Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Our Country—a Lyric
By Thomas Ward (Flaccus) (1807–1873)
 
HAIL to thee, native country!
  The young, the brave, the free!
What heart of true-born child of thine,
  Beats not with pride for thee?
Thine are the unshorn mountains,        5
  And thine the sweeping streams,
The billowy and the shoreless plains,
  Whose soil exhaustless teems.
 
Far o’er the world of waters,
  From Europe’s broken chain,        10
Freedom, a wandering exile, fled,
  To found a nobler reign.
The westering sun she follow’d
  To this her chosen ground,
Where tyrant never planted foot,        15
  And God alone is found.
 
Bright flower among the nations!
  Wild blossom, half disclosed!
Yet fairer in thine opening bud,
  Than with full bloom exposed—        20
The glory of thy forests
  Can ancient realms outshine:
The pride of art let others boast,
  But Nature best is thine.
 
Thy waters need no minstrel        25
  To sound their mighty name;
Niagara is a herald trump
  More worthy of thy fame.
Far flow thy swelling rivers,
  Wide roll thy spreading seas,        30
The burden steeds of boundless wealth—
  The silver chains of peace.
 
Thy people need no monarch,
  No sceptred “man of straw;”
Their rulers are their servants all,        35
  The freeman’s king is law;
They boast no haughty title,
  From ages gone before:
They know, and proudly know their sires;
  O! need they seek for more?        40
 
Thine is the noblest charter
  By wisdom ever penn’d:
And what thy sages could achieve,
  Thy soldiers can defend:
By this the humblest yeoman,        45
  Released from every ban,
May lift to heaven his honest front,
  And feel himself a man.
 
Thine are the generous fathers,
  Who, claiming but a grave,        50
The soil of Freedom and her heirs,
  A mighty freehold gave.
Their star-illumined record
  Of trial-deeds sublime,
Will guide and cheer the struggling free,        55
  Throughout the route of time.
 
Thine is the youthful navy
  That in a night arose,
And thunder’d, through the sounding seas,
  Defiance to its foes:        60
Wherever blows the breeze,
  At home throughout the world,
Her canvass flaps its daring wings,
  Her banner is unfurl’d.
 
Thine is the glorious union,        65
  That, like the solar sway,
Bids roving stars of various clime
  In one harmonious play:
Wheel within wheel revolving,
  The vast machine sublime        70
Rolls on, the model of the free,
  The wonder of the time.
 
Fair group of sister nations!
  In holy friendship twined,
Still cherish, with unbroken front,        75
  One heart, one voice, one mind:
God bless the sacred union
  That made the many one,
And lead the sisters hand in hand,
  Till thousand years are gone!        80
 
 
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