Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Land of Our Birth
By Alonzo Lewis (1794–1861)
LAND of our birth! when Freedom rose,
  Waked from her sleep of years,
She bade thee triumph o’er thy foes,
  And banish all thy fears.
Then pointing to Religion’s shrine,        5
  Her sons she bade repair,
To make her service all divine,
  With their holy worship there.
High was the call, from heaven it came,
  Borne on the wings of Time,        10
Announced with thunder and with flame,
  In accents all sublime,
For Freedom’s is a sacred voice,
  Which they who love shall hear;
She bids her children all rejoice,        15
  And the mandate they revere.
She gave the word, her sons obey’d;
  Swift did they rush around;
The Indian started from his shade,
  And listen’d to the sound.        20
Long years the battle-cry prevail’d,
  Yet firm they stood the tide,
Till the bright star of hope was hail’d,
  And they triumph’d, though they died.
Land of our birth! thy glory’s fame        25
  Shines in its bright array;
Devotion shall increase the flame,
  And virtue smile to-day.
The light of Freedom’s star is pale;
  Without Religion’s beam        30
Her boasted pleasures all must fail,
  Like the pageants of a dream.
On! be the word, till honour shines;
  On! until all are free!
Till Afric’s sons shall plant their vines        35
  In Christian liberty.
The star of Hope has lit the morn,
  Its ray shall bless our eyes,
Till Virtue’s power the world adorn,
  With the freedom of the skies.        40
God of the throned realm of Heaven!
  Thou canst our way direct;
O! come through shadows morn and even,
  To lead us and protect.
Be thou our nation’s guardian power,        45
  Our strength in time of peace;
And, when the clouds of war shall lower,
  May thy mercy still increase.

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