Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Goddess of Liberty
IN the still hour of nature, when mankind repose,
And darkness her veil round the universe throws,
As the gleamy-shot meteor, so radiant with light,
A goddess descends on the bosom of night.
From her left Freedom’s ægis flashed terror afar,        5
And her right shook the spear, redoubted in war;
On her helm was COLUMBIA, letter’d in gold,
And Peace with sweet olive did the motto enfold.
On her countenance heavenly benignity play’d,
And the stars of the Union encircled her head;        10
Of her country, the emblem was marked on her zone,
And bright as bold Phœbus fair Liberty shone.
With majesty awful, “My children,” she cried,
“Of my bosom the treasure, the glory, the pride—”
While she spoke, the wing’d lightning glared fiery on high,        15
And dread independence shot fierce from her eye.
“Thou nation of patriots, thou land of the brave,
Where tyranny rots in her dark, silent grave,
As peace to the wretched, or spring to the year,
So are to my bosom thy warriors dear.        20
“If war’s sweeping tempest from Europe returns,
Columbia, indignant, shall marshal her sons;
With flags proudly waving, the tyrants defy,
Victorious she’ll triumph, or gloriously die.
“When rages the battle, and the dread trumpets sound,        25
From the breast gushes life at the deep mortal wound;
Still fearless they’ll hurl the death-winged dart,
And victory swell warm through each warrior’s heart.
“I know you’re intrepid, and danger will dare,
In friendship unshaken, unconquer’d in war;        30
As nature extensive, your glories I’ll spread,
Or lay you immortal in honour’s proud bed.
“My sons oft in battle their prowess have shown,
And humbled Britannia their valour must own:
The infant of Liberty, suckled but now,        35
Pluck’d the laurel of conquest from royalty’s brow.
“Oppression’s dark legions, here gloomy array’d,
Here Freedom’s proud eagle defiance display’d,
When in terrible fury your fathers arose,
And dread as Omnipotence hurled down their foes.        40
“The spirit undaunted, that knew not to yield,
Sought peace in uprightness, or death in the field,
Was the spirit unconquer’d your sires that possess’d,
And such let the soul be that still fires your breast.
“At Yorktown and Bunker’s famed hill have they bled,        45
And in freedom majestic, when Washington led,
Did the rights of your country support on the plain,
Or laid their corpse mangled on mountains of slain.
“How oft they strode fearless o’er death’s bloody field,
With virtue their motto, and courage their shield!        50
How oft, crown’d with glory, their banners did wave,
Let the shades of my heroes attest from the grave.
“Now, nourish’d by wisdom, and strengthen’d by years,
The goddess of Liberty dreadful appears
To her foes, as the thunder that round her head roars,        55
Profound as the ocean that washes the shores.”

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