Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Wyoming Monument
 
          Reverence for the great and good who have gone, is a living principle in the heart of the American female. She cherishes with deep affection and respect the memory of those who fell in our Revolutionary struggle. She turns away from the gay trophies of living ambition, to the humble graves of our pilgrim fathers. She gives, in this attachment to the virtues of the departed, the most cheering earnest of the greatness that awaits us. From her piety and faith must spring the moral grandeur of this nation. It is her influence that must mould the energies on which, in this country, the vast interests of freedom, humanity, and religion must repose.
  Her devotion to those virtues which hallow the past, are seen in that monument which soars from Bunker’s Hill; the same devotion will rear a memorial to the enduring worth of those who fell in the green vale of Wyoming. Poetry is already weaving its garland.

MEN of this happy land, if ye would have
That valour flourish which did guard your homes
From foreign domination, haste to pay
Due honour to the dead, who made their breasts
A shield against the foe, and in the cause        5
Of holy liberty laid down to die.
  Flow’d not their blood from the same glorious source
That fill’d your own? Why should they longer sleep
In cold oblivion’s tomb?
                    Their gather’d bones
Are where the death shaft fell; and the green turf        10
Of fair Wyoming’s vale hath done its best
To deck their sepulchre. Yea, Spring hath come,
Weeping like Rizpah for her slaughter’d sons,
And spread a mantle o’er them: and the flowers
That Summer brings have budded there, and died,        15
These many lustrums.
                Friends and countrymen,
Plant ye a stone upon that hallow’d mound,
And from its graven tablets teach your sons.
And when its pillar’d height goes up toward heaven,
Tell them from whence was drawn that fortitude        20
Which saved their land. Then, if you see a tear
Upon the bright cheek of your listening boy,
Haste, with a precious speed, and charge him, there,
To love his country and to fear his God.
 
 
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