Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
On General Arnold—1780
 
AT Freedom’s call see Arnold take the field,
With “Honour” blazon’d on his patriot shield.
His gallant feats a dazzling lustre spread,
And circling glories beam’d around his head.
His well-earn’d praises were consign’d to fame,        5
And fate decreed him an immortal name.
But when, estranged from Freedom’s glorious cause,
Neglecting Honour and her sacred laws—
Impell’d by motives of the basest kind,
Which mark the vicious, mean, degenerate mind,        10
To virtue lost, and callous to disgrace—
The traitor hiding with the hero’s face,
His canker’d heart, to sordid views a slave—
To Mammon yielding all that Freedom gave—
Enleagued with friends of that detested tribe        15
Whose god is gold—whose saviour is a bribe—
Could basely join his country to betray,
And thus restore a ruthless tyrant’s sway;
On Freedom’s sons impose the galling yoke,
And crush each foe to vice beneath the stroke!        20
 
  Not all his laurels in the field obtain’d—
Not that which Philip’s son by conquest gain’d—
Not all that once adorn’d great Cæsar’s brow,
Nor all that Washington may challenge now,
Could save a wretch whom crimes like these debase        25
So far beneath the rank of human race.
But, stung with keen remorse, his guilty soul
In vain shall seek repose from pole to pole.
 
  Perpetual anguish shall torment his breast,
And hellish demons haunt his troubled rest.        30
Not even death shall shield his hated name;
For still the caitiff shall survive to fame
By Fate’s decree, who thus pronounced his lot:—
“Too bad to die—too base to be forgot,
Thy crimes succeeding ages shall proclaim,        35
And Judas be forgot in Arnold’s name.”
 
 
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