Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
New Columbia
By H. Bliss
 
WHEN Columbia arose from the wide-spreading flood,
All alone from the isles and the nations she stood;
The voice of her angel was heard through her clime,
And he sung this sweet strain in the morning of time:
“Columbia, all hail! happy world of the west!        5
Most spacious thy climes—in thy station most bless’d;
Though the last on the map of the nations to stand,
Thy fame shall be first, and the fairest thy land.
 
“Here the scenes which the future so bright shall unfold,
The nations unborn shall with wonder behold;        10
For lo! where the brute and the savage both roam,
With towns and vast cities the deserts shall bloom.
O’er the thrones of the east, here an empire shall rise,
Whose base shall be Freedom, and glory the prize,
As firm as the chains of thy mountains to be,        15
Or thy bounds which the shores of two oceans decree.
 
“Here tyrants no longer mankind shall enslave,
Nor pamper the base on the spoils of the brave—
The fiend of oppression shall struggle in vain,
To torture thy sons with the lash and the chain:        20
Nor here shall ambition, more honour’d than God,
Reap laurels and kingdoms from conquest and blood;
Its honour shall flow from a source more refined,
E’en the glory and welfare of millions combined.
 
“With a world in thyself, in thy soil and thy clime,        25
And the means of improvement more vast and sublime;
On a scale more enlarged man’s existence shall rise,
And the faults of the past make the future grow wise:—
New laws and new systems more perfect shall grow,
And plenty and peace like thy rivers shall flow;        30
And the road to distinction, all equal shall find,
Where virtue and talents ennoble mankind.
 
“While the groans of sad Europe are heard from afar,
And the nations are wreck’d on the billows of war,
And the fate of their slaves, by their tyrants decreed        35
By thousands to toil, and by thousands to bleed;
To this land of repose, lo! the sufferers shall come,
Where the stranger shall find both a refuge and home;
Here millions, more bless’d, future ages shall see,
In the bosom of ease, independent and free.        40
 
“Thy heroes and sages, when freedom is born,
Like the stars without number, thy States shall adorn;
As high as the Greek or the Roman’s proud name,
Unrivall’d to shine in the temple of fame.
Here genius, with science, united shall soar,        45
New plans to unfold, and new fields to explore;
As the arts in progression, advancing shall find
The means to supply all the wants of mankind.
 
“With union and light, in sweet triumph to blend,
Their freedom invaded, thy sons shall defend;        50
At their voice so commanding, their foes shall be dumb,
Both their tyrants abroad and their traitors at home:
While virtue and knowledge more strength shall command
Than their fleets on the seas, or their walls on the land,
And thine eagle the olive and quiver shall bear,        55
Till the lions of Europe shall roar in despair.
 
“Here, the gospel of peace, more divinely display’d,
No laws shall pervert, and no tyrant invade;
Nor its beauties expose to the infidel’s hate;
By uniting its powers with the compact of state—        60
Or enforcing belief in a merciful God,
Through regions all streaming with heretics’ blood!
But a gospel more pure shall its votaries embrace,
As free as the air, to the whole human race.
 
“Nor less shall fair virtue its triumphs impart,        65
And the laws of humanity flow from the heart;
Thy sons in the paths of true honour shall move,
And thy daughters with beauty and innocence rove.
In this world of the west shall the nations behold,
In the annals of time, a new era unfold,        70
All nature exults, now she points to its birth!
Still waiting to give a new charter to earth.
 
“Columbia, all hail, happy world of the west!
Thy God shall protect thee, thy land shall be bless’d;
For a phœnix of empire thy reign shall display,        75
From the dust of old kingdoms, to blaze into day.”
Thus on high, from a cloud o’er the mountains that spread,
With a rainbow of light that encircled his head,
The voice of the angel that bade thee arise,
Proclaim’d the decree, and flew back to the skies.        80
 
 
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