Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
The Vow of Washington, New York, April 30, 1789
By John Greenleaf Whittier
 
  O CITY sitting by the Sea!
  How proud the day that dawned on thee,
When the new era, long desired, began,
And, in its need, the nation found the man!
 
  One thought the cannon salvos spoke,        5
  The resonant bell-towers’ vibrant stroke,
The voiceful streets, the plaudit-echoing halls,
And prayer and hymn borne heavenward from St. Paul’s!
 
  How felt the land in every part
  The strong throb of a nation’s heart,        10
As its great leader gave, with reverent awe,
His pledge to Union, Liberty, and Law!
 
  And still we trust the years to be
  Shall prove his hope was destiny,
Leaving our flag, with all its added stars,        15
Unrent by faction and unstained by wars.
 
  Lo! where with patient toil he nursed
  And trained the new-set plant at first,
The widening branches of a stately tree
Stretch from the sunrise to the sunset sea.        20
 
 
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