The granite of his native hills,
Mother of monumental men,
Virginia gave, whose page her Plutarch fills
With undiminished deeds of sword and pen.
More fitting far than molten bronze,
Or polished marble carved by art,
This monument of him who broke the bonds
That bound in fetters every human heart.
The column rises in all lands,
When sinks the soldier to his rest;
This cenotaph of rustic plainness stands
To him who gave an empire to the West.
Not with the blood of thousands slain,
With children's cries and mothers, tears;
The statesman's wisdom won this vast domain
With gain of honest toil through peaceful years.
The highest honor of his State
And of his country came unsought;
It was not this, O men, that made him great,
Of this is nothing on the tablet wrought.
His pen declared his country free,
Equal and free his fellow-man:
Freedom in church and state, the right to be,
If Nature wills, the first American.
'Tis well the shaft by him devised
Rests here in Learning's classic shade;
To be her patron was by him more prized
Than all the honors that the nation paid.
Oh, may his spirit linger near,
As by old Monticello's slope;
Inspire Missouri's sons who gather here
With all the scholar's love, the patriot's hope.
And He who holds the nation's fate
Within the hollow of His hand
Preserve the Union ever strong and great,
And guide the statesmen of our native land.