Such were the men, impregnable to fear,
Whose souls were framed and fashioned here;
And when war shook the land with threatening shock,
The men of Princeton stood like muniments of rock.
Nor has the breath of Time
Dissolved that proud array
Of never-broken strength:
For though the rocks decay,
And all the iron bands
Of earthly strongholds are unloosed at length,
And buried deep in gray oblivion’s sands;
The work that heroes’ hands
Wrought in the light of freedom’s natal day
Shall never fade away,
But lifts itself, sublime
Into a lucid sphere,
For ever calm and clear,
Preserving in the memory of the fathers’ deed,
A never-failing fortress for their children’s need.
There we confirm our hearts to-day, and read
On many a stone the signature of fame,
The builder’s mark, our Alma Mater’s name.
Bear with us then a moment,
while 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 gratitude, 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 tide,
He found his fatherland upon this side;
And every drop of ardent blood that ran
Through his great heart, was true American.
He held no fealty 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
In 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.
Dream not thy
Will all be foreign-born!
Turn thy clear look of scorn
Upon thy children who oppose
Their passions wild and policies of shame
To wreck the righteous splendour of thy name.
Untaught and overconfident they rise,
With folly on their lips,