Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Heads; or, the Year 1776
From the Pennsylvania Evening Post, April 17, 1777

YE wrong heads and strong heads, attend to my strains;
Ye clear heads, and queer heads, and heads without brains:
Ye thick skulls, and quick skulls, and heads great and small,
And ye heads that aspire to be heads over all.
            Derry down, &c.
Ye ladies, (I would not offend for the world,)        5
Whose bright heads and light heads are feather’d and curl’d,
The mighty dimensions Dame Nature surprise,
To find she’d so grossly mistaken the size.
            Derry down, &c.
And ye petit maitres, your heads I might spare,
Encumber’d with nothing but powder and hair;        10
Who vainly disgrace the true monkey race,
By transplanting the tail from its own native place.
            Derry down, &c.
Enough might be said, durst I venture my rhymes,
On crown’d heads and round heads of these modern times:
This slippery path let me cautiously tread;        15
The neck else will answer, perhaps, for the head.
            Derry down, &c.
The heads of the church, and the heads of the state,
Have taught much, and wrote much—too much to repeat:
On the neck of corruption, uplifted, ’tis said,
Some rulers, alas! are too high by the head.
            Derry down, &c.
Ye schemers and dreamers of politic things,
Projecting the downfall of kingdoms and kings,
Can your wisdom declare how this body is fed,
When the members rebel and wage war with the head?
            Derry down, &c.
Expounders, confounders, and heads of the law,        25
I bring case in point—don’t point out a flaw:
If reason be treason, what plea shall I plead?
To your chief I appeal, for your chief has a head.
            Derry down, &c.
On Britannia’s bosom sweet Liberty smiled:
The parent grew strong whilst she foster’d the child.        30
Ill-treating her offspring, a fever she bred,
Which contracted her limbs and distracted her head.
            Derry down, &c.
Ye learned state doctors, your labours are vain—
Proceeding by bleeding to settle her brain;
Much less can your art the lost members restore:        35
Amputation must follow, perhaps something more.
            Derry down, &c.
Pale goddess of whim! when, with cheeks lean or full,
Thy influence seizes an Englishman’s skull,
He blunders, yet wonders his schemes ever fail,
Though often mistaking the head for the tail.
            Derry down, &c.

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