Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
La Fayette
By William Bingham Tappan (1794–1849)
 
SON of valour! Heir of glory!
  Noble by the patriot’s line;
Gallant warrior! chieftain hoary!
  Immortality is thine,
Wreathe the laurel, Muses! wreathe it,        5
  ’Tis for no ignoble name;
Breathe the song, inspirers! breathe it,
  Worthy of the veteran’s fame!
 
When a people, true to bravery,
  Saw the storm-cloud gathering nigh,        10
Heard the manacles of slavery
  Rattle in the turbid sky,—
Triumph! thou who livest to say it,
  Then arose proud Victory’s son,—
Crush’d is slavery! for La Fayette        15
  Wears the meed that valour won!
 
Haste! ye nobles, vainly borrow
  Lustre from the scroll of peers;
While it dies, the name of warrior
  Brightens with the touch of years!        20
And, though mingled with his fathers
  In the slumbers of the tomb,
Time, who saps the palace, gathers
  For the hero fresher bloom.
 
Go, and mark him!—shades of even        25
  Soon shall lurk around his bed,—
Go, and mark him!—winds of heaven
  Soon shall sweep that wintry head,—
Yet with flowers will we array it
  Fairer than the poet’s dream;        30
Perish silence! when La Fayette
  Is a nation’s grateful theme!
 
 
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