This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
And feels the weakness of his prophecies
Of failure of free government — and long,
Yes, long before the tyrant struggling dies,
Will innovation's cheering, strengthening song,
From his own people rise, a liberated throng.
O solid keystone of the Union's arch!
Will any dare to scoff or scorn at thee?
Where are the warriors whose victorious march
Secured for us our sacred liberty?
Hark!--call them from their resting-place to be
The judges of the man who dares deny
Unto this useful code supremacy;
From Bunker Hill and Yorktown they pass by,
And blast the traitorous wretch, with lightning in each eye.
Thou art the heart of all this mighty land!
Thou art the soul of freedom and of right!
Thou art our ruler; at thy high command
The people raise their voice to praise or blight.
Thine is the arm of law and warring might,
The all that is American thou art!
And if in foreign war or civil fight,
Columbia's arm will shield her noble heart,
The fierce and bloody strife will but new strength impart.
Where art thou, mighty one, whose noble form
At Valley Forge, was bowed in fervent prayer?
That never bowed before the battle's storm,
But humbly sought the God of battles there;
Then sought the British lion in his lair?
And when at Princeton, on the cheeks of those
Thy countrymen — thou saw'st by morning's glare
A blanching! Then thy mighty form uprose,
With flaming eye and cheek, and led them to their foes.
Dost thou not from the spirit-land above,
Watch thy proud child of freedom, and behold,
With kind remembrance and undying love,
Thy Government's strong principles unfold,
Wherever our bright banner is unrolled,
Causing the hearts of the oppressed to burn
With fervent zeal, that never will grow cold,
Until the groaning millions rise and spurn
The tyrant's yoke, and gain the power for which they yearn?
O thou — and those who girt thy form around-
In battle and in council not too soon
Your warning voices thunder from the ground,
And shake the silence of Columbia's noon:
Oh! tell thy heirs, the precious, cherished boon
Of liberty to them to guard is given,
While beam the stars on high, or shines the moon
Upon the land so favored of high heaven;
For which that Constitution from tyrant's hands was riven!
And tell them, too, that that old Ship of State
Must pass the rocks and shoals of civil war;
And if it sinks, then freedom shares its fate,
And darkness soon must cover every star.
Hark! hear the wail of millions from afar!
And mark the tears of sons of Washington.
Cursed be the hand that's ever raised to mar
The title to our birthright — let the sun
Ne'er rise to witness such destruction if begun.
And let the cannon's awful thunder sound,
Now beating in wild ways through freedom's air,
Startle the people to a thought profound,
To watch the brazen war-cloud's sullen glare.
And let not souls be sinking with despair;
For twice before the cannon's fearful roar
Omened the breaking of a day more fair
Of constitutional liberty — what more
Should stir the ruler's soul who sways upon this shore?
For this, our fathers fought, and bled, and died;
And this is ours by dying testament.
And if for this our soldiers side by side
Are shedding blood, and living in the tent,
Then victory to our armies will be sent.
But if a vile ambition sheds our gore,
In vain are noble hearts asunder rent!
In vain our fathers' graves are trampled o'er!
Since God has never owned the wrong upon this shore.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.