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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 220

              [newspaper clipping]
     THE POEM CONKLING QUOTED.
  Every one remembers the sonorous verse
with which Roscoe Conkling prefaced his
speech in nomination of Grant in 1880.  With-
in a few hours it was on the lips of thousands;
inquiries were made as to its author, and for
months after the convention adjourned the
lines were echoed and re-echoed in the news-
papers.  The verse was taken from a song en-
titled, �A Bumper to Grant,� written by
Charles Graham Halpine (Miles O�Reilly)
when the general shortly after the war, made
his first canvass for the presidency.  The tune
was �Benny Heavens, O!�  The last of a
dozen stanzas was the one to which Conkling
was indebted for his celebrate quotation:
  So, boys, a final bumper,
     While we all in chorus chant�
  For next President we nominate
     Our own Ulysses Grant;
  And if asked what state he hails from,
     This our sole reply shall be�
  From near Appomattox Court House
     With its famous apple tree;
  For �twas there to our Ulysses
     That Lee gave up the fight.
  Now, boys, �To Grant for President,
     And God defend the right!�
  Charles Graham Halpine�s father was an
Episcopalian clergyman in Meath, Ireland.
Several members of the family were in jour-
nalism, and the Rev. Nicholas J. Halpine was
himself for a time editor of the Dublin Even-
ing Mail.  Charles became involved in the
Young Ireland movement and found it advis-
able to seek an asylum in this country.  He
was for a time connected with the Boston
Post and was afterward on the editorial staff
of the New York Times under Henry J. Ray-
mond.  One of his first effusions in verse was
an indignant protest published in the New
York Tribune against the imprisonment on
an American man-of-war of captured slaves.
The verses, which were attributed to Horace
Greeley, began as follows:
	Tear down that flaunting lie,
	  Half-mast the starry flag,
	Insult no sunny sky�s
	  With the polluted rag.
  He joined the northern forces during the
war and was adjutant-general, first on the
staff of Gen. David Hunter and afterwards on
that of Maj.-Gen. Halleck.  His death was
precisely like that of John Boyle O�Reilly.
In the habit of taking soporifics for sleepless-
ness he died August 3, 1868, from an overdose
of chloroform.
  While in the army Charles Halpin adopted
the pen-name of Miles O�Reilly, under
which he wrote many of his tenderest and
jolliest songs.  His verses on �Sambo�s Right
to be Kilt� did much to remove the prejudice
entertained by the author�s countrymen to-
ward the negro.  Nearly all the old soldiers
are acquainted with his song, �We Have
Drank From the Same Canteen.�  �Jean-
nette�s Hair,� an exquisite love lyric, has
been attributed often of late years to Joaquin
Miller:
Your hair had a golden gloss, Jeannette,
It was silk of the finest floss, my pet:
�Twas a beautiful twist falling down to your
     wrist,
A thing to be braided and jeweled and kissed.
�Twas the loveliest hair in the world, my pet.

Your eyes had a hidden glory, Jennette.
Revealing the dear old story, my pet:               
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