William Ross Wallace

The Hundredth Birth-Day of Lafayette

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O’er the mountain and the valley; o’er the homestead and the mast,
Mighty as the sound of waters let the summons take the blast:

Let it thunder over Plymouth—let it shake the Southern palm—
Mingle with the loud Atlantic—break the blue Pacific’s calm,

Till Our nation feels the music, to its chainless pulses set,
Breathing out a boundless choral for the gallant Lafayette.

What is reverence unto heroes but a reverence unto him
Who within His great thought moulded worlds and men and cherubim?

Sacred Day! how mighty Freedom, leaning from her mountain-walls
When the clear, sweet trump of morning to her myriad children calls!

How she’ll smile to see the banner of the hero blest of old,
Once again, as at red Monmouth, like a storm of stars unrolled!

How she’ll muse on all the glories of the dread, miraculous time
When with Washington he battled for her own majestic clime!

How she’ll lean to hear the veterans of that era tell the tale
Of the insolent foe’s oppression—of the nation’s deadly wail!

Of the challenge and the onset—flashing sword and pealing horn!
Lion smote and Eagle soaring—Millions into freedom born!

Hallowed Day! what myriad blessings to the Hero’s tomb shall fly
When the rose of God shall open first along thy morning sky—
When the Nation feels a music, to its chainless pulses set,
Breathing out a boundless choral for the good, great Lafayette!



New York, 1857.

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William Ross Wallace