"AS HE DIED TO MAKE MEN HOLY, LET US DIE TO MAKE MEN FREE, WHILE GOD IS MARCHING ON!": AUTOGRAPH LYRICS SIGNED BY JULIA WARD HOWE
HOWE, Julia Ward. Autograph lyrics signed. No place, July 18, 1900. One leaf, measuring 5 by 8 inches, inscribed on the recto. Matted and framed with a later envelope with a first day cover with cachet portrait, entire piece measures 15 by 18 inches. $6800.
Autograph lyrics for "Battle Hymn of the Republic," inscribed and signed by their author: "In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born, across the sea, With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me. As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on! Julia War Howe. July 18th, 1900." Handsomely frame with a first day cover with a cachet portrait of Howe.
"I awoke in the grey of the morning, and as I lay waiting for dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to entwine themselves in my mind, and I said to myself, 'I must get up and write these verses, lest I fall asleep and forget them!' So I sprang out of bed and in the dimness found an old stump of a pen, which I remembered using the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper." Perhaps best known for having written the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," Julia Ward Howe was also a devoted abolitionist and social reformer. "No movement or 'Cause' in which women were interested… could be launched without her. Her courage, her incisiveness and quickness of repartee, her constructive power, the completeness of her conviction accompanied by a balance of mind, and a sense of humor that disarmed irritation made her the greatest of woman organizers" (ANB). Her stirring poetic hymn was set to the tune of "John Brown's Body," which Howe had heard soldiers singing during her visit to a Union Army camp. She was taken with its strong marching beat and wrote her famous poem the following morning. The hymn "aroused President Lincoln 'like a trumpet blast,' and became his best loved marching song" (Owen, 143). "Battle Hymn of the Republic" first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862.
Fine condition. Beautifully presented.