Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Ode: ‘Once more we’re one, a nation cries’
Written on the meeting of the first Congress, under the new federal Constitution

“ONCE more we’re one,” a nation cries,
And rapturous echo rends the skies,
    With “once more we are one.”
Now hautboy, violin, and flute,
Breathe out, nor ever hence be mute;        5
    The immortal deed is done!
Returning government now comes;
Sound, sound the trumpets! beat the drums!
    Let every breast expand.
Let party rage and discord cease;        10
And may each foe to general peace
    Be exiled from our land.
The blast of war—the din of arms,
No longer sound their dread alarms,
    In thunder’s awful roar.        15
Peace, with her mild and gentle train,
Has visited our land again,
    And reigns our queen once more.
The arts shall raise their drooping head,
Science throughout our empire spread        20
    Her influence, like the sun;
While wisdom, justice, patriot zeal,
Join, to affix the closing seal,
    And finish what’s begun.
The sails of commerce, now unfurl’d,        25
Shall waft our produce round the world,
    With each propitious breeze.
Our soil to labour now shall yield
A rich reward from every field,
    While exports crowd the seas.        30
Let Spanish shafts probe southern mines;
Let Gallia cultivate her vines;
    In gems let India blaze:
China her silks and ware may boast:
Let gold and pearls deck Brazil’s coast,        35
    And Afric spices raise:
No Pedro or Pizarro here
Shall call from widow’d eyes the tear
    No plundering war we wage;
Not India’s gems, or Peru’s mines,        40
Or Afric’s spice, or Gallia’s vines,
    Can here awake such rage.
When first, provoked, to arms we flew,
And the bright blade of Freedom drew,
    Nations with wonder gazed:        45
But when success our banners crown’d,
And peace the trumpet’s clangour drown’d,
    All Europe was amazed.
But now we call the world to view
A nobler scene—an era new—        50
    A nation met in peace:
To bind by general law the whole,
And to one body give one soul,
    And bid distraction cease.
No more shall partial sytems jar;        55
No more shall state with state make war,
    Or parts oppose the whole;
Faction her haggard head shall hide,
While shouts of union, far and wide,
    Echo from pole to pole.        60
Our fame shall rise on eagle’s wings
High above emperors and kings,
    Nor shall we ever stop,
Till, as a people, we look down
On all the splendour of a crown,        65
    From elevation’s top.
In peace our friendship shall embrace
Each member of the human race,
    Of every sect and creed—
Pagans, idolaters, and Turks,        70
All who confide in faith or works,
    Even Israel’s lineal seed.
But when our country sounds the alarm,
The noblest blood our breasts shall warm
    On the embattled plain.        75
Our standard shall be planted there,
Its streamers floating high in air;
    Our flag shall rule the main.

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