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A Star In The West.

March 31, 2010

—Eliza Cook.

THERE’S a star in the West that shall never go down
Till the record of valor decay;
We must worship its light, though it is not our own,
For liberty burst in its ray.
Shall the name of a Washington ever be heard
By a freeman, and thrill not his breast?
Is there one out of bondage that hails not the word
As the Bethlehem Star of the West?
 
“War! war to the knife! Be enthralled, or ye die!”
Was the echo that woke in his land;
But it was not his voice that prompted the cry,
Nor his madness that kindled the brand.
He raised not his arm, he defied not his foes,
While a leaf of the olive remained;
Till, goaded with insult, his spirit arose,
Like a long-baited lion unchained.
 
He struck with firm courage the blow of the brave,
But sighed o’er the carnage that spread;
He indignantly trampled the yoke of the slave,
But wept for the thousands that bled.
Though he threw back the fetters and headed the strife,
Till man’s charter was fairly restored,
Yet he prayed for the moment when Freedom and Life
Would no longer be pressed by the sword.
 
Oh, his laurels were pure! and his patriot name
In the page of the future shall dwell,
And be seen in all annals, the foremost in fame,
By the side of a Hofer and Tell.
The truthful and honest, the wise and the good,
Among Britons, have nobly confessed
That his was the glory, and ours was the blood,
Of the deeply stained field of the West.

 

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