Ok, I know I need to get a real post up soon (hopefully tomorrow or Friday), but until then, here is one of my favorite poems I recently stumbled upon again. It was written by Joseph Hopkinson. He was better known as the author of the lyrics of Hail Columbia. He was a member of Congress from 1814 to 1819 and a attorney who argued the landmark cases McCulloch v. Maryland and Dartmouth College v. Woodward before the United States Supreme Court. His father, Francis Hopkinson, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
This poem was written during the leadup to the War of 1812.
Farewell, Peace! Another crisis calls us to “the last appeal,”
Made when monarchs and their vices leave no argument but steel.
When injustice and oppression dare avow the tyrant’s plea.
Who would recommend submission? Virtue bids us to be free
History spreads her page before us, Time unrolls his ample scroll;
Truth unfolds them, to assure us, states, united, ne’er can fall.
See, in annals Greek and Roman, what immortal deeds we find;
When those gallant sons of woman in their country’s cause combined.
Sons of Freedom! Brave descendants from a race of heroes tried,
To preserve our independence let all Europe be defied.
Let not all the world, united, rob us of one sacred right:
Every patriot’s heart delighted in his country’s cause to fight.
Come then, War! With hearts elated to thy standard we will fly;
Every bosom animated either to live free or die
May the wretch that shrinks from duty, or deserts the glorious strife,
Never know the smile of beauty, nor the blessing of a wife.
~ Joseph Hopkinson