We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident

The Fourth of July.

To the sages who spoke, to the heroes who bled,
To the day and deed, strike the harpstrings of glory!
Let the song of the ransomed remember the dead,
And the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story!
O’er the bones of the bold
Be the story long told,
And on fame’s golden tablets the triumphs enrolled,
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fired raised that gave light to the world!
They are gone — mighty men! — and they sleep in their fame;
Shall we ever forget them? Oh, no, never!
Let our sons learn from us to embalm each great name
And the anthem send down — “Independence forever!”
Wake, wake, heart and tongue!
Keep the theme ever young;
Let their deeds through the long line of ages be sung
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!

— Charles Sprague

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jul 3, 1939

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