Washington's Birthday eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.
    Who knew the path, and yet forbore
    To tread, till all men should implore;
    Who saw the light, and led the way
    Where the gray world might greet the day;
    Father and leader, prophet sure,
    Whose will in vast works shall endure,
  How shall we praise him on this day of days,
  Great son of fame who has no need of praise?

  How shall we praise him?  Open wide the doors
    Of the fair temple whose broad base he laid. 
    Through its white halls a shadowy cavalcade
  Of heroes moves o’er unresounding floors—­
  Men whose brawned arms upraised these columns high,
  And reared the towers that vanish in the sky,—­
  The strong who, having wrought, can never die.

* * * * *



  The quarry whence thy form majestic sprung
    Has peopled earth with grace,
  Heroes and gods that elder bards have sung,
    A bright and peerless race;
  But from its sleeping veins ne’er rose before
    A shape of loftier name
  Than his, who Glory’s wreath with meekness wore,
    The noblest son of Fame. 
  Sheathed is the sword that Passion never stained;
    His gaze around is cast,
  As if the joys of Freedom, newly gained,
    Before his vision passed;
  As if a nation’s shout of love and pride
    With music filled the air,
  And his calm soul was lifted on the tide
    Of deep and grateful prayer;
  As if the crystal mirror of his life
    To fancy sweetly came,
  With scenes of patient toil and noble strife,
    Undimmed by doubt or shame;
  As if the lofty purpose of his soul
    Expression would betray—­
  The high resolve Ambition to control,
    And thrust her crown away! 
  O, it was well in marble firm and white
    To carve our hero’s form,
  Whose angel guidance was our strength in fight,
    Our star amid the storm! 
  Whose matchless truth has made his name divine
    And human freedom sure,
  His country great, his tomb earth’s dearest shrine. 
    While man and time endure! 
  And it is well to place his image there
    Upon the soil he blest: 
  Let meaner spirits, who its councils share,
    Revere that silent guest! 
  Let us go up with high and sacred love
    To look on his pure brow,
  And as, with solemn grace, he points above,
    Renew the patriot’s vow!


Extract from an address by President Gary of the Union League Club, at the celebration of Washington’s Birthday at the Auditorium, Chicago, February 22, 1900

Project Gutenberg
Washington's Birthday from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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