Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Columbia’s Lamentation for Gen. Washington
 
          “Our fathers, where are they?”
  “And Methuselah lived nine hundred and sixty and nine years, and died?”

HOW sad are the tidings that sound in my ears!
My heart melts with anguish, dissolves into tears;
The man whom all nations did love and adore
Is deceased, and I shall behold him no more;
      O, my son Washington,        5
    O, what shall I do for my son?
 
How dark is the morning, how sable the skies!
Grief bursts from my bosom and pours from my eyes;
A sackcloth of sorrow hangs over my son,
I mourn for the loss of my great Washington.        10
      O, my grief, O, my grief,
    O, no more shall I seek for relief.
 
When Britain, proud Britain, invaded our land,
Then he was appointed the chief in command;
He beat her bold warriors with his matchless skill:        15
O, where is the man his mansion can fill?
      O, I fear, O, I fear,
    He dwells not in my hemisphere.
 
Long on his firm shoulders the government lay;
Peace reigned triumphant while he bore the sway;        20
A hero, a statesman, a sage, all in one,
I mourn for the loss of my great Washington;
      O, his death drowns all mirth,
    And saddens this desolate earth.
 
The dread king of terrors let fly his cold dart        25
Right into the centre of his valiant heart:
Midst sickness and sorrow his mind was composed,
And closed his own eyes, when he gave up the ghost.
      Gave his breath, mortal breath,
    Up to the grim angel of death.        30
 
The man once so active, wise, prudent, and brave,
Lies still, cold, and speechless, and lies in his grave;
His friends and relations in mourning did come,
To bear him with honours to his darksome tomb;
      Where he must, where he must        35
    Lie mouldering and mingled with dust.
 
You worthies should visit his shrine once a year,
Bedew his green grave with the heart-melting tear;
Keep sacred his memory through infinite years,
Tell this to your children, and they unto theirs.        40
      He was prime and sublime,
    Grand-master of all in my clime.
 
A squadron of angels was sent from the sky
To convoy his spirit to mansions on high;
Attended with music on the golden lyre,        45
They bore him aloft in a chariot of fire.
      O, the wheels, the flaming wheels,
    How swiftly they roll’d up the hills.
 
Supported by Gabriel, from the middle air,
Whose cavalry shone with unspeakable glare;        50
He sounded the trumpet through heaven’s high arch,
The cavalcade led, and they quicken’d their march.
      Swift they flew, blazing, through
    The glaring ethereal blue.
 
As quick as the pinions that transports a thought,        55
To the highest heavens my hero was brought;
Soft was his carriage, and easy his tour,
There he was received as an ambrosial flower,
      God to view, joys ensue,
    Forever delightsome and new.        60
 
There David and Hiram, and wise Charlemagne,
Solomon, Franklin, and great Tamerlane:
And John the beloved, the worthies of old,
Are crowned with laurels, in garments of gold.
      Glad to meet, glad to meet        65
    Their brother in glory complete.
 
United with seraphs, in full flowing verse,
The transporting wonders of heaven rehearse;
Their God, and their Father, and grand Pattern praise,
On high sounding organs and loud lofty lays.        70
      Like the Dove, join in love,
    To praise the eternal Jehovah.
 
 
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