Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie—1813
 
FROM hill-tops to valleys, where rush’d the rude fountain,
  Reverb’rating echo descends to the plain;
A messenger sent by the maid of the mountain,
  To hail her brave children, her sons on the main.
She flies, and the caves utter forth their devotion,        5
  The forest in silence reclines on the air,
She waits by the side of a hill-border’d ocean,
  And greets thus those heroes, who won laurels there.
 
Rejoice, O, my heart, it is time to make merry;
  For each, in his turn, has had at Britain a blow:        10
The last, though not least, is the name of our Perry,
  Who lately has swept from the ocean the foe.
By Maiden protected, the union was soaring,
  On Erie a visit she durst not to make,
Until a ground in Superior, the fleet slipp’d her mooring,        15
  Thus Perry was posted, who watch’d on the lake.
 
Six boats trimm’d for battle, the red cross displaying,
  Commanded by Barclay, with wings wide outspread;
Forsook her strong-hold, on broad Erie a straying,
  To meet with the foe she so lately did dread.        20
But Perry in union Jack joyfully greeting,
  Address’d thus his tars, who, impatient, stood by:
My boys, they have come! let us welcome the meeting!
  Remember we conquer—we conquer or die.
 
The stripes and the stars on our banners were waving;        25
  The eagle was perch’d in the noon-beaming sun:
The battle ten minutes at us had been raging,
  E’er Perry thought proper to give them a gun;
Then, like a strong lion disturb’d in his quarters,
  Destruction and carnage from slumber arose;        30
And death, in a flame, walk’d abroad on the waters,
  In council deciding the fates of the foes.
 
Their dooms were promulged in the voice of the thunder:
  The flash and the sword did enforce the decree;
Astonishment stood, with his eyes stretch’d in wonder,        35
  To witness the will of the almighty three.
Half-hid in the smoke the fleets were contending,
  The jaws pour’d fire, whilst the wide waters shake:
“My tars, we have conquer’d! see the union descending,
  The eagle, triumphant, shall soar on the lake.”        40
 
Here’s success to the name that shall long live in story,
  It is Perry who pleads with such force for our rights;
His manners won art, whilst his valour won glory—
  Now pledge him a brother, approved by the fight.
Whilst Perry, in conquest, so modestly glowing,        45
  May Yankee tars ever receive their renown:
And now, whilst in bumpers we have honours that’s flowing,
  Remember, the union we conquer’d came down.
 
 
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