Ode: Sweet Songs of Liberty

Image from The Ideal in the West

The Concord Hymn.

[Mr. R.W. Emerson’s Concord Hymn, for the 4th of July, 1857, contains so much more poetry and fulfilled and fulfilling prophecy than any equal number of words for the day, that we give it the preference over all other national songs for reutterance at this time.]

O tenderly the haughty day
Fills his blue urn with fire,
One morn is in the mighty heaven,
And one in our desire.

The cannon booms from town to town,
Our pulses are not less,
The joy bells chime their tidings down,
Which children’s voices bless.

For He that flung the broad blue fold
O’er mantling land and sea,
One-Third part of the sky unrolled
For the banner of the free.

The men are ripe of Saxon kind
To build an equal state;
To take the statute from the mind,
And make of duty fate.

The men are ripe of Saxon kind
To build an equal state,—
To take the statute from the mind
And make of duty fate.

United States! the ages plead —
Present and Past in undersong, —
Go put your creed into your deed,
Nor speak with double tongue.

For sea and land don’t understand,
Nor skies without a frown,
See rights for which the one hand fights
By the other cloven down.

Be just at home; then reach beyond
Your charter o’er the sea,
And make the great Atlantic pond
A ferry of the free.

And henceforth there shall be no chain
Save, underneath the sea,
The wires shall murmur through the main
Sweet songs of LIBERTY.

The conscious stars accord above,
The waters wild below,
And under through the cable wove,
The fiery errands go.

For He that worketh high and wise.
Nor pauses in his plan,
Will take the sun out of the skies
Ere freedom out of man.

The Herald and Torch Light (Hagerstown, Maryland) Aug 16, 1865

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