Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
On a Hessian Debarkation—1776
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
 There is a book, though not a book of rhymes,
Where truth severe records a nation’s crimes;
To check such monarchs as with brutal might,
Wanton in blood, and trample on the right.

REJOICE, O Death! Britannia’s tyrant sends
  From German plains his myriads to our shore;
The Caledonian with the English join’d:
  Bring them, ye winds, but waft them back no more.
To these far climes with stately step they come,        5
  Resolved all prayers, all prowess to defy;
Smit with the love of countries not their own,
  They come, indeed, to conquer—not to die.
In the slow breeze (I hear their funeral song)
  The dance of ghosts the infernal tribes prepare:        10
To hell’s dark mansions haste, ye abandon’d throng,
  Drinking from German skulls old Odin’s beer.
From dire Cesarea 1 forced, these slaves of kings,
  Quick, let them take their way on eagle’s wings:
To thy strong posts, Manhattan’s isle, repair,        15
  To meet the vengeance that awaits them there!
Note 1. The old Roman name of Jersey. [back]

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