Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1765–1787
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. III: Literature of the Revolutionary Period, 1765–1787
 
Columbia
By Timothy Dwight (1752–1817)
 
[A noted popular Song, written while Dwight was an Army Chaplain, 1777–78.—From Kettell’s “Specimens of American Poetry.” 1829.]

COLUMBIA, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies!
Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
Thy reign is the last, and the noblest of time,        5
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let the crimes of the east ne’er encrimson thy name,
Be freedom, and science, and virtue thy fame.
 
To conquest and slaughter let Europe aspire;
Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire;        10
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them, and glory attend.
A world is thy realm: for a world be thy laws,
Enlarged as thine empire, and just as thy cause;
On Freedom’s broad basis, that empire shall rise,        15
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies.
 
Fair Science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
And the east see thy morn hide the beams of her star.
New bards, and new sages, unrivalled shall soar
To fame unextinguished, when time is no more;        20
To thee, the last refuge of virtue designed,
Shall fly from all nations the best of mankind;
Here, grateful to heaven, with transport shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant than odors of spring.
 
Nor less shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,        25
And genius and beauty in harmony blend;
The graces of form shall awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul ever cherish the fire;
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refined,
And virtue’s bright image, instamped on the mind,        30
With peace and soft rapture shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile in the aspect of woe.
 
Thy fleets to all regions thy power shall display,
The nations admire, and the ocean obey;
Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,        35
And the east and the south yield their spices and gold.
As the day-spring unbounded, thy splendor shall flow,
And earth’s little kingdoms before thee shall bow:
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurled,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.        40
 
Thus, as down a lone valley, with cedars o’erspread,
From war’s dread confusion I pensively strayed—
The gloom from the face of fair heaven retired;
The winds ceased to murmur; the thunders expired;
Perfumes, as of Eden, flowed sweetly along,        45
And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung:
“Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies.”
 
 
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