I build my nest on the mountain’s crest,
Where the wild winds rock my eaglets to rest,
Where the lightnings flash, and the thunders crash,
And the roaring torrents foam and dash;
For my spirit free henceforth shall be
A type of the sons of Liberty.
Aloft I fly from my aerie high,
Through the vaulted dome of the azure sky;
On a sunbeam bright take my airy flight,
And float in a flood of liquid light;
For I love to play in the noontide ray,
And bask in a blaze from the throne of day.
Away I spring with a tireless wing,
On a feathery cloud I poise and swing;
I dart down the steep where the lightnings leap,
And the clear blue canopy swiftly sweep;
For, dear to me is the revelry
Of a free and fearless Liberty.
I love the land where the mountains stand,
Like the watch-towers high of a Patriot band;
For I may not bide in my glory and pride,
Though the land be never so fair and wide,
Where Luxury reigns o’er voluptuous plains,
And fetters the free-born soul in chains.
Then give to me in my flights to see
The land of the pilgrims ever free!
And I never will rove from the haunts I love
But watch, from my sentinel-track above,
Your banner free, o’er land and sea,
And exult in your glorious Liberty.
O, guard ye well the land where I dwell,
Lest to future times the tale I tell,
When slow expires in smoldering fires
The goodly heritage of your sires,
How Freedom’s light rose clear and bright
O’er fair Columbia’s beacon-hight,
Till ye quenched the flame in a starless night.
Then will I tear from your pennon fair
The stars ye have set in triumph there;
My olive-branch on the blast I’ll launch,
The fluttering stripes from the flagstaff wrench,
And away I’ll flee; for I scorn to see
A craven race in the land of the free!