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Thou wert, through an age of death and fears,

The image of pride and power,
Till the gather'd rage of a thousand years

Burst forth in one awful hour.

And then a deluge of wrath it came,

And the nations shook with dread : And it swept the earth till its fields were flame,

And piled with the mingled dead. Kings were rolld in the wasteful flood,

With the low and crouching slave; And together lay, in a shroud of blood,

The coward and the brave.

And where was then thy fearless flight?

“O'er the dark, mysterious sea,
To the lands that caught the setting light,

The cradle of Liberty.
There, on the silent and lonely shore,

For ages, I watch'd alone,
And the world, in its darkness, ask'd no more

Where the glorious bird had flown.

“But then came a bold and hardy few,

And they breasted the unknown wave; I caught afar the wandering crew;

And I knew they were high and brave.

I wheel'd around the welcome bark,

As it sought the desolate shore, And up to heaven, like a joyous lark,

My quivering pinions bore.

“And now that bold and hardy few

Are a nation wide and strong ;
And danger and doubt I have led them through,

And they worship me in song ;
And over their bright and glancing arms,

On field, and lake, and sea,
With an eye that fires, and a spell that charms.

I guide them to victory."




it is ours.

Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning, we aimed not at independence. But there's a Divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms ; and, blinded to her own interest for our good, she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and

Why then should we defer the declaration? Is any man so weak as now to hope for a reconciliation with England, which shall leave either safety to the country and its liberties, or safety to his own life, and his own honor ? Are not you, sir, who sit in that chair, is not her our venerable colleague near you, are you not both already the proscribed and predestined objects of punishment and of vengeance ? Cut off from all hope of royal clemency, what are you, what can you be, while the power of England remains, but outlaws? If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry on, or to give up the war? Do we mean to submit to the measures of Parliament, Boston port-bill and all ? Do we mean to submit, and consent that we ourselves shall be

ground to powder, and our country and its rights trodden down into dust? I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit. The war then must go on. We must fight it through. And if the war must go on, why put off longer the Declaration of Independence? That measure will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail. The cause will raise up armies, the cause will create navies. The people, the people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously, through this struggle. Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with increased courage. Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the solemn vow uttered to maintain it, or to perish on the bed of honor. Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public hall; proclaim it there ; - let them hear it who heard the first roar of the enemy's cannon ; let them see it, who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out in its support.

Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I see, I see clearly through this day's business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this declaration shall be made good. We may die ; die, colonists; die, slaves; die, it may be, ignominiously, and on the scaffold. Be it so.

Be it so. But if it be the pleasure of heaven that

my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the vic-
tim shall be ready at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come
when that hour may. But while I do live, let me have a
country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free
country. Whatever may be our fate, be assured, be assured,
that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it
may cost blood; but it will stand, and it will richly compen-
sate for both. Through the thick gloom of the present, I see
the brightness of the future, as the sun in heaven. We shall
make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our
graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it,
with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illumina-
tions. On its annual return they will shed tears, copious
gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and
distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, and of joy. Sir,
before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment
this measure,


whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off, as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment ; independence, now; and INDEPENDENCE FOR EVER!

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