Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Tom Junk
 
Tune—“Thy Blue Waves, O Carron”

“THE WAVE of old Ocean’s the field for the brave,
  D’ye see, Jack,” thus says the old song as it goes;
“And, somehow or other, if one meets a grave,
  Why, it comes in the shape of our country’s foes.
And to die in the cause of mankind, and our own,        5
  Is the pride and the joy of a true-hearted tar;
While the cherub of light sweetly sings his renown,
  Which flies to the land of his home from afar.”
 
’Twas thus as we swung in our hammocks one night,
  Tom Junk to his messmates so gallantly spake,        10
We heard him with joy, and our bosoms beat light,
  In the hope that we stood in the enemy’s wake.
Next day was the battle—our foes they were bold,
  But American sailors to conquer were sworn;
And though fiercely the tide of the conflict was roll’d,        15
  The wreath from the brow of Britannia was torn.
 
In the midst of the fight, when the scuppers ran blood,
  Bold Tom, like a lion, the contest maintain’d;
At his gun, undismay’d and collected, he stood,
  While the bullets on deck like a wild tempest rain’d.        20
He stood at his gun, with a soul so serene,
  That he jested and laugh’d to his messmates around;
But the moment that victory lighted the scene,
  He fell, like the oak, in full majesty crown’d.
 
He fell—but the soul of the sailor was strong:        25
  His eyes to the flag of Columbia rose,
And he smiled to his friends, as it floated along
  From the top of the conquer’d, but proudest of foes.
He smiled, but the cheek of the hero grew pale:
  Huzza! and his eyes were no longer so bright;        30
His soul on the pinions of glory set sail,
  And Victory bore him aloft in our sight.
 
 
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