Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Lines Occasioned by the Detection of Dr. Church’s Traitorous Correspondence with General Gage
 
From the New York Gazetteer; or the Connecticut, Hudson’s River, New Jersey, and Quebec Weekly Advertiser—Rivingston’s. October 19, 1775

HOW sadly, Church, are all thy honours fled!
What infamy awaits thy guilty head!
What dire remorse must rack thy tortur’d soul!
What seas of anguish in thy bosom roll!
Cast from the summit of thy country’s love,        5
And doom’d the rigours of her hate to prove:
Without one gleam of comfort in thy fall;
Condemn’d, forsaken, and despis’d by all.
Ev’n pity’s balm thou canst not hope to find,
To soothe the torments of thy wretched mind:        10
Compassion soft, at crimes like thine, recoils;
The virtuous breast with indignation boils—
And, while for you all pity is effac’d,
Feels but for human nature so disgrac’d,
Laments that man, a rational confess’d,        15
Thus basely can become creation’s pest;
Laments that he, with hypocritic hand,
Can stab the vitals of his native land;
Can seem her friend, and in her councils share,
Smile to destroy, and flatter to ensnare:        20
Betray her secrets to an open foe,
And give new vigour to th’ impending blow;
All sense of duty, gratitude, control,
And in the patriot hide the traitor’s soul;
Can slight the fairest prize of honest fame,        25
And to contempt eternal, risk his name.
  Deluded wretch! what frenzy could inspire
Thy faithless breast? What more couldst thou desire?
Whate’er thy gen’rous country had to give,
Blest in her favour, didst thou not receive?        30
Power and honour did she not bestow;
And all the benefits which thence may flow?
What then could tempt thee to th’ apostate part?
What prompt the treach’rous purpose of thy heart?
Why didst thou stoop to join the venal tribe        35
Who barter conscience for a paltry bribe;
For sordid lucre, who themselves profane,
And part with virtue, honour, all for gain?—
If to thyself, and to thy country just,
True to her cause, and faithful to her trust,        40
To bribing arts you ne’er had lent an ear;
The wise would praise thee, and the good revere:
Ages to come would venerate thy name,
And in the foremost rank thy worth proclaim.
But now not so;—the pleasing prospects fail;        45
(With horror still, methinks I hear the tale,)
That Church, on whom his country’s hopes relied,
That Church has proved a lurking parricide;
In treason’s dark recesses long hath stray’d,
And hostile schemes against fair freedom laid?        50
Abused the confidence which she reposed,
And to her foes each secret plan disclosed!
  Distrust awakes, and anxious casts around
A jealous eye, lest still there may be found,
Who play the traitor in the seeming friend,        55
And mean to hurt, while they to aid pretend.
—If such there be, may Heaven their crimes reveal;
And may the miscreants public vengeance feel:
May they, like Church, their frantic folly know,
And sink beneath the load of self-wrought wo.        60
But some there are from whom distrust refrains;
Whose patriot souls will ne’er admit the stains
Of trait’rous guilt; amid this glorious band
Tow’ring, I see, the virtuous Hancock stand!
 
 
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