Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Farmer’s Letters
From the Pennsylvania Gazette, April 28, 1768—Published by Hall & Sellers

          Messrs. Hall & Sellers—The “Farmer’s Letters” discover such a thorough knowledge of the British constitution, and such patriotic principles in the author, as justly entitle him to the tribute of thanks, as well as the sincere esteem of every one who loves Liberty, and abhors Oppression. These considerations have induced me to beg you will give the following lines a place in your gazette. The latter part of them is addressed to my countrymen, who are now upon the brink of ruin, but who, I hope, will yet, by a lawful exertion of their power, be able to frustrate the designs of those who are enemies to the British constitution in general, and the distressed American in particular.—Your humble servant,

HAIL, worthy Farmer! Liberty’s best friend!
Sure unborn millions will thy works commend.
Thus will they say, when thou art in thy grave,
“The Farmer’s aims were noble, loyal, brave,
Much he deserved, who strove his native land to save.” 1        5
Rouse, rouse, my countrymen, the Farmer view,
Who labours for your dear sweet babes and you.
He, watchful guardian, well defends our cause,
Points out our duty, and explains our laws:
He proves himself sufficient for the task,        10
While crafty Grenville’s acts he does unmask:
He sees the chains forged for your infant race,
If ever these despotic acts take place.
They are but preludes which to ruin tend:
Then rouse in time, and your just rights defend.        15
May Heaven direct you how to find the means
To keep from dire confusion’s mournful scenes.
  Should the Britannia, by a dreadful blast,
And want of faithful pilots, lose a mast,
She may be wreck’d upon a foreign shore,        20
And ne’er in triumph plough the ocean more.
Great God! forbid that such her fate should be:
We love Britannia—but we will be free.
Note 1. See Address from the city of Boston, to the author of the “Farmer’s Letters.” [back]

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