Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Song: ‘When Freedom’s star its last bright gleam’
Tune—“Rule Britannia”

WHEN Freedom’s star its last bright gleam
  O’er Europe’s waste had shot in vain,
Columbia caught the expiring beam,
  And bore it o’er the western main.
        Rule, Columbia, Columbia ever free,        5
        Heaven-born child of liberty.
Then rose a world, by Heaven’s decree,
  Which countless years unbless’d had lain,
But now the destined sphere to be
  Of Freedom’s pure and sacred reign.
        Rule, Columbia, &c.
Then ere, Columbia, thou hadst shared
  Of empire’s car the trembling rein,
Thy young but dauntless soul declared
  War’s storms but threaten thee in vain.
        Rule, Columbia, &c.
And when, ere long, with stepdame pride        15
  Britannia mark’d thy opening reign,
Thy Heaven-shielded breast defied
  The tempest-shock of war again.
        Rule, Columbia, &c.
Thy birth, Columbia, sons so brave;
  Thy waters, forests, all proclaim,        20
Thy destined course is o’er the wave,
  And ocean is thy “field of fame.”
        Rule, Columbia, &c.
Again, behold war’s bolts are hurl’d,
  Thy eagle-flight to check in vain,
For still thy infant flag, unfurl’d,        25
  With Freedom’s charter sweeps the main.
        Rule, Columbia, &c.
And under heaven it still shall spread
  Its star-gemm’d glories o’er the main,
While Freedom’s sacred beam shall shed
  Its light to bless Columbia’s reign.
        Rule, Columbia, &c.

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