AND what shall be the song to-night,
If song there needs must be?
If every year that brings us here
Must steal an hour from me?
No more the summer floweret charms,
The leaves will soon be sere,
And Autumn folds his jewelled arms
'HAIL, Columbia! Happy land!
Hail, ye heroes, heaven-born band,
WE trust and fear, we question and believe,
From life's dark threads a trembling faith to weave,
Frail as the web that misty night has spun,
NOT bed-time yet! The night-winds blow,
The stars are out,--full well we know
The nurse is on the stair,
With hand of ice and cheek of snow,
THOU shouldst have sung the swan-song for the choir
That filled our groves with music till the day
The tale I tell is gospel true,
As all the bookmen know,
And pilgrims who have strayed to view
'T is midnight: through my troubled dream
Loud wails the tempest's cry;
Before the gale, with tattered sail,
A ship goes plunging by.
Now, by the blessed Paphian queen,
Who heaves the breast of sweet sixteen;
By every name I cut on bark
Before my morning star grew dark;