Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Stanzas: ‘His triumphs of a moment done’
 
Occasioned by the departure of the British from Charlestown, December 14, 1782—From the Freeman’s Journal, or North American Intelligencer, February 19, 1783

HIS triumphs of a moment done,
His race of desolation run,
The Briton, yielding to his fears,
To other shores with sorrow steers.
 
To other shores and coarser climes        5
He goes, reflecting on his crimes.
His broken oaths, a murder’d Hayne,
And blood of thousands spilt in vain.
 
To Cooper’s stream advancing slow,
Ashley no longer tells his woe—        10
No longer mourns his limpid flood—
Discolour’d deep with human blood.
 
Lo! where those social streams combine,
Again the friends of freedom join—
And, while they point where once they bled,        15
Rejoice to find their tyrants fled.
 
Since memory paints that dismal day
When British squadrons held the sway,
And, circling close, on every side,
By sea and land retreat denied.        20
 
Shall she recall that mournful scene,
And not the virtues of a Greene?—
Who, great in war—in danger tried—
Has won the day and crush’d their pride.
 
Through barren wastes and ravaged lands        25
He led his bold undaunted bands:
Through sickly climes his standard bore,
Where never army march’d before.
 
By fortitude, with patience join’d,
(The virtues of a noble mind,)        30
He spread, where’er our wars are known,
His country’s honour, and his own,
 
Like Hercules, his generous plan,
Was to redress the wrongs of men:
Like him, accustom’d to subdue,        35
He freed the world from monsters too.
 
Through every want and every ill
We saw him persevering still:
Through autumn’s damp and summer’s heat,
Till his great purpose was complete.        40
 
Like the bold eagle from the skies—
That stoops to seize his trembling prize,
He darted on the slaves of kings,
At Camden plains and Eutaw springs.
 
Ah! had our friends, that led the fray,        45
Survived the ruins of that day,
We should not damp our joy with pain,
Nor sympathising now complain.
 
Strange! that of those who nobly dare,
Death always claims so large a share;        50
That those of feelings most refined
Are soonest to the grave consign’d.
 
But fame is theirs, and future days
On pillar’d brass shall tell their praise;
Shall tell, when cold neglect is dead,        55
“These for their country fought and bled.”
 
 
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