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
 
FROM all our sunny homes to-day,
From distant verge of farthest bay,
From lofty crags that pierce the sky,
Are echoing songs of liberty.
And, hark! e’en now, from off the seas,        5
The sailor’s hymn comes on the breeze;
His native mountains know the sound,
They chant the lay to valleys round;
And louder, louder peal the notes,
And higher up the anthem floats.        10
 
How many visions of the past,
To-day are flitting thick and fast!
Look out on yonder leafy woods—
Again the red man swims the floods:
His savage whoop is heard once more        15
On rocky cliff and sedgy shore;
And, weary, with his dog and gun
He tracks the deer from sun to sun:
His frail canoe glides o’er the streams,
And brighter now his watch-fire gleams.        20
 
They come, they come, that pilgrim band,
On Plymouth’s ice-bound coast they land;
Their midnight cry broods on the air,
And sorrow mingles with their prayer.
Press on, press on, ye pioneers,        25
’Tis Freedom’s hand your light bark steers.
The spark that in the Mayflower came,
Is kindling now into a flame;
And ransom’d millions raise the shout,
While patriot blood is pouring out.        30
 
O, ’tis a glorious sight to see
Our nation’s standard flying free!
That gallant flag this morn unfurl’d
Its stars and stripes o’er all the world;
And many a deck with rapture rings,        35
As round the mast that banner clings.
God of our fathers! shield it well,
Till yon blue waves shall cease to swell—
Till earth’s tall sentries, capp’d with snow,
Shall crumble in the vales below.        40
 
 
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