Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Columbia’s Triumph
 
From the Pennsylvania Gazette—July 9, 1788

          The following song, composed by Francis Hopkinson, Esq., was distributed on the occasion of the Grand Federal Procession in Philadelphia, July 4, 1788, in celebration of the Declaration of Independence, made by the thirteen United States of America, July 4, 1776.

O FOR a muse of fire! to mount the skies
  And to a listening world proclaim—
Behold! behold! an empire rise!
An era new, Time, as he flies,
  Hath entered in the book of fame.        5
On Alleghany’s towering head
Echo shall stand—the tidings spread,
  And o’er the lakes and misty floods around,
  An era new resound.
 
  See! where Columbia sits alone,        10
  And from her star-bespangled throne
Beholds the gay procession move along,
And hears the trumpet, and the choral song—
  She hears her sons rejoice—
  Looks into future times, and sees        15
  The numerous blessings Heaven decrees,
And with her plaudit joins the general voice.
 
“’Tis done! ’tis done! My sons,” she cries,
“In war are valiant, and in council wise;
Wisdom and valour shall my rights defend,        20
And o’er my vast domain those rights extend.
Science shall flourish, Genius stretch her wing,
To native strains Columbian muses sing;
  Wealth crown the arts, and Justice clean her scales,
Commerce her ponderous anchor weigh,        25
  Wide spread her sails,
And in far distant seas her flag display.
 
“My sons for freedom fought, nor fought in vain;
But found a naked goddess was their gain:
Good government alone can show the maid        30
In robes of social happiness array’d.”
  Hail to this festival! all hail the day!
  Columbia’s standard on her roof display;
  And let the people’s motto ever be,
  “United thus, and thus united—free!”        35
 
 
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