Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Birth-Night Fireside
COME, boy, close the windows, and make a good fire,
    Wife, children, sit snug all around:
’Tis the day that gave birth to our country’s bless’d sire,
    Then let it with pleasure be crown’d.
Dear wife, bring your wine, and, in spite of hard times,        5
    On this day, at least, we’ll be merry:
Come, fill every glass till it pouts o’er the brim,
    If not with Madeira—then Sherry.
The freedom you claim as your proudest birthright,
    To Washington’s labours you owe:        10
For this did he watch, through war’s dark, stormy night,
    In battle, and famine, and wo.
Come, boys, take your glasses, and let our proud toast
    Be, “The hero, devoid of a stain:”
Columbia’s deliverer, Humanity’s boast,        15
    Whose like we’ll ne’er look on again.
In your innermost hearts his wise precepts impress,
    Be his actions your study and guide:
Thus, ages to come may your memories bless,
    As your country’s best guardians and pride.        20
May the laurels of fame, that his temples enwreathed,
    Ever flourish in gratitude’s tears:
O! ever his name with devotion be breathed—
    That name which our country endears.

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