Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Sweets of Liberty
 
From the Pennsylvania Evening Post, February 27th, 1777

  HOW blest is he who, unconstrain’d,
    Obeys kind nature’s equal laws!
  Who fears no power by might maintain’d,
And boldly vindicates his country’s cause.
 
  Fortune’s attacks, secure, he braves,        5
    Firmly prepared for any chance:
  None tremble at her frowns but slaves,
Whose dastard fears their abject hopes enhance.
 
  With thee, who treads the eternal snows
    Of distant Greenland’s icy coast,        10
  Or, scorch’d beneath the line, he glows,
By adverse deities unkindly toss’d.
 
  His roving steps, uncurb’d by dread,
    From clime to clime can freely roam:
  He goes where choice or fortune lead,        15
Freedom his guide, and all the world his home.
 
  The face of war he nobly dares,
    In freedom’s cause prepared to bleed;
  And, soldier-like, defies all cares
But such as bounteous Heaven hath long decreed.        20
 
  Conscious of worth, his generous soul
    To stoop to lawless power disdains;
  No threats his principles control;
He e’en enjoys his liberty in chains.
 
  ’Tis not ambition’s giddy strife,        25
    But justice, feeds the hero’s fire:
  Th’ emblazon’d joys of public life
May please his fancy—not his breast inspire.
 
  Hail, genius of our bleeding land!
    Whose smiles confer a deathless name:        30
  Thy glorious cause nerves every hand,
To pluck the laurel from the brow of Fame.
 
 
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