John Pierpont

(1785-1866 / the United States)

Hymns And Odes Ii - Poem by John Pierpont

Hark! 'tis the children of Washington, pouring
The full tide of song to the conqueror's praise,
Whose brows our young eagle, triumphantly soaring
From the dun smoke of battle, encircled with bays.
And while the choral song
Floats on the air along,
Blending the tones of the mellowing strain,
Bright o'er the melting soul
New scenes of glory roll,
Glory that spreads its broad blaze o'er the main.

Hail to the brave, who, in language of thunder,
Borne on the foam-crested billows to war,
Claim of their foe no inglorious plunder,-
The trident of Neptune and Victory's car.
And, while Columbia's stars
Wave o'er her gallant tars,
Bounding in triumph along the blue deep,
See, o'er the bloody wave,
Many a Briton's grave,
The proud Queen of Ocean disconsolate weep.

Hail to you orient star, that adorning
And gilding the skies with its ravishing light,
Blazes unquenched on the forehead of morning,
And dispels the cold gloom of oppression and night.
'T is by that ruddy glow
Slaves and their tyrant know
Freedom and Hope to the world have returned;
So shone the pilot star,
Hailed from the east afar,
That over the manger of Bethlehem burned.

Peace to the dust, that in silence reposes
Beneath the dark boughs of the cypress and yew;
Let spring deck the spot with her earliest roses,
And heaven wash their leaves in its holiest dew.
Calm as the hero's soul,
Let the Potomac roll,
Watering the willow that over him weeps,
And, from his glassy wave,
Softly reflect the grave
Where all that was mortal of Washington sleeps.

Hail, holy shade! we would proudly inherit
The flame that once deigned in thy bosom to glow,
While yet but one spark of thy patriot spirit,
Thy godlike benevolence, lingers below.
Ne'er let thy favorite tree,
Sacred to Liberty,
By anarchy's sulphury sirocco be riven;
But, in immortal bloom,
Rise o'er its planter's tomb,
Rich with perfume as the breezes of heaven.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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