James Madison Bell

Song For The First Day Of August

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With cheerful hearts we've come
From many a happy home,
Our friends to greet;
And pass a social hour
Beneath this leafy bower,
Where many a shrub and flower
In fragrance meet.


We come to joy with those
Whose gloomy night of woes
Have past away,
And render worthy meeds
To men whose noble deeds
First cast the genial seeds
Of Liberty.


Then let our heart's best song
In acclamations strong,
Reach heaven's height,
In honor of that hour
When Slavery's massive tower
Crumble beneath the power
Of truth and right.


This is proud Freedom's day!
Swell, swell the gladsome lay,
Till earth and sea
Shall echo with the strain,
Through Britain's vast domain;
No bondman clanks his chain,
All men are free.


God hasten on the time
When Slavery's blighting crime
And curse shall end;
When man may widely roam
Beneath the arching dome,
And find with man a home,
In man a friend.

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James Madison Bell