Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Fourth of July Ode
By Willis Gaylord Clark (1808–1841)
 
Tune—“Star-spangled Banner”

HAIL, hail to the day, when with Memory’s wand,
  We waken a vision of worthies departed,
Whose labours of valour deliver’d the land
  From the fierce, open foe, and the traitor falsehearted;
          Whose blood fell like rain,        5
          In the ranks of the slain,
And cried from the ground, with a voice not in vain:
We hail the bright day which reminds us of yore—
Of the warriors that slumber to battle no more.
 
We have come to remember, in anthem and song,        10
  The fathers, whose bosoms were warm with devotion,
When o’er them the tempest of war brooded long,
  And the hosts of the foe came like waves of the ocean;
          When the cannon’s loud roar,
          Through the wilderness hoar,        15
Went booming in darkness, till peril was o’er,—
Till the brave hearts, that rallied, their land to defend,
Saw the bright dove of peace on their banners descend!
 
We have come to rejoice, as the present we view,
  And compare with the past its condition of glory;        20
At the altar of Freedom our vows to renew,
  And reflect on the deeds that illumine our story:
          To record, on the page
          Of a prosperous age,
That the thoughts of our fathers, our spirits engage;        25
That we joy to remember their patriot-love,
And to deem that they rest in the mansions above.
 
O, long may the radiance that beams round us now,
  Above our green mountains and broad valleys hover!
The cloud hath departed from Liberty’s brow—        30
  There are smiles on her lip, for the struggle is over,
          It is good thus to be,
          From the lawn to the sea,
Where the sun sinks at evening, a world of the free!
Long, long, may the links of that beautiful chain        35
Which begirds us in union, unsundered remain!
 
 
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