Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Pilgrim Fathers
THE BREAKING waves dash’d high
  On a stern and rock-bound coast;
And the woods against the stormy sky
  Their giant branches toss’d;
And the heavy night hung dark,        5
  The hills and waters o’er,
When a band of exiles moor’d their bark
  On the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
  They, the true-hearted came:        10
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
  And the trumpet that sings of fame;
Not as the flying come,
  In silence, and in fear:
They shook the depths of the desert’s gloom        15
  With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang,
  And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
  To the anthem of the free.        20
The ocean eagle soared
  From his nest, by the white wave’s foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roar’d:
  This was their welcome home.
What sought they thus afar?        25
  Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas?—the spoils of war?
  They sought a faith’s pure shrine.
Ay, call it holy ground,
  The soil where first they trod!        30
They left unstain’d what there they found—
  Freedom to worship God!

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