November 17, 1787
“These are the times that try men’s souls”-and he who now espouses the cause of his country, will receive the thanks thereof and of posterity, and the applause of the world.
E’en now, my Countrymen, before our eyes,
At our own option, FAME or RUIN lies.
Ye brave COLUMBIANS (f you now can claim,
The glorious boon, to bear so great a name),
Arouse! Let all that’s dear to men inspire
Those breasts which once display’d a gen’rous fire;
Secure that Empire firm, for which you fought—
Which many lives and free-spent treasure bought.
Can you soon, in dark oblivion waste
Such ard’ous toils, and ills so lately past?
Will you your country into factions break—
Bow down your necks—the yoke of bondage take?
No! you reply—We’ll join in Freedom’s cause,
To prop her strength, consolidate her laws,
And firmly fix her government, to sway
’Till time shall cease, and nature fade away.