Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
For the Fourth of July—1812
 
TO the sages who spoke—to the heroes who bled—
  To the day, and the deed—strike the harpstrings of glory,
Let the song of the ransom’d remember the dead,
  And the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story.
          O’er the bones of the bold,        5
          Be that story long told,
  And on Fame’s golden tablets their triumphs enroll’d,
Who, on Freedom’s green hills, Freedom’s banner unfurl’d,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world.
 
’Twas for us and our children to conquer or die,        10
  Undaunted they stood, where the war-storm burst o’er them;
Each blade drew a thunderbolt down from the sky,
  Till the foeman turn’d pale, and was wither’d before them.
          Then from Liberty’s band
          Went a shout through the land,        15
  As the rainbow of peace their fair heritage spann’d;
Where the banner of freedom in pride was unfurl’d,
And the beacon-fire rose that gave light to the world.
 
They are gone—mighty men! and they sleep in their fame;
  Shall we ever forget them? O, never! no, never!—        20
Let our sons learn from us to embalm each great name,
  And the anthem send down—“Independence forever.”
          Wake, wake, heart and tongue!
          Keep the theme ever young—
  Let the deeds through the long line of ages be sung,        25
When on Freedom’s green hills Freedom’s banner unfurl’d,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world.
 
 
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