Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Scotch Emigrant
By Thomas Muir (1765–1798)
          Thomas Muir, a native of Scotland and a lawyer, was a distinguished member of the celebrated convention in favour of parliamentary reform, which assembled in that country in 1793. In 1794–5 Mr. Muir was tried, convicted, and sentenced to Botany Bay for fourteen years, for having permitted his hairdresser to take from his table Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man.” Muir was, with the eloquent Gerald, Margarot, and other Scotch and English reformers, actually transported to Botany Bay, where a majority of them died. Muir has been dead more than twenty years.

BLOW, blow, ye breezes, o’er the western main,
  And bear the lingering vessels from the shore,
The shore beloved! beloved, alas! in vain,
  Which these dim eyes, through tears, e’en yet explore.
Dear to the patriot is his native land,        5
  Bound to each feeling are his native hills;
Yet when he flies them for a foreign strand,
  Dire are his wrongs, and heavy are his ills.
Why hail’d our fathers Caledonia’s clime?
  And why preferr’d the horrors of the north?        10
Wise was their choice! for Freedom stalk’d sublime
  On Clyde’s gay borders, and the banks of Forth.
Sweet is the gale from Idumea’s groves,
  Lovely the vale where proud Damascus towers;
Yet there, in blood-stain’d steel, the tyrant roves,        15
  And just equality and right o’erpowers.
Should Nature act the despot in the soil,
  Rage in the tempest, madden in the wave—
And should brief man in imitation boil,
  Where shall humanity her children save?        20
Bless’d be the chiefs of Massachusetts’ Bay,
  Who rear’d the standard of the rights of man,
Who in the desert pointed out the way
  Where freeborn minds might live on Freedom’s plan.
Hither, ye youths of Europe, let us roam,        25
  Found the proud city by Ohio’s wave;
Where Freedom is, there is the patriot’s home;
  Where Freedom is, there, also, dwell the brave.

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