Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WITHERSPOON, by HENRY VAN DYKE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WITHERSPOON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Bear with us then a moment, if we turn
Last Line: They shall be built in strength along thy border.
Alternate Author Name(s): Civis Americanus
Subject(s): Heroism; Heroes; Heroines

Bear with us then a moment, if we turn
From all the present splendours of this place, --
The lofty towers that like a dream have grown
Where once old Nassau Hall stood all alone, --
Back to that ancient time, with hearts that burn
In filial reverence and pride, to trace
The glory of our Mother's best degree,
In that "high son of Liberty,"
Who like a granite block
Riven from Scotland's rock
Stood loyal here to keep Columbia free.

Born far away beyond the ocean's roar,
He found his fatherland upon this shore;
And every drop of ardent blood that ran
Through his great heart was true American.
He held no weak allegiance to a distant throne.
But made his new-found country's cause his own;
In peril and distress,
In toil and weariness,
When darkness overcast her
With shadows of disaster,
And voices of confusion
Proclaimed her hope delusion,
Robed in his preacher's gown,
He dared the danger down;
Like some old prophet chanting an inspired rune,
Through freedom's councils rang the voice of Witherspoon.

And thou, my country, write it on thy heart:
Thy sons are they who nobly take thy part;
Who dedicates his manhood at thy shrine,
Wherever born, is born a son of thine.
Foreign in name, but not in soul, they come
To find in thee their long-desired home;
Lovers of liberty, and haters of disorder,
They shall be built in strength along thy border.

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