Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Day That Washington Was Born
By William Ray (1771–1827)
 
Written for February 22, 1825

HAIL! bright, returning, joyous day,
  Which gave the greatest mortal birth
That ever bore imperial sway—
  That ever walk’d upon the earth—
Auspicious and eventful morn,        5
The day that Washington was born.
 
His was the royalty of soul,
  A boon which God and Nature gave,
And bade him go—a world control,
  But first that world from bondage save;        10
The hearts of tyrants shrunk forlorn
The day that Washington was born.
 
But Liberty look’d up and smiled,
  And Independence too, though young,
Around the features of the child,        15
  With love enthusiastic clung—
New lights arose, the world to adorn,
The day that Washington was born.
 
The lights of Freedom, Reason, Truth,
  Shone round, with renovated ray;        20
America, while yet in youth,
  And error’s darkness swept away;
Slavery’s night-veil from man was torn,
The era Washington was born.
 
And yearly, on his natal day,        25
  Each son of Liberty—his son—
Should join, and votive honours pay
  To the loved name of Washington:
Whose splendours, like the sun’s, adorn
The globe where Washington was born.        30
 
Then let each true American,
  Proud of the day and of the name,
Give all that e’er was due to man
  Of immortality and fame—
The heart’s warm incense every morn        35
The day that Washington was born.
 
 
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