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Washington's Birthday

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Welcome to the day returning,Dearer still as ages flow,While the torch of Faith is burning,Long as Freedom's altars glow!See the hero whom it gave usSlumbering on a mother's breast;For the arm he stretched to save usBe its morn forever blest!Vain is empire's mad temptation!Not for him an earthly crown!He whose sword has freed a nationStrikes the offered scepter down.See the throneless conqueror seated,Ruler by a people's choice;See the patriot's task completed;Hear the Father's dying voice:"By the name that you inherit,By the sufferings you recall,Cherish the fraternal spirit;Love your country first of all!Listen not to idle questionsIf its bands may be untied;Doubt the patriot whose suggestionsStrive a nation to divide."Father! we, whose ears have tingledWith the discord notes of shame;We, whose sires their blood have mingledIn the battle's thunder-flame,—Gathering, while this holy morningLights the land from sea to sea,Hear thy counsel, heed thy warning;Trust us while we honor thee.


By permission of the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin & Co.


'Tis splendid to live so grandlyThat long after you are gone,The things you did are remembered,And recounted under the sun;To live so bravely and purely,That a nation stops on its way,And once a year, with banner and drum,Keeps its thought of your natal day.'Tis splendid to have a record,So white and free from stainThat, held to the light, it shows no blot,Though tested and tried amain;That age to age foreverRepeats its story of love,And your birthday lives in a nation's heart,All other days above.And this is Washington's glory,A steadfast soul and true,Who stood for his country's honorWhen his country's days were few.And now when its days are many,And its flag of stars is flungTo the breeze in defiant challenge,His name is on every tongue.Yes, it's splendid to live so bravely,To be so great and strong,That your memory is ever a tocsinTo rally the foes of the wrong;To live so proudly and purelyThat your people pause in their way,And year by year, with banner and drum,Keep the thought of your natal day.


The birthday of the "Father of his Country!" May it ever be freshly remembered by American hearts! May it ever reawaken in them a filial veneration for his memory; ever rekindle the fires of patriotic regard for the country which he loved so well, to which he gave his youthful vigor and his youthful energy; to which he devoted his life in the maturity of his powers, in the field; to which again he offered the counsels of his wisdom and his experience as president of the convention that framed our Constitution; which he guided and directed while in the chair of state, and for which the last prayer of his earthly supplication was offered up, when it came the moment for him so well, and so grandly, and so calmly, to die....