Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
On the Demolition of Fort George, 1790
By Philip Freneau
 
AS giants once, in hopes to rise,
Heaped up their mountains to the skies;
With Pelion piled on Ossa, strove
To reach the eternal throne of Jove;
 
So here the hands of ancient days        5
Their fortress from the earth did raise,
On whose proud heights, proud man to please,
They mounted guns and planted trees.
 
Those trees to lofty stature grown—
All is not right!—they must come down,        10
Nor longer waste their wonted shade
Where Colden slept, or Tryon strayed.
 
Where Dutchmen once, in ages past,
Huge walls and ramparts round them cast
New fabrics raised, on new design,        15
Gay streets and palaces shall shine.
 
Another George shall here reside,
While Hudson’s bold, unfettered tide
Well pleased to see his chief so nigh,
With livelier aspect passes by.        20
 
Along his margin, fresh and clean,
Ere long shall belles and beaux be seen,
Through moon-light shades, delighted, stray,
To view the islands and the bay.
 
To barren hills far southward shoved,        25
These noisy guns shall be removed,
No longer here a vain expense,
Where time has proved them no defense.—
 
Advance, bright days! make haste to crown
With such fair scenes this honoured town,—        30
Freedom shall find her charter clear,
And plant her seat of commerce here.
 
 
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