To The Marquis La Fayette – A Poem by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard

We ‘ll search the earth, and search the sea,
To cull a gallant wreath for thee;
And every field for freedom fought,
And every mountain height, where aught
Of liberty can yet be found,
Shall be our blooming harvest ground.
aurels in garlands hang upon
Thermopylæ and Marathon—
On Bannockburn the thistle grows —
On Runny Mead the wild rose blows;
And on the banks of Boyne, its leaves
Green Erin’s shamrock wildly weaves.
In France, in sunny France, we ‘ll get
The fleur-de-lys and mignonette,
From every consecrated spot
Where lies a martyred Huguenot;
And cull, even here, from many a field,
And many a rocky height,
Bays that our vales and mountains yield,
Where men have met, to fight
For law, and liberty, and life,
And died in freedom’s holy strife.
Below Atlantic seas— below
The waves of Erie and Champlain;
The sea-grass and the corals grow
In rostral trophies round the slain;
And we can add, to form thy crown,
Some branches worthy thy renown!
Long may the chaplet flourish bright,
And borrow from the Heavens its light.
As with a cloud, that circles round
A star, when other stars have set,
With glory shall thy brow be bound;
With glory shall thy head be crowned;
With glory, starlike, cinctured yet!
For earth, and air, and sky, and sea,
Shall yield a glorious wreath to thee.


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