Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Constitution and Java
 
A new song, upon the victory obtained by the American frigate Constitution, over the British frigate Java

Tune—“Vive la!”

YANKEE tars, come join the chorus,
  Shout aloud the patriot strain;
Freedom’s flag, again victorious,
  Floats triumphant o’er the main.
 
  Hail the gallant Constitution:        5
    Hull immortalized her name,
  Bainbridge, round it, in profusion,
    Pours the golden blaze of fame.
 
Scarce had Fame her Hull rewarded,
  Ere intrepid Bainbridge rose,        10
Eager, while the world applauded,
  To subdue his country’s foes.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Hull, on board the Constitution,
  Sunk his foe beneath the flood;
Fired with equal resolution,        15
  Bainbridge sought the scene of blood.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Lambert met him in the Java,
  Fierce the hot contention rose:
Like the streams of Etna’s lava,
  Fell our vengeance on the foes.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
        20
 
Neptune shunn’d the fierce commotion,
  Saw his realm with carnage spread—
Saw our fire consume the ocean,
  Cover’d with the floating dead.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Twice had Time his glass inverted,        25
  While the strife deform’d the flood;
Ere the fiend of death, diverted,
  Ceased to glut on human blood.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
See, our foe, upon the billow,
  Floats, a wreck, without a spar!        30
Lowly lies, on ocean’s pillow,
  Many a brave and gallant tar.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Hark! his lee-gun speaks submission;
  Bid our vengeful tars forbear:
Mercy views the foe’s condition,        35
  Sees a bleeding brother there.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Man the boats! the foe, confounded,
  Yields to our superior fire;
Board the prize! relieve the wounded!
  Ere in anguish they expire.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
        40
 
Ah! the fight was hard contested,
  Groaning there, a hundred bleed:
Sixty-nine has death arrested,
  From their floating prisons freed.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Clear the wreck! she cannot swim, boys;        45
  See! she follows the Guerriere!
Now your cans fill to the brim, boys:
  Sing our navy’s bright career.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
Toast the heroes famed in story—
  Hull, Decatur, Rodgers, Jones:        50
Bainbridge, chief in naval glory,
  Smiling Freedom joyful owns.
    Hail, the gallant Constitution, &c.
 
 
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