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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Washington's Birthday Eve"

by Ogden Nash

George Washington was a gentleman,
A soldier and a scholar;
He crossed the Delaware with a boat,
The Potomac, with a dollar.
The British faced him full of joy,
And departed full of sorrow;
George Washington was a gentleman.
His birthday is tomorrow.

When approached by fellow patriots,
And asked for his opinion,
He spoke in accents clear and bold,
And, probably, Virginian.
His winter home at Valley Forge
Was underheated, rather.
He possessed a sturdy Roman nose,
And became his country's father.

His army was a hungry horde,
Ill-armed, worse-clad Colonials;
He was our leading President,
And discouraged ceremonials.
His portrait on our postage stamps,
It does him less than justice;
He was much respected by his wife,
The former Mrs. Custis.

He routed George's scarlet coats;
(Though oft by Congress hindered)
When they fortified the leeward side,
He slashed them from the windward.
He built and launched our Ship of State,
He brought it safe to harbor;
He wore no beard upon his chin,
Thanks to his faithful barber.

George Washington was a gentleman,
His birthday is tomorrow.
He filled his country's friends with joy,
His country's foes, with sorrow.
And so my dears, his grateful land
In robes of glory clad him.
George Washington was a gentleman.
I'm glad his parents had him.

-- Ogden Nash, I'm a Stranger Here Myself (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938), pp. 155-156.

---------------

"His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible
I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity,
of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision.
He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good,
and a great man."

-- Thomas Jefferson (on George Washington in a letter to Dr. Walter
Jones, 2 January 1814)

Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson ed., Library of America
(1318-19)

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