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.
 
316. Washington’s Statue
 
By Henry Theodore Tuckerman
 
 
THE QUARRY whence thy form majestic sprung
    Has peopled earth with grace,
Heroes and gods that elder bards have sung,
    A bright and peerless race;
But from its sleeping veins ne’er rose before        5
    A shape of loftier name
Than his, who Glory’s wreath with meekness wore,
    The noblest son of Fame.
Sheathed is the sword that Passion never stained;
    His gaze around is cast,        10
As if the joys of Freedom, newly gained,
    Before his vision passed;
As if a nation’s shout of love and pride
    With music filled the air,
And his calm soul was lifted on the tide        15
    Of deep and grateful prayer;
As if the crystal mirror of his life
    To fancy sweetly came,
With scenes of patient toil and noble strife,
    Undimmed by doubt or shame;        20
As if the lofty purpose of his soul
    Expression would betray,—
The high resolve Ambition to control,
    And thrust her crown away!
O, it was well in marble firm and white        25
    To carve our hero’s form,
Whose angel guidance was our strength in fight,
    Our star amid the storm!
Whose matchless truth has made his name divine,
    And human freedom sure,        30
His country great, his tomb earth’s dearest shrine,
    While man and time endure!
And it is well to place his image there
    Upon the soil he blest:
Let meaner spirits, who its councils share,        35
    Revere that silent guest!
Let us go up with high and sacred love
    To look on his pure brow,
And as, with solemn grace, he points above,
    Renew the patriot’s vow!        40
 

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