A call—and to Woman !
A voice from the sod
Where Washington's spirit
Ascended to God !
A wail from the billows
That chant round the brave,
A sigh from the willows
That bend o'er his grave ;
A moan from the pathway
Long worn by the tread
Of worshiping pilgrims,
Who kneel by his bed;
A cry from the Nation,
That Woman may come
And rescue from ruin
Our Washington's Tomb.

A glorious purpose—
A mission divine,
To wrest from the spoiler
A world-worshiped shrine;
A call that should thrill us
With eager desire
To claim for his children
The dust of their sire.
Not oft has such measure
Of glory been ours,—
Our memories to garland
With fame's deathless flowers;
To stamp on the tablets
Of ages to come,
Our names as the guardians
Of Washington's Home.

Float gently, proud banner,
Where greatness is laid ;
Steal soft, bugle chorus,
Through Vernon's still shade ;
Go, silence the cannon
And muffle the drum,
For, lo ! to her Mecca
Fond Woman has come.
No army defends her,
No weapons she bears,
For Love is her watchword,
Embalmed with her prayers.
She kneels where the laurel
And wild myrtle bloom,
And claims as a ransom
Her Washington's Tomb.

No thunder-voiced ramparts
She rears o'er his clay,
No emblems to warn us
Of Tyranny's sway;
No fortress, defended
By armor or gun,
To frown o'er the ashes
Of God's chosen one;
But the wall that encircles
Our hero's loved grave
Shall be heart to heart banded,
The gentle and brave.
While the pride of the Nation
Forever shall be
The strong love of Woman,—
The shield of the free.

More verses by Kate Harrington