Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
A Favourite Song of the Rebels
 
From the New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury, November 25, 1776

Tune—“The Watery God”

THE WATERY god, great Neptune, lay
In dalliance soft, and amorous play,
  On Amphitrite’s breast,
When up he rear’d his hoary head,
The Tritons sunk, the Nereids fled,        5
  And all their fear confess’d.
 
Loud thunder shook the vast domain;
The liquid world was wrapp’d in flame—
  The god, amazed, spoke—
“Go forth, ye winds, and make it known        10
Who dares usurp my coral throne,
  And fill my realms with smoke.”
 
The winds, obsequious to his word,
Sprung strongly up t’ obey their lord,
  And saw two fleets away:        15
Hopkins commanded one brave line;
The other navy, Howe, was thine,
  In terror and dismay.
 
Appall’d, they view America’s sons
Deal death and slaughter from their guns,        20
  And strike the dreadful blow,
Which made ill-fated British slaves
Seek life by flying o’er the waves,
  Or sink to shades below.
 
Amazed, they fly and tell their chief,        25
That Howe is ruin’d past relief—
  That Hopkins conquering rode:
“Hopkins,” cries Amphy, “who is he?
Who dares usurp this power at sea,
  And thus insult a god?        30
 
The winds reply; “In distant land
A Congress sits, whose martial band
  Defies all Britain’s force;
And when their floating castles roll
From sea to sea, from pole to pole,        35
  Hopkins directs their course.
 
“And when their winged bullets fly
To reinstate fair Liberty,
  And crush oppressive bands,
Then, valiant Hopkins, calmly great,        40
Though death and carnage round him wait,
  Performs their dread commands.
 
Neptune, with vast amazement, hears
How great this infant state appears—
  What feats these heroes do:        45
Washington’s deeds and Putnam’s fame,
Join’d to great Lee’s immortal name,
  And cries, “Can this be true?
 
“A Congress, sure!—they’re brother gods;
Who have such heroes at their nods,        50
  To govern earth and sea:
I yield my trident and my crown,
A tribute due to such renown:
  These gods shall rule for me.”
 
 
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