Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
On the Death of Washington
 
From the Edinburgh Magazine

AMID the incense of a world’s applause,
That hails thee, champion of his country’s cause,
By virtue’s tears embalm’d, to merit just,
Thy ashes, WASHINGTON! return to dust.
But not to death’s oblivious shade return        5
Thy soul’s warm energies—they guard thy urn.
When Freedom, shrieking through the western sky,
Call’d all her sons to conquer, or to die,
Turn’d her fair face, and, shuddering as she view’d
The kindred hosts with civil blood imbrued;        10
Full in the van thy withering arm reveal’d
Its awful sweep,—and conquest had the field:
When torn humanity in sorrow stood,
As war’s wild vengeance pour’d the crimson flood;
Thine was the boast, mid ranks with terror lined,        15
To blend the feeling with the mighty mind!
In scenes of havoc and devouring flame,
No brutal carnage stain’d thy glorious name;
No voice of misery in vain implored
The meed of mercy from thy conquering sword.        20
These were the triumphs whose supporting power
Shed its soft influence on thy dying hour.
To thee no terrors deepen’d into gloom,
The long unfathom’d twilight of the tomb;
That heart, with virtue’s purest feelings warm,        25
That arm, the first in battle and alarm,
Still shield thy country—for thy birth was fame,
And latest ages shall adore thy name.
 
 
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