Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1788–1820
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. IV: Literature of the Republic, Part I., Constitutional period, 1788–1820
 
America
By Joel Barlow (1754–1812)
 
[The Columbiad. 1807.]

BASED on its rock of Right your empire lies,
On walls of wisdom let the fabric rise;
Preserve your principles, their force unfold,
Let nations prove them and let kings behold.
EQUALITY, your first firm-grounded stand;        5
Then FREE ELECTION; then your FEDERAL BAND;
This holy Triad should forever shine
The great compendium of all rights divine,
Creed of all schools, whence youths by millions draw
Their themes of right, their decalogues of law;        10
Till men shall wonder (in these codes inured)
How wars were made, how tyrants were endured.
  Then shall your works of art superior rise,
Your fruits perfume a larger length of skies,
Canals careering climb your sunbright hills,        15
Vein the green slopes and strew their nurturing rills,
Through tunnelled heights and sundering ridges glide,
Rob the rich west of half Kenhawa’s tide,
Mix your wide climates, all their stores confound,
And plant new ports in every midland mound.        20
Your lawless Mississippi, now who slimes
And drowns and desolates his waste of climes,
Ribbed with your dikes, his torrent shall restrain,
And ask your leave to travel to the main;
Won from his wave while rising cantons smile,        25
Rear their glad nations and reward their toil.
 
 
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