Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
I Dearly Love the Free
I DEARLY love this happy land,
  Its rivers rolling wide,
Its forests green, its silvery lakes,
  Its mountains in their pride;
Beneath its banner’s starry folds,        5
  The wand’rer seeketh rest;
The home of true and gallant hearts,
  The hope of the oppress’d.
O! still most dear, this country fair
  Must ever prove to me,        10
For well I love her noble sons;
  I dearly love the free!
Where late the savage, bold and brave,
  The forest wide did roam,
The son of Nature, wild and free,        15
  In Nature’s sylvan home;
The city, in her health and pride,
  Now rears her hundred spires;
No more is heard the sound of war
  Around his council fires;        20
How fair, and bright, and beautiful,
  This land appears to me,
I love it well and truly,
  For I dearly love the free!
In every clime beneath the sun        25
  Her banner bright is known,
Her honour, wealth, and greatness,
  Earth’s mighty nations own;
The tide of her prosperity,
  Which onward still must roll,        30
While freedom’s stripes are waving,
  To cheer each gallant soul;
There’s every tie to bind true hearts,
  Fair country, unto thee,
Who love, as I do dearly love,        35
  The bold, the brave, the free!
In distant climes, in search of change,
  I do not sigh to roam,
Thy banner gives protection,
  Thy ample soil a home;        40
Here plenty yields her blessings,
  With a rich and liberal hand,
And peace her downy pinions spread
  Above this fertile land;
Then be thou still my home of joy,        45
  Until life’s sands are gone,
And let me have a grave in thee,
  Thou land of Washington!

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