The breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods, against a stormy sky,
Their giant branches tost;And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and water o'er,
When a band of exiles moored 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's 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 soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roared-This was their welcome home!There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.What sought they thus afar?
Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of the 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 unstained what there they found-Freedom to worship God!
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