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O Dark Was the Hour.


Air — "Star Spangled Banner."

O, DARK was the hour when our fathers first rallied,
To stem the swoll'n torrent of British aggression,
When in Congress assembled the States were first allied,
And pledged to stand firm against galling oppression —
United to dare the stern perils of war,
And tyranny's shackles for aye to forswear;
Then the Charter of Freedom was given to Fame,
Bearing down to all ages a HARRISON'S name.

Sublime was their struggle, through sunlight and shade,
But Heaven blessed their efforts, and victory's gleaming
Bathed in glory the standard which proudly display'd,
After years of fierce strife in the free air was streaming;
Then all trials endured — Independence secured,
Each patriot heart felt life's blessings ensured;
Thus the charter of freedom extended its fame,
Bearing down to all ages a Harrison's name.

Years pass'd — our sires slept in their time-honour'd graves,
When again o'er our fair land a war-cloud hung lowering;
Our army surrender'd by cowards or knaves,
And now on our cabins a fierce foe was pouring;
The war-whoop's dread sound wakes the echoes around,
With its fearful alarum the west doth resound;
Now the country's defenders with hearty acclaim,
Call our Harrison forth to the fields of his fame.


How he there did his duty let history tell;
Back roll'd the dun war-cloud from each humble dwelling;
Bear witness ye fields, where the brave nobly fell,
While northward, still northward, the red tide was swelling;
Bear witness, Fort Meigs, to thy glorious seige,
While Detroit and the Thames shall his merit allege,
Whose triumph on triumph shall brighten the fame
Encircling through ages our Harrison's name.

But again was our country with gloom overclouded,
As a recreant band her high places were filling;
In darkness our industry's prospects were shrouded,
While want and despair hung round many a dwelling;
But when perils impend, her eye to North Bend
Columbia turns, and her woes find an end;
And plenty and peace shall exalt still the fame,
Encircling through ages our Harrison's name.