun beam of truth!
We pledge to her cause, (and she has but to heed them,)
The strength of our manhood, the fire of our youth:
Should despots e'er dare to impede her free soaring,
Or bigot to fetter her flight with his chain,
We swear that the earth shall close o'er our deploring
Or view her gladness and freedom again.
But no! -- to the day-dawn of knowledge and glory,
A far brighter noontide-refulgence succeeds;
And our art shall embalm, through all ages, in story,
Her champion who triumphs--her martyr who bleeds,
And proudly her sons shall recall their devotion,
While millions shall listen to honor and bless,
Till there bursts a response from the heart's strong emotion,
And, the earth echoes deep with "Long life to the Press!"
*miter: n : headdress worn by bishops on formal occasions
**Pallas n. Athena, Grecian goddess of wisdom, identified in later times, as the Roman Minerva. proper: Pallas Athene
o'er = over
~~Article gleaned from microfiche copies housed in the Oregon Historical Society Library. Editor, Bridget E. Smith was researching the Oregon Territory files for articles to publish in the Oregon Trail series, 1993. She retyped and arranged this article to look nearly the same as in the original. The photo is credited. We hope you enjoy this peek into the past. Times are often made easier to understand when one reads articles written in the day that it happened. One interesting thing about Greeley. He never said "Go West Young Man." How many know that he ran for President in 1872 against the incumbent, U.S. Grant and the first woman candidate, Victoria Woodhull who ran on a Suffrage ticket. We have more on her. On the night of the election she was being held in jail on a charge of bigamy. Greeley, on the other hand, had been committed to the hospital and would never return to his former life.
Published in Portland, Oregon