Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Elegy: ‘Strew, virgins, the cypress o’er Washington’s bier’
Sung in Memory of Gen. Washington

Tune—“Thou soft-flowing Avon”

STREW, virgins, the cypress o’er Washington’s bier,
Whilst emblems of sorrow excite the big tear;
The hills round the spot where the hero is laid
Shall yearly re-echo a dirge to his shade.
The matrons whose bosoms in anguish do mourn        5
The loss of their heroes, ne’er doom’d to return,
Shall yearly retire to the spot where he’s laid,
And swell the sad dirge to great Washington’s shade.
The sweet timid maiden, whose fears are alarm’d,
(For soldiers, she finds, may in battle be harm’d,)        10
By moonlight shall steal to the spot where he’s laid,
And beg the protection of Washington’s shade.
Our youths, clad in arms, shall repair to his grave,
And swear, by his relics, their country to save;
His name thus invoked, whosoe’er shall invade        15
Shall fall early victims to Washington’s shade.

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