Posted by: Democratic Thinker | July 3, 2010

The Fourth Of July

The Fourth Of July.

ODE—For the Fourth of July, 1827.

TO the sages who spoke, to the heroes who bled,
To the day and the deed, strike the harp-strings of glory!
Let the song of the ransomed remember the dead,
And the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story!
O’er the bones of the bold
Be the story long told,
And on fame’s golden tablets their triumphs enrolled
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!
 
‘Twas for us and our children, to conquer or die,
Undaunted they stood, where the war-storm burst o’er them;
Each blade drew a thunderbolt down from the sky,
Till the foeman turn’d pale, and was wither’d before them.
Then from Liberty’s band,
Went a shout thro’ the land,
As the rainbow of peace their fair heritage spann’d;
Where the banner of freedom in pride was unfurl’d,
And the beacon-fire rose that gave light to the world.
 
They are gone—mighty men!—and they sleep in their fame:
Shall we ever forget them? Oh, never! no, never!
Let our sons learn from us to embalm each great name,
And the anthem send down—“Independence forever!”
Wake, wake, heart and tongue!
Keep the theme ever young;
Let their deeds through the long line of ages be sung
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!

—Charles Sprague.

 

Image courtesy of America—Heart & Soul.

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