THE ASSASSINATION OF GENERALS JOSEPH SMITH AND HYRUM SMITH By Eliza R. Snow—1873
Ye heavens, attend ! Let all the earth give ear ! Let Gods and seraphs, men and angels hear: The worlds on high—the Universe, shall know What awful scenes are acted here below! Had nature's self a heart, her heart would bleed At the recital of so foul a deed; For never, since the Son of God was slain, Has blood so noble flowed from human vein, As that which now on God for vengeance calls From Freedom's ground—from Carthage prison walls!
Oh, Illinois; thy soil has drunk the blood Of prophets, martyr'd for the truth of God. Once-lov'd America! what can atone For the pure blood of innocence thou'st sown? Where all the streams, in teary torrents shed To mourn the fate of those illustrious dead, How vain the tribute for the noblest worth That graced thy surface, O degraded earth! Oh, wretched murderers, fierce for human blood! You've slain the Prophets of the living God, Who've borne oppression from their early youth, To plant on earth the principles of truth Shades of our patriot fathers! can it be, Beneath your blood-stained flag of Liberty, The firm supporters of our country's cause, Are butcher'd while submission to her laws?
Yes, blameless men, defamed by hellish lie, Have thus been offer'd as a sacrifice To appease the ragings of a brutish clan That has defiled the laws of God and man! 'Twas not for crime or guilt of theirs they fell: Against the laws they never did rebel. True to their country, yet her plighted faith Has prov'd an instrument of cruel death! Great men have fallen, mighty men have died Nations have mourn'd their fav'rites and their pride; But two so wise, so virtuous, and so good, Before, on earth, at once, have never stood Since the creation—men whom God ordain'd To publish truth when error long had reign'd ; Of whom the world itself unworthy prov'd; It knetu them not; but men with hatred mov'd And with infernal spirits, have combin'd Against the best, the noblest of mankind!
Oh, persecution! shall thy purple hand Spread utter desolation through the land? Shall Freedom's banner be no more unfurled? Has peace indeed been taken from the world? Then God of Jacob, in this trying hour Help us to trust in thy Almighty power — Support thy Saints beneath this awful stroke, Make bare thine arm to break oppressions' yoke. We mourn the Prophet, from whose lips have flow'd The words of life thy Spirit has bestow'd — A depth of thought no human art could reach, From time to time roll'd in sublimest speech, From thy celestial fountain, through his mind, To purify and elevate mankind; The rich intelligence by him brought forth Is like the sunbeams spreading o'er the earth. Now Zion mourns—she mourns an earthly head; Her Prophet and her Patriarch are dead! The blackest deed that men and devils know Since Calv'ry's scene, has laid the brothers low! One while in life, and one in death, they prov'd How strong their friendship—how true they loved; True to their mission until death they stood, Then seal'd their testimony with their blood. All hearts with sorrow bleed, and every eye Is bath'd in tears, each bosom heaves a sigh, Heart-broken widows' agonizing groans Are mingled with the helpless orphans' moans! Ye Saints! be still, and know that God is just With steadfast purpose in His promise trust; Girded with sackcloth, own His mighty hand, And wait His Judgments on this guilty land! The noble Martyrs now have gone to move The cause of Zion in the Courts above.