Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Star in the West—1840
From the London Weekly Despatch

THERE’S a star in the west that shall never go down
    Till the records of valour decay;
We must worship its light, though ’tis not our own,
    For liberty bursts in its ray.
Shall the name of a Washington ever be heard        5
    By a freeman, and thrill not his breast?
Is there one out of bondage that hails not the word
    As the Bethlehem-star of the west?
“War, war to the knife; be enthrall’d or ye die!”
    Was the echo that waked in the land:        10
But it was not his voice that prompted the cry,
    Nor his madness that kindled the brand;
He raised not his arm, he defied not his foes,
    While a leaf of the olive remain’d:
Till, goaded with insult, his spirit arose        15
    Like a long-baited lion, unchain’d.
He struck with firm courage the blow of the brave,
    But sigh’d o’er the carnage that spread:
He indignantly trampled the yoke of the slave,
    But wept for the thousands that bled.        20
Though he threw back the fetters and headed the strife
    Till man’s charter was fairly restored:
Yet he pray’d for the moment when freedom and life
    Would no longer be press’d by the sword.
O! his laurels were pure, and his patriot name        25
    In the page of the future shall dwell,
And be seen in all annals the foremost in fame,
    By the side of a Hofer and Tell.
Revile not my song, for the wise and the good
    Among Britons have nobly confess’d,        30
That his was the glory, and ours was the blood
    Of the deeply-stain’d field of the west.

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