Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
My Native Land
By Hugh Peters
THE BOAT swings from the pebbled shore,
  And proudly drives her bow;
The crested seas roll up before:
Yon dark-gray land I see no more,
  How sweet thou seemest now!        5
Thou dark-gray land, my native land,
  Thou land of rock and pine,
I’m speeding from thy golden sand;
But can I wave a farewell hand
  To such a shore as thine?        10
I’ve gazed upon the golden cloud
  Which shades thine emerald sod;
Thy hills, which freeman’s share hath plough’d,
Which nurse a race that have not bow’d
  Their knee to aught but God;        15
Thy mountain floods, which proudly fling
  Their waters to the fall—
Thy birds which cut, with rushing wing,
The sky that greets thy coming spring,
  And thought thy glories small.        20
But now, ye’ve shrunk to yon blue line
  Between the sky and sea:
I feel, sweet home, that thou art mine—
I feel my bosom cling to thine—
  That I am part of thee.        25
I see thee blended with the wave,
  As children see the earth
Close up a sainted mother’s grave:
They weep for her they cannot save,
  And feel her holy worth.        30
Thou mountain-land!—thou land of rock!
  I’m proud to call thee free:
Thy sons are of the pilgrim stock,
And nerved like those who stood the shock
  At old Thermopylæ.        35
The laurel wreaths their fathers won,
  Thy children wear them still:
Proud deeds those iron men have done—
They fought and won at Bennington,
  And bled at Bunker Hill.        40
There’s grandeur in the lightning-stroke
  That rives thy mountain ash;
There’s glory in the giant oak,
And rainbow beauty in the smoke
  Where crystal waters dash;        45
There’s music in thy winter blast,
  That sweeps the hollow glen:
Less sturdy sons would shrink, aghast,
From piercing winds, like those thou hast,
  To nurse thine iron men.        50
And thou hast gems, ay, living pearls,
  And flowers of Eden hue;
Thy loveliest are thy bright-eyed girls,
Of fairy forms and elfin curls,
  And smiles like Hermon’s dew.        55
They’ve hearts like those they’re born to wed,
  Too proud to nurse a slave;
They’d scorn to share a monarch’s bed,
And sooner lay their angel head
  Deep in their humble grave.        60
And I have left thee, home, alone,
  A pilgrim from thy shore:
The wind goes by with hollow moan,
I hear it sigh a warning tone,
  “You see your home no more!”        65
I’m cast upon the world’s wide sea—
  Torn like an ocean weed:
I’m cast away, far, far from thee;
I feel, a thing I cannot be,
  A bruised and broken reed.        70
Farewell! my native land, farewell!
  That wave has hid thee now:
My heart is bow’d as with a spell—
This rending pang!—would I could tell
  What ails my throbbing brow!        75
One look upon that fading streak
  Which bounds yon western sky;
One tear to cool my burning cheek,
And then—a word I cannot speak—
  My native land—“Good-by!”        80

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