Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Ode for the Fourth of July
By Robert Treat Paine, Jr. (1773–1811)
 
Sung in Faneuil Hall, July 4, 1810

HAIL! hail! ye patriot spirits!
  Ye chiefs of valiant deed!
To war-scarr’d bosoms point no more,
  Your wounds no longer bleed.
O! ever bless the festal shrine        5
  Your hovering shades explore;
While, laurel-crown’d, ye glide around,
  And the seraph-anthem pour—
It is our country’s natal day,
  We hail it and adore.        10
 
High o’er the rock of ages
  See Independence stride:
Her shields she stretches o’er her vales,
  Her spear across the tide:
The harvests of her teeming soil,        15
  She bids the waves expand:
Though tempest roars around her shores,
  It dies along the strand;
For the arm that can the plough direct,
  The trident can command.        20
 
The storm that rent her forest
  A thousand ages past,
Now sweeps their branches as they fly
  Along the ocean blast:
Through every clime her banners float,        25
  And greet the northern wain,
Where dimly bright, with wheeling light,
  He pales the freezing plain;
And sees new stars beneath the pole,
  New Pleiades on the main.        30
 
The sea is Valour’s charter—
  A nation’s wealthiest mine
His foaming caves when ocean bares,
  Not pearls, but heroes shine;
Aloft they mount the midnight surge,        35
  Where shipwreck’d spirits roam,
And oft the knell is heard to swell
  Where bursting billows foam:
Each storm a race of heroes rears,
  To guard their native home.        40
 
But not the storm that courses
  The mountain and the deep,
Like Rapine’s secret whirling pool,
  With tyrant power can sweep;
The imperial gulf can whelm the keel        45
  Which tempests proudly bore:
In smooth serene, it glides unseen,
  Till all its caverns roar;
Till all its hidden ledges crash,
  And all its whirlwinds pour.        50
 
Rise, man’s immortal spirit!
  Stern Independence, rise!
Mid wrecks that choak the pirate’s cave,
  Your tatter’d banner lies.
In George’s floating dungeons        55
  Your gallant sailor grieves;
In chains he lies, and wishful sighs
  Towards his country heaves.
Rise, Independence! seize thy crown,
  Or strip its oaken leaves.        60
 
 
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