Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
104. New England
 
By James Gates Percival
 
 
HAIL to the land whereon we tread,
    Our fondest boast!
The sepulchre of mighty dead,
The truest hearts that ever bled,
Who sleep on glory’s brightest bed,        5
    A fearless host:
No slave is here;—our unchained feet
Walk freely, as the waves that beat
    Our coast.
 
Our fathers crossed the ocean’s wave        10
    To seek this shore;
They left behind the coward slave
To welter in his living grave;
With hearts unbent, high, steady, brave,
    They sternly bore        15
Such toils as meaner souls had quelled;
But souls like these, such toils impelled
    To soar.
 
Hail to the morn when first they stood
    On Bunker’s height!        20
And fearless stemmed the invading flood,
And wrote our dearest rights in blood,
And mowed in ranks the hireling brood,
    In desperate fight:
O, ’t was a proud, exulting day,        25
For even our fallen fortunes lay
    In light.
 
There is no other land like thee,
    No dearer shore;
Thou art the shelter of the free;        30
The home, the port of liberty
Thou hast been, and shalt ever be,
    Till time is o’er.
Ere I forget to think upon
My land, shall mother curse the son        35
    She bore.
 
Thou art the firm, unshaken rock,
    On which we rest;
And rising from thy hardy stock,
Thy sons the tyrant’s frown shall mock,        40
And slavery’s galling chains unlock,
    And free the oppressed:
All who the wreath of freedom twine
Beneath the shadow of the vine
    Are blessed.        45
 
We love thy rude and rocky shore,
    And here we stand:
Let foreign navies hasten o’er,
And on our heads their fury pour,
And peal their cannon’s loudest roar,        50
    And storm our land:
They still shall find, our lives are given
To die for home;—and leant on Heaven
    Our hand.
 

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