Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
New England
By James Gates Percival (1795–1856)
HAIL to the land whereon we tread,
      Our fondest boast;
The sepulchre of mighty dead,
The truest hearts that ever bled,
Who sleep on Glory’s brightest bed,        5
      A fearless host;
No slave is here—our unchain’d feet
Walk freely, as the waves that beat
      Our coast.
Our fathers cross’d the ocean’s wave        10
      To seek this shore;
They left behind the coward slave
To welter in his living grave;
With hearts unbent, high, steady, brave,
      They sternly bore        15
Such toils as meaner souls had quell’d;
But souls like these, such toils impell’d
      To soar.
Hail to the morn, when first they stood
      On Bunker’s height;        20
And fearless stemm’d the invading flood,
And wrote our dearest rights in blood,
And mow’d in ranks the hireling brood,
      In desperate fight;
O! ’twas a proud, exulting day!        25
For even our fallen fortunes lay
      In light.
There is no other land like thee,
      No dearer shore;
Thou art the shelter of the free;        30
The home, the port of Liberty
Thou hast been, and shall ever be,
      Till time is o’er.
Ere I forget to think upon
My land, shall mother curse the son        35
      She bore.
Thou art the firm, unshaken rock,
      On which we rest;
And, rising from the hardy stock,
Thy sons the tyrant’s frown shall mock,        40
And Slavery’s galling chains unlock,
      And free the oppress’d—
All who the wreath of Freedom twine,
Beneath the shadow of their vine,
      Are bless’d.        45
We love thy rude and rocky shore,
      And here we stand—
Let foreign navies hasten o’er,
And on our heads their fury pour,
And peal their cannon’s loudest roar,        50
      And storm our land;
They still shall find our lives are given
To die for home; and leant on Heaven
      Our hand.

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