Ol’ Lovecraft fancied himself a poet, and he had a bit of a Hallmark streak in him and often penned verse to national holidays. I’ve shared his Christmas versification in the past, and we looked at his Halloween verse. Here in the United States, our Independence Day celebrations are right around the corner so I thought it’d be fitting look at Lovecraft’s patriotic poem.
Ode for July Fourth, 1917
As Columbia’s brave scions, in anger array’d,
Once defy’d a proud monarch and built a new nation;
’Gainst their brothers of Britain unsheath’d the sharp blade
That hath ne’er met defeat nor endur’d desecration;
So must we in this hour
Show our valour and pow’r,
And dispel the black perils that over us low’r:
Whilst the sons of Britannia, no longer our foes,
Will rejoice in our triumphs and strengthen our blows!
See the banners of Liberty float in the breeze
That plays light o’er the regions our fathers defended;
Hear the voice of the million resound o’er the leas,
As the deeds of the past are proclaim’d and commended;
And in splendour on high
Where our flags proudly fly,
See the folds we tore down flung again to the sky:
For the Emblem of England, in kinship unfurl’d,
Shall divide with Old Glory the praise of the world!
Bury’d now are the hatreds of subject and King,
And the strife that once sunder’d an Empire hath vanish’d.
With the fame of the Saxon the heavens shall ring
As the vultures of darkness are baffled and banish’d;
And the broad British sea,
Of her enemies free,
Shall in tribute bow gladly, Columbia to thee:
For the friends of the Right, in the field side by side,
Form a fabric of Freedom no hand can divide!
The US got involved in The Great War in 1917, so it’s fair to say Lovecraft is offering up a bit of reflection for past events and the current situation in the world. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the whole national personification thing—it’s such a delightfully weird tradition.
Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans and happy Tuesday to everyone else.
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Are you Lovecraft fan? Like cosmic horror? Like gritty urban fantasy? Why not check out my novels—they’re cosmic horror adventures set in a post-apocalyptic world after the return of Lovecraft’s monstrosities. Buy the series here read reviews over on Goodreads. All three are available in eBook or paperback.