Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Fourth of July—1803
WHILE Europe’s subjected to kings and their minions,
  And mankind bow’d down by the bayonets of slaves,
Let us hail the great day which established opinions
  For ages concealed by priests, tyrants, and knaves:
When wisdom and truth penn’d the bold declaration,        5
  Whose political maxims awaken’d the mind
Of empires remote, to the fate of a nation,
  The best hope and asylum of injured mankind.
Here man, free and equal, rejects ancient errors,
  The dogmas of sophists in church and in state;        10
Forbids inquisitions, and tortures, and terror,
  And studies in peace to be happily great.
Content with our portion of fairest creation,
  The laws we’ve establish’d we proudly obey;
Secure against danger in a free, armed nation,        15
  No tyrants we pamper, nor men-butchers pay.
What though faction assail us with threats of sedition,
  To spread desolation o’er our prosperous plains,
To sacrifice union at the feet of ambition,
  And make our free states a fell tyrant’s domains—        20
The monster, a while, and his menaces daring,
  May escape, with contempt, from the virtue he braves;
But justice, indignant, may deem long forbearing
  Injurious to virtue, and but worthy of slaves.
Let’s join hand in hand, while encircled we stand,        25
  On our national creed 1 make sincere supplication,
That the foes of its principles soon quit the land,
  Or be converted to virtue and love of the nation.
May the sages who thought, and the heroes who fought
  For independence, be honour’d till nature shall cease;        30
May arts, science, and commerce succeed as they ought,
  And our country prosper in plenty and peace.
Note 1. Declaration of Independence. [back]

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.