The Genius of Columbia

Author: William Cullen Bryant  | Date: 1810



Far in the regions of the west,

On throne of adamant upraised,

Bright on whose polished sides impressed,

The sun’s meridian splendours blazed,

Columbia’s Genius sat and eyed

The eastern despot’s dire career;

And thus with independent pride,

She spoke and bade the nations hear.

"Go, favoured son of glory, go!

Thy dark, aspiring aims pursue!

The blast of domination blow,

Earth’s wide extended regions through!

"Though Austria, twice subjected, own

The thunders of thy conquering hand,

And tyranny erect her throne

In hapless Sweden’s fallen land!

"Yet know, a nation lives, whose soul

Regards thee with disdainful eye;

Undaunted scorns thy proud control,

And dares thy swarming hordes defy;

"Unshaken as their native rocks

Its hardy sons heroic rise;

Prepared to meet thy fiercest shocks,

Protected by the favouring skies.

"Their fertile plains and woody hills

Are fanned by freedom’s purest gales!

And her celestial presence fills

The deepening glens and spacious vales."

She speaks; through all her listening bands

A loud applauding murmur flies;

Fresh valour nerves their willing hands,

And lights with joy their glowing eyes!

Then should Napoleon’s haughty pride

Wake on our shores the fierce affray;

Grim terror lowering at his side,

Attendant on his furious way!

With quick repulse, his baffled band

Would seek the friendly shore in vain,

Bright justice lift her red right hand,

And crush them on the fatal plain.

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Chicago: William Cullen Bryant, The Genius of Columbia Original Sources, accessed August 4, 2020,

MLA: Bryant, William Cullen. The Genius of Columbia, Original Sources. 4 Aug. 2020.

Harvard: Bryant, WC, The Genius of Columbia. Original Sources, retrieved 4 August 2020, from