Lo! when Mississippi rolls
Oceanward its stream,
Upward mounting, folds on folds
Flaming fire-tongues gleam;
’Tis the planter’s grand oblation
On the altar of the nation;
’Tis a willing sacrifice—
Let the golden incense rise—
Pile the cotton to the skies!

Chorus.—Lo! the sacrificial flame
Gilds the starry dome of night!
Nations! read the mute acclaim—
’Tis for liberty we fight!
Homes! Religion! Right!

Never such a golden light
Lit the vaulted sky;
Never sacrifice as bright
Rose to God on high;
Thousands oxen, what were they
To the offering we pay?
And the brilliant holocaust—
When the revolution’s past—
In the nation’s songs will last!

Though the night be dark above,
Broken though the shield—
Those who love us, those we love,
Bid us never yield;
Never! though our bravest bleed,
And the vultures on them feed;
Never! though the serpent’s race—
Hissing hate and vile disgrace—
By the million should menace!

Pile the cotton to the skies;
Lo! the Northmen gaze;
England! see our sacrifice—
See the cotton blaze!
God of nations! now to Thee,
Southrons bend th’ imploring knee;
’Tis our country’s hour of need—
Hear the mothers intercede—
Hear the little children plead!