Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
By James H. Price
IN the volume of fate, as the book was unfolded,
  Long ages before the creation;
Twelve letters of gold on its pages were writ,
  Which predicted the birth of a nation.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes who perish’d in glory,        5
    And a song for our statesmen immortal in story;
    Here’s a health to each friend that loves social communion,
    And a health to the sage who presides o’er the Union.
“Unsullied by faction, and lasting as time,
  Let the empire of Freedom extend,        10
Till it circle each region—enliven each clime,
  And Peace with mild Liberty blend.”
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
Thus spake the Almighty: the fiat went forth,
  Mid joyous and loud acclamations;
Columbia awoke, she asserted her birth,        15
  And rose to a seat with the nations.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
Her Freedom achieved, and conquer’d her foes,
  As the standard of triumph unfurl’d;
Resplendent with brightness, her day-star arose,
  And its lustre blazed forth on the world.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
Columbia’s mild genius stood firm on the strand,
  As he trod the rough sea-beaten shore;
The spear and the olive-branch waved in his hand,
  The emblems of peace and of war.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
On the foaming Atlantic he darted a look,        25
  And the flash of his eye was severe;
He stamp’d—and the waves of old ocean were shook,
  He frown’d, and the sky dropp’d a tear.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
For he saw with regret a piratical band
  Usurp father Neptune’s domain;        30
The trident was snatch’d from the grasp of his hand,
  And his surges were mark’d with a stain.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
“O, my country,” he cried, as he lifted his spear,
  “Ere thy race of existence is run,
The glad millions of Europe thy laws shall revere,        35
  And warm in the glow of thy sun.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
“Be thine the mild era of reason and truth,
  Thine empire exalted and free;
And, O! may the angel who nourish’d in youth,
  In age guard thy liberty tree.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
“Blow, blow, ye soft breezes! ye zephyrs, awake!
  And ye storms round the hemisphere hurl’d,
Conspire with the roar of the whirlwind to make
  Columbia the pride of the world.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
“Let the furthermost India her luxuries send—        45
  Her tribute let Africa roll;
And the wide-waving wings of thy commerce extend,
  Till they darken the snows of the pole.”
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
He ceased—and the canvass swung loose in the gale
  The sheet o’er the billow was spread;        50
And the winds with their music breathed full in the sail,
  When the cloud-bearing tempest had fled.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
The tyrants no more of the ocean and land
  Columbia’s free soil shall enslave;
Secure on their own native soil shall they stand,        55
  Or ride in the foam of the wave.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
In the firm, stately ark which our forefathers rear’d,
  We fear no disastrous presages;
Our charter protected—our rights, unimpair’d,
  Shall descend to remotest of ages.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
When the spirit of Freedom in vengeance shall rush,
  And crumble proud empires to dust;
Undismay’d and serene mid the horrible crush,
  In the arm of Jehovah we’ll trust.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
And when, swift descending to regions of sorrow,        65
  Their tyrants shall shrink in dismay;
The lamp that still guides us will guide us to-morrow,
  And shine full as bright as to-day.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
We will follow fair Freedom wherever she goes—
  And, led by the light of her star,        70
In the lap of the goddess securely repose,
  From the wide-wasting horrors of war—
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.
Till Time from his glass the last sand shall have shaken—
  And, reaching his goal in the west,
By Eternity’s dark rolling tide overtaken,        75
  He sinks in its ocean to rest.
    Here’s a sigh for our heroes, &c.

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