Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Washington’s Birth-day
 
NO peerage we covet, no sceptres desire,
  Nor gewgaws that garnish a throne;
For Liberty loves on her own native lyre
  To celebrate sons of her own.
 
And always with rapture his virtue she sings,        5
  And exults on the morn of his birth,
Who shakes every throne of despotical kings,
  And gives a new lesson to earth.
 
O, widely diffuse it, ye winds, as ye blow;
  O, waft it, ye waves, that they fan;        10
For the choicest of gifts that the God can bestow
  Is the blessing of Freedom to man.
    Oh! WASHINGTON, hail! whom the breath of pure Fame
      With praises more sweet shall perfume,
    Than ever embalm’d or exalted a name        15
      In Macedon, Athens, or Rome.
 
For Freedom, say, what did that foe of the Greek,
  Alexander, that hero admired?
Let the foes or the friends whom he massacred, speak,
  Or the beautiful city he fired.        20
 
Ye unfetter’d freemen, examine each deed
  That made him renown’d or adored;
Then mention what race by his valour was freed,
  Or bless’d by his sceptre or sword?
 
Did conquering Cesar Rome’s senate obey?        25
  Did his legions disperse at a word?
Did he halt or retire from a summit of sway,
  That saving his country conferr’d?
    Then, WASHINGTON, hail, &c.
 
Did Athens, did Sparta one hero produce,
  To extinguish their feuds by his mind?        30
Or prove to the free the pre-eminent use
  Of union to them, and mankind?
 
Ah, no! if the wise but one patriot adept,
  One leader like ours had enjoy’d,
No lover of Science or Freedom had wept,        35
  For Science and Freedom destroy’d.
    Then, WASHINGTON, hail! &c.
 
 
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