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

July 4

England and America

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

  • Signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

  • O THOU, that sendest out the man

    To rule by land and sea,

    Strong mother of a lion-line,

    Be proud of these strong sons of thine

    Who wrenched their rights from thee!

    What wonder if in noble heat

    Those men thine arms withstood,

    Retaught the lesson thou had’st taught,

    And in thy spirit with thee fought,—

    Who sprang from English blood.

    But thou rejoice with liberal joy,

    Lift up thy rocky face,

    And shatter, when the storms are black,

    In many a streaming torrent back,

    The seas that shock thy base!

    Whatever harmonies of law

    The growing world assume,

    Thy work is thine—The single note

    From that deep chord which Hampden smote

    Will vibrate to the doom.