he breaking waves dash'd high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches toss'd
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er
When a band of exiles moor'd their bark
On the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear--
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
To the anthem of the free!
The ocean eagle soar'd
From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd--
This was their welcome home!
What sought they thus afar?--
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
They sought a faith's pure shrine!
Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod.
They have left unstain'd what there they found--
Freedom to worship God.