BLACK CAT POEMS
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On Viewing Trumbull's Painting of the Declaration of Independence
William B. Tappan
To free from chains a groaning land,
Inspired by Right and Valour's flame,
On FREEDOM'S SCROLL the patriot band
Inscribed Columbia's deathless fame.
Now ceased the clarion of war,
A nation blooms on slavery's grave;
Her starry banner floats afar,
Her conquering navy ploughs the wave.
While robed in peace, true valour's meed,
Columbia walks in generous pride;
She ne'er forgets the glorious deed,
That stemmed oppression's haughty tide.
Though envious Time's unsparing hand
Has bowed in dust the warrior's plume--
Though slumber now the gallant band,
Where fadeless laurel decks their tomb:
The Pencil speaks--again they breathe!
We see their veteran forms again;
We see each patriot bosom heave,
As heaved it on the battle-plain.
And wrapt in awe, we catch the flame
That kindled by Oppression's spoil,
And swear no tyrant foot shall claim
A rest on Freedom's natal soil.
poems by William B. Tappan