Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Song: ‘Now the war-blast is blown, and the thunders are still’
By John Shaw (1778–1809)
Written for and sung at an entertainment given at Annapolis to Lieut. George Mann and Dr. Harwood, of the U. S. Navy

NOW the war-blast is blown, and the thunders are still,
  And the blue gleam of steel lies asleep in the sheath,
And to peace and to mirth the full bumpers we fill,
  While the ear shrinks no more at the echo of death.
Yet still, not ungrateful, the deeds of the brave        5
  Our heart’s strongest impulse shall eagerly tell,
And on those who have sunk in a watery grave
  With a sorrowing tear still shall memory dwell.
The sons of our fathers have proved to the world
  That the blood in their veins beats for freedom as high,        10
And wherever the red-striped flag is unfurl’d,
  Like them they can conquer, like them they can die.
Though shackles a while may the eagle entwine,
  And forbid him the strong-sinewed wing to display,
Yet break but the bands that his ardour confine,        15
  And he mingles his flight with the blaze of the day.
Behold, where, in Afric’s far regions, a band,
  Though few, yet determined, all peril defy,
Their prospect by day but the hot, gleaming sand—
  Their bed the hard desert—their shelter the sky.        20
Yet still they urge forward—’tis glory that calls,
  Whose sovereign impulse leads onward the brave,
And the cluster’d stars rise o’er Derna’s proud walls,
  And the wan crescent fades, and descends in the wave.
Then fill up the bumper—a tribute of fame,        25
  Though ’tis small, yet ’tis all we now have to give:
Yet, while memory holds seat in our bosoms, the names
  Of Eaton, and Mann, and O’Bannen shall live.

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