Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Pillar of Glory
By Edwin C. Holland (1794–1824)
 
HAIL 1 to the heroes whose triumphs have brighten’d
  The darkness which shrouded America’s name;
Long shall their valor in battle that lighten’d,
        Live in the brilliant escutcheons of fame:
        Dark where the torrents flow,        5
And the rude tempests blow,
The storm clad spirit of Albion raves;
        Long shall she mourn the day,
        When, in the vengeful fray,
Liberty walk’d like a god on the waves.        10
 
The ocean, ye chiefs, (the region of glory,
  Where fortune has destined Columbia to reign,)
Gleams with the halo and lustre of story,
  That curl round the wave as the scene of her fame:
        There, on its raging tide,        15
        Shall her proud navy ride,
The bulwark of freedom, protected by heaven;
        There shall her haughty foe,
        Bow to her prowess low,
There shall renown to her heroes be given.        20
 
The Pillar of Glory, the sea that enlightens,
  Shall last till eternity rocks on its base,
The splendor of fame its waters that brightens,
  Shall light the footsteps of time in his race:
        Wide o’er the stormy deep,        25
        Where the rude surges sweep,
Its lustre shall circle the brows of the brave;
        Honor shall give it light,
        Triumph shall keep it bright,
Long as in battle we meet on the wave.        30
 
Already the storm of contention has hurl’d
  From the grasp of Old England the trident of war,
The beams of our stars have illumined the world,
  Unfurl’d our standard beats proud in the air:
        Wild glares the eagle’s eye,        35
        Swift as he cuts the sky,
Marking the wake where our heroes advance;
        Compass’d with rays of light,
        Hovers he o’er the fight;
Albion is heartless—and stoops to his glance.        40
 
Note 1. Holland was a lawyer of Charleston, S. C., and died a few years since. He published a volume of poetry which we have not seen. The two following naval odes appeared in the Port Folio in 1813. [back]
 
 
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