Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Gamester
 
Tune—“A late worthy old lion”

From the Pennsylvania Evening Post, July 16, 1778

WEST of the old Atlantic firm Liberty stands:
Hovering Fame, just alighted, supported by bands
Of natives freeborn, who, loud echoing, sings,
“We’ll support our just rights against tyrannic kings.”
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
George the Third she disowns, and his proud, lordly cheats,        5
His murdering legions and half-famish’d fleets;
To the Jerseys sneak’d off, with fear quite dismay’d,
Although they much boasted that fighting’s their trade.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Our just rights to assert hath the Congress oft tried,
Whose wisdom and strength our opponents deride;        10
And still madly in rage, their weak thunders are hurl’d,
To bring us on our knees, and to bully the world.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Too haughty to yield, yet too weak to withstand,
They skunk to their ships and leave us the firm land;
In dread lest they share what Jack Burgoyne did feel,        15
And the game be quite lost, as poor Jack had lost deal.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Jack, thinking of cribbage, all-fours, or of put,
With a dexterous hand he did shuffle and cut;
And when likely to lose, (like a sharper, they say,)
Did attempt to reneague—I mean, run away.
                Taral laddy, &c.
        20
 
But watched so closely, he could not play booty,
Yet to cheat he fain would for George—’twas his duty,
A great bet depending on that single game;
Dominion and honour—destruction or shame.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Examined with care, his most critical hand,        25
At a loss, if better to beg or to stand,
His tricks reckon’d up, (for all sharpers can jangle,)
Then kick’d up a dust, for his favourite wrangle.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
’Twas diamond cut diamond—spades were of no use,
But to dig up the way for surrender and truce;        30
For he dreaded the hand that dealt out such thumps;
As the hearts were run out, and clubs were then trumps.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Thus he met with the rubbers as the game it turn’d out,
Poor Jack, although beat, made a damnable route;
Complain’d he was cheated, and pompously talks;        35
Quit the game with a curse, while he rubb’d out the chalks.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
But see! a cloud bursts, and a seraph appears,
Loud trumpeting peace, while in blood to their ears,
With bulls and with pardons, for us on submission,
To lull us, and gull us, by their sham commission.
                Taral laddy, &c.
        40
 
The haughty great George then, to peace is now prone,
A bully when match’d soon can alter his tone;
’Tis the act of a Briton to bluster and threaten,
Hang his tail like a spaniel when handsomely beaten.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Charge your glasses lip-high, to brave Washington sing,        45
To the union so glorious the whole world shall ring;
May their councils in wisdom and valour unite,
And the men 1 ne’er be wrong, who yet so far are right.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
The great Doctor Franklin the next glass must claim,
Whose electrical rod strikes terror and shame,        50
Like Moses, who caused Pharaoh’s heart-strings to grumble,
Shock’d George on his throne, his magicians made humble.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
To Gates and to Arnold, with bumpers we’ll join,
And to all our brave troops, who took gambling Burgoyne;
May their luck still increase, as they’ve turn’d up one Jack,        55
To cut and turn up all the knaves in the pack.
                Taral laddy, &c.
 
Note 1. The Congress. [back]
 
 
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