James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 17


By Barry Cornwall (1787–1874)

  • A famous Venezuelan general and statesman. He died Dec. 17, 1830.

  • BUILD up a column to Bolivar!

    Build it under a tropic star!

    Build it high as his mounting fame!

    Crown its head with his noble name!

    Let the letters tell, like a light afar,

    “This is the column of Bolivar!”

    Soldier in war, in peace a man,

    Did he not all that a hero can?

    Wasting his life for his country’s care,

    Laying it down with a patriot prayer,

    Shedding his blood like the summer rain,

    Loving the land, though he loved in vain!

    Man is a creature, good or ill,

    Little or great, at his own strong will;

    And he grew good, and wise, and great,

    Albeit he fought with a tyrant fate,

    And showered his golden gifts on men,

    Who paid him in basest wrongs again!

    Raise the column to Bolivar!

    Firm in peace, and fierce in war!

    Shout forth his noble name!

    Shout till his enemies die in shame!

    Shout till Columbia’s woods awaken,

    Like seas by a mighty tempest shaken,—

    Till pity and praise and great disdain,

    Sound like an Indian hurricane!

    Shout, as ye shout in conquering war,

    While ye build the column to Bolivar!