Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
To Commodore John Rodgers
 
WHILE Glory throws o’er Perry’s name
  A ray of everliving light,
And gallant Chauncey’s temples Fame
  Involves in wreaths of laurel bright;
While tears o’er Burrows, Allen, flow,        5
  And sighs for Sigourney obtain;
While all is joy, and all is wo,
  For battle won and hero slain;
 
The muse, at such a time, to you
  Her song of fond acclaim would raise,        10
Though cross’d by frowning Fortune, who,
  Triumphant, yet shall gild her lays!
Though gloomy clouds and vapours drear
  Obscure a while the orb of day,
Yet glorious shall that orb appear,        15
  With wonted light, and gladdening ray!
 
And though in vain the course you urge,
  For equal foe, in grade and might,
To utmost Europe’s frozen verge,
  Where all is day, or all is night;        20
Yet thou, brave man, in happier hour,
  As smiling Fortune cheers the main,
With equal Foe, in grade and power,
  Shall battle find, and glory gain!
 
Since first commenced thy bright career,        25
  ’Till now—what splendours rise between!
The noblest speculation ne’er
  Had formed so grand, sublime a scene!
Since then, how oft hath Albion wail’d
  The force of young Alcides, who        30
The hydra of the deeps assail’d,
  And cleft the monster-fiend in two!
 
Till nature, sickening, sinks in years,
  And virtue, time, and space decay;
Till suns and planets leave their spheres,        35
  And earth and ocean melt away—
Till then thy life shall live with fame
  On sculptured dome and gilded page;
Till then thy deeds shall time proclaim
  From zone to zone, and age to age!        40
 
Some future Homer here shall sing:
  Some bard of more than mortal fire,
With muse of brightest, boldest wing,
  To sweep with living lay the lyre;
And who, though ages sunk in time,        45
  And sunk the suns that gild the west,
Thy deeds to raptured worlds shall hymn,
  And be by raptured worlds confess’d!
 
 
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