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About this Item

Title: The Columbian's Song

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: October 27, 1840

Whitman Archive ID: per.00043

Source: The Long Island Democrat 27 October 1840: [1]. Our transcription is based on a photocopy of a microfilm copy of an original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang and Susan Belasco


What a fair and happy place
Is the one where Freedom lives,
And the knowledge that our arm is strong,
A haughty bearing gives!
For each sun that gilds the east,
When at dawn it first doth rise,
Sets at night,
Red and bright,
On a people where the prize
Which millions in the battle fight
Have sought with hope forlorn,
Grows brighter every hour,
In strength, and grace, and power,
And the sun this land doth leave
Mightier at filmy eve,
Than when it first arose, in the morn.
Beat the sounding note of joy!
Let it echo oe'r the hills,
Till shore and forest hear the pride,
That a bondless bosom fills,
And on the plain where patriot sires
Rest underneath the sod,
Where the stern resolve for liberty
Was writ in gushing blood,
Freeman go,
With upright brow,
And render thanks to God.
O, my soul is drunk with joy,
And my inmost heart is glad,
To think my country's star will not
Through endless ages fade,
That on its upward glorious course
Our red eyed eagle leaps,
While with the ever moving winds,
Our dawn-striped banner sweeps:
That here at length is found
A wide extending shore,
Where Freedom's starry gleam,
Shines with unvarying beam;
Not as it did of yore,
With flickering flash, when CAESAR fell,
Or haughty GESLER heard his knell,
Or STUART rolled in gore.
Nor let our foes presume
That this heart-prized union band
Will e'er be severed by the stroke
Of a fraternal hand.
Though parties sometime rage,
And Faction rears its form,
Its jealous eye, its scheming brain,
To revel in the storm;
Yet should a danger threaten,
Or enemy draw night,
Then scattered to the winds of heaven,
All civil strife would fly;
And north and south, and east and west,
Would rally at the cry—
'Brethren, arise! to battle come,
For Truth, for Freedom, and For Home,
And for our Fathers' Memory!'


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