Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Independence
By John Pierpont (1785–1866)
 
DAY of glory! welcome day!
Freedom’s banners greet thy ray;
See! how cheerfully they play
    With thy morning breeze,
On the rocks where pilgrims kneel’d,        5
On the heights where squadrons wheel’d,
When a tyrant’s thunder peal’d,
    O’er the trembling seas.
 
God of armies! did thy “stars
In their courses” smite his cars,        10
Blast his arm, and wrest his bars
    From the heaving tide?
On our standard, lo! they burn,
And, when days like this return,
Sparkle o’er the soldier’s urn,        15
    Who for freedom died.
 
God of peace!—whose spirit fills
All the echoes of our hills,
All the murmurs of our rills,
    Now the storm is o’er;—        20
O, let freemen be our sons;
And let future Washingtons
Rise, to lead their valiant ones,
    Till there ’s war no more.
 
By the patriot’s hallow’d rest,        25
By the warrior’s gory breast,
Never let our graves be press’d
    By a despot’s throne:
By the pilgrim’s toil and cares,
By their battles and their prayers,        30
By their ashes,—let our heirs
    Bow to thee alone.
 
 
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