Arlington House 15th July 1833
On the other page is written a few stanzas which I composed for the centennial anniversary of the birth of Washington and of ___ to your request, will look over my treasured reminisces of Washington in hope of obtaining for you an autograph. With great regard my D'Sir.
Yr Obt Servt
George W.P. Custis
Lines written for the Centennial Anniversary of the Birth of Washington. Feby 22 1832 by George Washington P. Custis of Arlington
A Century's gone by. All hail the Day
An infant Washington first saw the light.
That beamed with pure & mild benignant ray
on one who's course was destined to be bright
And so it ___, for in his dawning youth
The favour'd auspices of life began.
And Grey beards said that courage, Wisdom, Truth
Would form the promise of the future man.
And now his Country calls her Savior son
To do her battle with the Savage Foe
And soon the youthful hero laurels won
That might enwreathe a ___ victor's brow.
Far greater trials 'wait his manhood hour
For hark. The trumpets clangor ___ the Brave
Fly to their arms against oppressive pow'r
Strike for their freedom or on honoured grave
And where's the Chief at this dread hour of need.
His sword late sheathed in his Vernon's Gale
Leaps from its scabbard, with lightning's speed
At the first soundings of his country's call.
With modest ___ he accepts the high command
And well he bore him in the mighty strife
When Peace & Freedom, blest his native Land
Resigned all pow'r to seek domestic life
Illustrious man. Could not ambition then
Taught thee to turn against thy Country's breast
Thy victor sword. To be like other men
And called on Heron with laurells rest
Ah no. Thy laurels were by virtues won
Pure & untarnished by a single name
Freedom & Glory, claim a Washington
Millions unborn will venerate that name
Thou Empire Founder, Patriot, Soldier, Sage
Centuries may pass, nations will rise & die
Thy name will flourish on from age to age
Unheeding Time. To immortality.