Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
On Laying the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument
By John Pierpont (1785–1866)
 
O, IS not this a holy spot?
  ’T is the high place of freedom’s birth!
God of our fathers! is it not
  The holiest spot of all the earth?
 
Quench’d is thy flame on Horeb’s side;        5
  The robber roams o’er Sinai now;
And those old men, thy seers, abide
  No more on Zion’s mournful brow.
 
But on this hill thou, Lord, hast dwelt,
  Since round its head the war-cloud curl’d,        10
And wrapp’d our fathers, where they knelt
  In prayer and battle for a world.
 
Here sleeps their dust: ’t is holy ground:
  And we, the children of the brave,
From the four winds are gather’d round,        15
  To lay our offering on their grave.
 
Free as the winds around us blow,
  Free as the waves below us spread,
We rear a pile, that long shall throw
  Its shadow on their sacred bed.        20
 
But on their deeds no shade shall fall,
  While o’er their couch thy sun shall flame:
Thine ear was bow’d to hear their call,
  And thy right hand shall guard their fame.
 
 
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