Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Columbia’s Past and Present State
Tune—“President’s March”

LONG Columbia bore, with pain,
Britain’s tyrant’s galling chain,
But she that cruel lion tamed,
And was for truth and virtue famed:
Peace dwelt on her extensive coast,        5
And independence was her boast:
Her laws were equal, just, and wise.
The sons of France, with glad surprise,
From Gaul beheld, far in the west,
The eagle towering from her nest.        10
    We sung Columbia, and may she
    Forever independent be;
    Her equal laws may she retain,
    Her spotless virtue never stain.
That Power divine, at whose command        15
The light from darkness did divide,
Gave creature man, with bounteous hand,
A reasoning power to be his guide;
And, to improve the heavenly boon,
Bid man with man by speech commune.        20
Columbia in her laws, with care
Inscribed, “Let speech be free as air:
The press free from licentiousness,
None shall its liberty suppress.”
    We sung Columbia, great and free,        25
    And happy may she ever be:
    Her equal laws may she retain,
    Her spotless virtue never stain.
The fame and wisdom of her laws
Rung through the world with loud applause;        30
And Europe’s patriotic bands,
Oppress’d, forsook their native lands;
And now escaped the tyrant’s yoke,
Columbia saw, and thus she spoke:—
“Ye who have stemm’d corruption’s tide,        35
And check’d the haughty despot’s pride,
Ye virtuous few, ye sore oppress’d,
Come live with me in peace and rest.”
    They sung Columbia, great and free,
    And happy may she ever be:        40
    Her wealth and commerce we’ll increase,
    And live with her in rest and peace.
And now Columbia’s fertile plains
Were cover’d o’er with hardy swains:
Where snakes had lain, man’s venom’d foes,        45
There groups of rustic hamlets rose;
Where wolves and bears were wont to breed,
The useful horse and ox now feed:
Her hills are crown’d with golden corn,
Her vales the lowing herds adorn;        50
And while her woods we ranged among,
With songs of joy the woodlands rung.
    We sung Columbia, great and free,
    And happy may she ever be:
    Her equal laws may she retain,        55
    Her spotless virtue never stain.

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