Thomas Jefferson Papers

Enclosure: William Lambert’s Ode for the Fourth of July, 1810 [ca. 19 May 1810]


William Lambert’s Ode for the Fourth of July, 1810

for the fourth of July, 1810.
Tune “Rule Brittannia.”

1. For ever hail! auspicious day
That broke a mighty nation’s chain,
And bid defiance to their sway,
Which art or force cannot regain.
 Hail Columbia, great and free,
 United, firm and happy be.
2. Seven years and more, the haughty foe
“With hireling hosts,” a warlike band,
Aim’d at our breasts the deadly blow,
And spread destruction thro’ the land.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
3. But Washington, illustrious sage
Came from the south, by Heav’n inspir’d;
In our defence did more engage,
By love of independence fir’d.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
4. From Maine to Georgia, heroes join’d
The standard of a noble cause;
In vain intrigue and force combin’d
To crush us by oppressive laws.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
5. Now time’s restoring, lenient hand
Has heal’d, in part, the wounds they gave;
With peace and plenty blest, we stand
Too high for tyrants to enslave.
 Hail Columbia, &c
6. Let Jefferson, who lately fill’d
The president’s exalted seat,
For wisdom fam’d, in science skill’d,
Our praise and approbation meet.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
7. Detraction’s rude and pois’nous tongue
Against his worth has spread its sound;—
The peals of envy may be rung,
But all these arts we shall confound.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
8. Next Madison, with able hands
And faithful heart, continues true;
Support the chief who now commands—
The friend of Jefferson and you.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
9. Columbians, let this sacred day
Be kept as Freedom’s natal hour;
Repel attempts that shall or may
Infringe your rights, or curb your power.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
10. Be to each other just and kind—
Let not insidious schemes prevail:
If all the links you strongly bind,
Attempts to sever them must fail.
 Hail Columbia, &c.
11. Remember Him, whose sov’reign hand
Bestows the strength which you employ:—
His blessings crown this favor’d land—
“He can create, and He destroy.”
 Hail Columbia, &c.

The number of verses in this ode is the same as the number of states which, respectively, ratified the Constitution of government for the United States; prior to the fourth day of March, 1789.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 190:33783–4); entirely in Lambert’s hand; undated. Printed broadside (DLC: James Madison Pamphlet Collection); varies in punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

On 25 May 1810 Lambert sent a broadside of this ode to James madison with a covering letter in which he remarked that he had “attempted to do justice to the character of Mr. Jefferson, and to show the esteem I have for him” and that “This ode, in a more perfect state, has met with the approbation” of Joel Barlow (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Pres. Ser., 2:358).

Index Entries

  • Barlow, Joel; opinion of W. Lambert’s ode search
  • Constitution, U.S.; and W. Lambert’s ode search
  • Fourth of July; orations search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; works sent to search
  • Lambert, William; ode for Fourth of July by search
  • Madison, James; and W. Lambert search
  • poetry; sent to TJ search
  • Washington, George; mentioned search