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Poem by Eliza Cook

There's a Star in the West


THERE'S a star in the West that shall never go down
Till the records of Valour decay ;

We must worship its light, though it is not our own,
For liberty burst in its ray.

Shall the name of a Washington ever be heard
By a freeman and thrill not his breast ?

Is there one out of bondage that hails not the word,
As the Bethlehem Star of the West ?


" War, war to the knife ! be enthralled or ye die,"
Was the echo that woke in his land ;

But it was not his voice that promoted the cry ;
Nor his madness that kindled the brand.

He raised not his arm, he defied not his foes,
While a leaf of the olive remained ;

Till goaded with insult, his spirit arose,
Like a long-baited lion unchained.


He struck with firm courage the blow of the brave,
But sighed o'er the carnage that spread :

He indignantly trampled the yoke of the slave,
But wept for the thousands that bled.

Though he threw back the fetters and headed the strife
Till Man's charter was fairly restored ;

Yet he prayed for the moment when Freedom and Life
Would no longer be pressed by the sword.


Oh, his laurels were pure ; and his patriot name
In the page of the Future shall dwell ;

And be seen in all annals, the foremost in fame,
By the side of a Hofer and Tell.

The truthful and honest, the wise and the good,
Among Britons have nobly confessed

That his was the glory and ours was the blood
Of the deeply-stained field of the West.

Eliza Cook

Eliza Cook's other poems:
  1. St. PatrickТs Day
  2. The Thames
  3. Galla Brae
  4. Teddy O'Neale
  5. Song of the Worm

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