Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Repeal of the Stamp Act
From a supplement to the New York Gazette, or Weekly Poet-Boy, June 12, 1766

          Friday night, to the inexpressible joy of all, was received, by Capt. Coffin, the news of the repeal of the Stamp Act, which was signed by his Majesty, the 18th of March last, which caused general rejoicing throughout the town. According to a previous vote of the town, the selectmen met in the afternoon, at Faneuil hall, and appointed Monday last as a day of rejoicing on that happy occasion. The morning was ushered in with music, the ringing of bells, and discharge of cannon. By the generosity of some gentlemen, our jail was freed of debtors. At one o’clock a royal salute was fired, and the afternoon was spent in mirth and jollity. In the evening the whole town was handsomely illuminated. On the common, the Sons of Liberty erected a magnificent pyramid, illuminated with two hundred and eighty lamps, the four upper stories of which were ornamented with the figures of their majesties, and fourteen of the worthy patriots who have distinguished themselves by their love of liberty. The following lines were on the four sides of the next apartment, which referred to the emblematical figures of the lower story, the whole supported by a large base of the Doric order.

O THOU! whom, next to heav’n, we most revere!
Fair Liberty! thou lovely goddess! hear!
Have we not woo’d thee, won thee, held thee long?
Lain in thy lap and melted on thy tongue:
Through death’s and danger’s rugged path pursued,        5
And led thee, smiling, to this solitude:
Hid thee within our hearts’ most golden cell,
And braved the powers of earth and powers of hell.
Goddess! we cannot part: thou must not fly—
Be slaves! we dare to scorn it—dare to die.        10
  While clanking chains and curses shall salute,
Thine ears, remorseless G——le, thine, O B—te,
To you, bless’d patriots, we our cause submit—
Illustrious Camden—Britain’s guardian Pitt—
Recede not—frown not—rather let us be,        15
Deprived of being than of liberty.
Let fraud or malice blacken all our crimes,
No disaffection stains these peaceful climes:
O save us, shield us, from impending woes:
The foes of Britain, only, are our foes.        20
  Boast, foul Oppression, boast thy transient reign,
While honest Freedom struggles with her chain;
But know, the sons of virtue, hardy, brave,
Disdain to lose through mean despair to save:
Aroused, in thunder, awful, they appear,        25
With proud deliverance stalking in their rear.
While tyrant foes their pallid fears betray,
Shrink from their arms, and give their vengeance way:
See! in the unequal war, oppressors fall,
The hate, contempt, and endless curse of all.        30
  Our faith approved, our liberty restored,
Our hearts bend grateful to our sovereign lord.
Hail, darling monarch! by this act endear’d,
Our firm affections are thy best reward.
Should Britain’s self against herself divide,        35
And hostile armies frown on either side—
Should hosts, rebellious, shake our Brunswick’s throne,
And as they dared thy parent, dare the son,
To this asylum stretch thine happy wing,
And we’ll contend who best shall serve our king.        40

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