Time-tempered men from farm and shop,
The disciplined recruits of toil,
The fruitage and the chiefest crop
Of Freedom's sturdy soil.
A strong deed, in an hour of need,
Finds strong men equal to the deed.
“Who, is this chieftain from the South
Strong in his youth yet sternly sage?” —
“Fame placed her trumpet to her mouth
And blew his name to every age,
And still that blast blows on and on
That peals the name of Washington.”
‘What is that tall white shaft of pine?’
“That shaft when many years have gone
Shall be a nation's lifted sign
For centuries to look back upon;
To loom through perils, victories, fears,
A beacon for a thousand years.”
“But see! there floats an unknown flag,
A flag unseen, unknown before;
Let England's might tear down the rag
That dares to, flaunt upon this shore-
Aye, snatch the insolent shred away-
'Tis but the banner of a day!”
“Ah no; by many breezes fanned,
That flag shall float o'er field and town,
And strong, ah, strong, must be the hand
That tears that lifted banner down.
Old thrones shall reel, old realms shall die,
But still that flag shall wave on high.”
“But who are these plain plowmen here,
These wielders of the axe and spade,
In awkward regimental gear
Drawn up in loose parade?”
“Why these are empire builders, man, The greatest since the world began.
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