The Nation's Birthday
( Originally Published 1927 )
BY MARY E. VANDYNE
Ring out the joy bells ! Once again,
With waving flags and rolling drums,
We greet the Nation's Birthday, when,
In glorious majesty, it comes.
Ah, day of days! Alone it stands,
While, like a halo round it cast,
The radiant work of patriot hands,
Shines the bright record of the past.
Among the nations 0f the earth,
What land hath story like our own?
No thought of conquest marked her birth ;
No greed of power was ever shown
By those who crossed the ocean wild,
That they might plant upon her sod
A home for Peace and Virtue mild,
And altars rear to Freedom's God.
How grand the thought that bade them roam !
Those pilgrim bands, by Faith inspired —
That bade them leave their cherished home,
And, with the martyr's spirit fired,
Guide their frail vessels o'er the main
Upon the glorious mission bound
On alien soil a grave to gain,
Or else a free born nation found.
What land has heroes like to ours?
Their names are as the lightning's gleams,
When, on the darkling cloud that lowers,
In blinding majesty it streams.
Great Washington, the man of faith,
Who conquered doubt with patient might;
Warren and Putnam, true till death,
The " Swamp Fox," eager for the fight.
Major Molly's woman hand
Drive home the murderous cannon ball ;
How bravely Lydia Darrach planned,
For home and country risking all.
A glorious list, and without end;
Forgotten were both sex and age;
Their names in radiant luster blend,
And shine like stars on history's page.
Like stars to light the firmament,
And show the world what men may do
Who, as God's messengers, are sent
And to their mission still are true.
No end had they to seek or gain ;
Their work was there before their sight ;
There lay their duty, stern and plain,
To dare and suffer for the right.
The right that conquered, and whose power
Is shown in our broad land today;
Shown in this bright and prosperous hour,
When peace and plenty gild our way;
Shown in the glorious song that swells
The hearts of men from South to North,
And in its rapturous accents tell
The story of our glorious Fourth.