Washington's Birthday eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 217 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.

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WASHINGTON AT TRENTON[10]

The Battle Monument, October 19, 1893

BY RICHARD WATSON GILDER

  Since ancient Time began
    Ever on some great soul God laid an infinite burden—­
  The weight of all this world, the hopes of man. 
    Conflict and pain, and fame immortal are his guerdon!

  And this the unfaltering token
    Of him, the Deliverer—­what though tempests beat,
  Though all else fail, though bravest ranks be broken,
    He stands unscared, alone, nor ever knows defeat

  Such was that man of men;
    And if are praised all virtues, every fame
  Most noble, highest, purest—­then, ah! then,
    Upleaps in every heart the name none needs to name.

  Ye who defeated, ’whelmed,
    Betray the sacred cause, let go the trust;
  Sleep, weary, while the vessel drifts unhelmed;
    Here see in triumph rise the hero from the dust!

  All ye who fight forlorn
    ’Gainst fate and failure; ye who proudly cope
  With evil high enthroned; all ye who scorn
    Life from Dishonor’s hand, here take new heart of hope.

  Here know how Victory borrows
    For the brave soul a front as of disaster,
  And in the bannered East what glorious morrows
    For all the blackness of the night speed surer, faster.

  Know by this pillared sign
    For what brief while the powers of earth and hell
  Can war against the spirit of truth divine,
    Or can against the heroic heart of man prevail.

FOOTNOTES: 

[10] By permission of the publishers, Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

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GEORGE WASHINGTON

From “Washington and the Generals of the Revolution

It is a truth, illustrated in daily experience, and yet rarely noted or acted upon, that, in all that concerns the appreciation of personal character or ability, the instinctive impressions of a community are quicker in their action, more profoundly appreciant, and more reliable, than the intellectual perceptions of the ablest men in the community.  Upon all those subjects that are of moral apprehension, society seems to possess an intelligence of its own, infinitely sensitive in its delicacy, and almost conclusive in the certainty of its determinations; indirect, and unconscious in its operation, yet unshunnable in sagacity, and as strong and confident as nature itself.  The highest and finest qualities of human judgment seem to be in commission among the nation, or the race.  It is by such a process, that whenever a true hero appears among mankind, the recognition of his character, by the general sense of humanity, is instant and certain:  the belief of the chief priests

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Washington's Birthday from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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