A noble band of patriots with faces all aglow
Stood in the Halls of Congress one hundred years ago;
Stood side by side, as they had stood upon the battle-field,
When they compelled the troops of England’s King to yield.
The enemies of Liberty sat silent, pale and still
While these brave men prayed God to know and do his will;
It was an hour when Justice was trembling in the scales,
When God from man the future in tender mercy veils.
These brave men knew that they must act for children yet unborn,
They sealed the Nation’s destiny upon that glorious morn,
When each man pledged his all for Right, for Liberty and Peace,
Forever sacred to our hearts shall be such men as these.
Tis true they left a stain upon our banner fold,
But we have wiped it out with blood and paid for it in gold;
These patriots fought for Liberty, and pledged themselves to stand
For Freedom, Right, and Justice, a firm unbroken band.
But while they threw their own chains off, they bound in bonds more strong
The bands that held the colored man in misery and wrong;
But soon or late all wrong comes right, for such is God’s decree,
And in His own good time He set the black man free.
It was not some one favored State, North, South, East or West,
That gave the true brave signers of that Declaration bleat:
No; each State gave her patriots who bore their noble share,
And when the Nation’s work was done, each State had proud names there.
Let us clasp hands, to work as one, for all the Nation’s good
And stand together as one man, as once our fathers stood;
Behold, how short the time has been, but one brief hundred years,
To plant the tree of Liberty and water it with tears.
Brave men have fallen on the field, to guard that sacred tree,
To save it from all vandal hands our aim shall ever be;
Altho’ we still have many faults, our Nation yet is young;
And we will carry out the work which these brave men begun.
We live in freedom; let us clasp each other by the hand;
In love and unity abide, a firm, unbroken band;
We cannot live divided; the Union is secure;
God grant that while men live and love this Nation may endure.