David Humphreys

Sonnet XII: On Receiving the News of the Death of General Washington

Hark! friends! what sobs of sorrow, moans of grief,
On every gale, through every region spread!
Hark! how the western world bewails our chief,
Great Washington, his country's father dead!
Our living light expiring with his breath
His bright example still illumes our way
Through the dark valley of thy shadow, death!
To realms on high of life without decay.
Faint, he relied on heav'nly help alone
While conscience cheer'd th' inevitable hour;
When fades the glare of grandeur, pomp of pow'r,
And all the pageantry that gems a throne:
Then from his hallow'd track, who shall entice
Columbia's sons to tread the paths of vice?

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