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

December 4

On Washington’s Farewell Address

By St. John Honeywood (1763–1798)

Dec. 4, 1783
BEHOLD the man! ye crowned and ermined train,

And learn from him the royal art to reign;

No guards surround him, or his walks infest,

No cuirass meanly shields his noble breast;

His the defence which despots ne’er can find,

The love, the prayers, the interest of mankind.


Illustrious man, adieu! yet ere we part,

Forgive our factions which have wrung our heart;

Still with indulgent eyes thy country see,

Whose ceaseless prayers ascend to heaven for thee;

Go, midst the shades of tranquil Vernon stray,

In vain attempt to shun the piercing ray

Of circumambient glory, till refined

All that could clog to earth the heaven-lent mind,

Then sour triumphant to the blest abodes,

And join those chiefs whom virtue raised to gods.