Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Washington Coin
CAN wits or serious sages say
  Why Congress should refuse that head
A place upon their coin this day,
  O’er which the world hath laurels spread?
Yes, Liberty, celestial maid,        5
  By whom its right to crown was given,
The eager hands of Congress stay’d;
  And claim’d that place as sent by Heaven.
“Shall WASHINGTON, my favourite child,
  Be rank’d ’mongst haughty kings?” she cried;        10
“Of manners pure, affections mild,
  For wild ambition be decried?
“Or shall each vile successor share
  That honour which you think his due?
Or, granting this were right, who dare        15
  This path of monarchies pursue?
“Because a sycophantic race
  Worshipp’d, in every form, their kings;
And on their coins, to their disgrace,
  Placed them, if wise or silly things:        20
“Because (for this you have been told)
  Their lands, their lives, were not their own,
Of course their silver and their gold
  Were his who sat upon their throne—
“Shall sons of this enlightened land,        25
  Neglecting thus their sacred right,
As if not yet they understand
  Why Heaven has favoured them in fight,
“Thus madly mimic thoughtless tools?
  Let busts, let monuments arise        30
To Washington! not like those fools
  On coins he’ll stay; I’ll bear him ’bove the skies.
“My image place upon each piece;
  His, and his virtues, in your breast:
There you’ll excel e’en Rome and Greece;        35
  By all my favourite sons caress’d.”

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