Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Raising
 
COME, muster, my lads, your mechanical tools,
Your saws and your axes, your hammers and rules;
Bring your mallets and planes, your level and line,
And plenty of pins of American pine.
  For our roof we will raise, and our song still shall be,        5
  A government firm, and our citizens free.
 
Come, up with the plates, lay them firm on the wall,
Like the people at large, they’re the groundwork of all;
Examine them well, and see that they’re sound;
Let no rotten parts in our building be found;
  For our roof we will raise, &c.
        10
 
Now hand up the girders, lay each in his place,
Between them the joists must divide all the space;
Like assembly-men, these should lie level along,
Like girders, our senate prove loyal and strong:
  For our roof we will raise, &c.
 
The rafters now frame, your king-posts and braces,        15
And drive your pins home to keep all in their places;
Let wisdom and strength in the fabric combine,
And your pins be all made of American pine:
  For the roof we will raise, &c.
 
Our king-posts are judges—now upright they stand,
Supporting the braces, the laws of the land;        20
The laws of the land which divide right from wrong,
And strengthen the weak, by weakening the strong.
  For our roof we will raise, and our song still shall be,
  Laws equal and just, for a people that’s free.
 
Lo! up with the rafters—each frame is a State!        25
How noble they rise! their span, too, how great!
From the north to the south, o’er the whole they extend,
And rest on the walls, while the walls they defend!
  For our roof we will raise, and our song still shall be,
  Combined in strength, yet as citizens free.        30
 
Now enter the purlins, and drive your pins through,
And see that your joints are drawn home, and all true;
The purlins will bind all the rafters together,
The strength of the whole shall defy wind and weather;
  For our roof we will raise, and our song still shall be,        35
  United as States, but as citizens free.
 
Come, raise up the turret, our glory and pride:
In the centre it stands, o’er the whole to preside;
The sons of Columbia shall view with delight
Its pillars and arches, and towering height;        40
  Our roof is now raised, and our song still shall be,
  A federal head, o’er a people still free.
 
Huzza! my brave boys, our work is complete:
The world shall admire Columbia’s fair seat;
Its strength against tempest and time shall be proof,        45
And thousands shall come to dwell under our roof.
  Whilst we drain the deep bowl, our toast still shall be,
  Our government firm, and our citizens free.
 
 
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