Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Sonnet on the Death of Washington
By Colonel David Humphreys (1752–1818)
HARK, friends! what sobs of sorrow—moans of grief,
  On every gale, through every region spread!
Hark! how the western world bewails our chief,
  Great Washington—his country’s father—dead!
Our living light expiring with his breath,        5
  His bright example still illumes our way
Through the dark valley of thy shadow, Death,
  To realms on high—of life without decay.
Faint, he relied on heavenly help alone,
  While conscience cheer’d the inevitable hour;        10
  When fades the glare of grandeur, pomp of power,
And all the pageantry that gems a throne.
Then, from his hallow’d track, who shall entice
Columbia’s sons, to tread the paths of vice?

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