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Columbia.

April 12, 2010

—Timothy Dwight.

COLUMBIA! COLUMBIA! to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies;
Thy genius commands thee, with raptures behold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold:
Thy reign is the last and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let crimes of the east ne’er encrimson thy name,—
Be freedom, and science, and virtue thy fame.
 
To conquest and slaughter let Europe aspire,
Whelm nations in blood, or wrap cities in fire;
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them and glory attend.
A world is thy realm, for a world be thy laws,
Enlarg’d as thy empire, and just as thy cause;
On freedom’s broad basis, that empire shall rise,
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies.
 
Fair science her gate to thy sons shall unbar,
And the east see thy morn hide the beams of her star;
New bards and new sages unrivall’d shall soar,
To fame unextinguish’d, when time is no more.
To thee, the last refuge of virtue design’d,
Shall fly from all nations, the best of mankind;
There grateful to heaven, with transport shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant than odors of spring.
 
Nor less shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,
And genius and beauty in harmony blend;
Their graces of form shall awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul still enliven the fire:
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refin’d,
And virtue’s bright image enstamp’d on the mind;
With peace and sweet rapture shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile in the aspect of woe.
 
Thy fleets to all regions thy power shall display,
The nations admire, and the ocean obey;
Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,
And the east and the south yield their spices and gold;
As the day-spring, unbounded thy splendors shall flow,
And earth’s little kingdoms before thee shall bow;
While the ensigns of union in triumph unfurl’d,
Hush anarchy’s sway, and give peace to the world.
 
Thus down a lone valley with cedars o’erspread,
From the noise of the town I pensively stray’d;
The bloom from the face of fair heaven retir’d,
The wind ceas’d to murmur, the thunders expir’d:
Perfumes, as from Eden, flow’d sweetly along,
And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung,
Columbia! Columbia! to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and the child of the skies.

 

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