Alexander Hamilton Papers

Enclosure: [Inscription for a Monument to George Washington], [23 December 1799]




The Memory


The Illustrious

George Washington


of The Armies of The United States of America,

Who paid the Great Debt of Nature,

The 14th. of December, 1799.

On Mount Vernon

Sol occubuit, nox nulla sequitur.

To Commemorate his virtues.

To hand down to Posterity,

The Great

The dignified Character


Their Exalted Chief,

The Commandant

And Officers of the Union Brigade,

With Solemn Minds,

With Mourning Souls,


This Monument,

At high noon;

A point of time,



The full Meridian of his

Exalted Glory,

This 26th of December, 1799.

In the 24th year


The Independance of

Their Country.

When at Mount Vernon’s gently rising hill,

The fates declar’d The Great Creator’s will,

That Washington, should leave, This threaten’d shore,

And for his Country, Toil; and War no more;

His Country sigh’d, his Armies trembling stood,

The sad winds groan’d, Potowmac gush’d a flood

of saline tears, which swole the Atlantic wave,

And Nature mourn’d, around his hallow’d grave:

On drooping boughs, Heroes, their Armour hung,

Their hearts depress’d, their War-worn nerves unstrung,

Columbia’s genius bending o’er his bier

Breathes the sad Sigh, and drops the melting Tear.

Quis sustineat, a Lacrymis?

2D, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

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