Ode. July 4, 1826

Bright day! with thee the song
Of Independence rose;
Then Freedom, bold and strong,
Defied her mortal foes:
Armed into life and light she sprung,
Like Pallas born of Jove;
At Britain's feet the gauntlet flung,
And back her champion drove:
Young, and yet wise, she won her cause,
And war's red banner furled;
Then fixed the reign of equal laws,
And awed a wondering world.

Bright day! with thee our sires
Proclaimed Columbia free:
Light with auspicious fires
This holiest jubilee!
'Mid clouds of war thy sun arose,
And danger met thy birth;
Now wide and full thy bounty flows,
It warms and kindles earth:
The Andes redden in thy blaze;
Their millions kneel to thee, —
They hail thee, earliest born of days,
First dawn of Liberty.

Earth owns thy influence now:
'Tis not the few who dared
Refuse to bend and bow
When Power's right arm was bared —
'T is not that sacred band who tore
The charter and the chain,
Then on a nation's altar swore
Their birthright to maintain —
Now hear a continent proclaim
One vow, one prayer, to Heaven,
For every foreign lord in shame
Back to his home is driven.

Then, be thy quickening light
Still brighter as it rolls,
Till all on earth unite,
One band of kindred souls;
For ever may thy altar burn
With Freedom's holiest flame,
And ages after ages turn
To venerate thy name.
O, never may our sons forget
The men who dared be free,
And on its firm foundations set
Thy temple, Liberty!
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