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
 
YE tars of Columbia, give ear to my story,
  Who fought with brave Perry, where cannons did roar;
Your valour has gain’d you an immortal glory,
  A fame that shall last till time is no more.
Columbian tars are the true sons of Mars,        5
  They rake fore and aft, when they fight on the deep;
On the bed of Lake Erie, commanded by Perry,
  They caused many Britons to take their last sleep.
 
The tenth of September, let us all remember,
  So long as the globe on her axis rolls round;        10
Our tars and marines, on Lake Erie were seen,
  To make the proud flag of Great Britain come down.
The van of our fleet, the British to meet,
  Commanded by Perry, the Lawrence bore down.
Her guns they did roar with such terrific power,        15
  That savages trembled at the dreadful sound.
 
The Lawrence sustained a most dreadful fire;
  She fought three to one, for two glasses or more;
While Perry, undaunted, did firmly stand by her,
  The proud foe on her heavy broadsides did pour.        20
Her masts being shatter’d, her rigging all tatter’d,
  Her booms and her yards being all shot away;
And few left on deck to manage the wreck,
  Our hero on board her no longer could stay.
 
In this situation, the pride of our nation        25
  Sure Heaven had guarded unhurt all the while,
While many a hero, maintaining his station,
  Fell close by his side, and was thrown on the pile.
But mark you, and wonder, when elements thunder,
  When death and destruction are stalking all round,        30
His flag he did carry on board the Niagara;
  Such valour on record was never yet found.
 
There is one gallant act of our noble commander,
  While writing my song, I must notice with pride;
While launch’d in the boat, that carried the standard,        35
  A ball whistled through her, just close by his side.
Says Perry, “The rascals intend for to drown us,
  But push on, my brave boys, you never need fear!”
And with his own coat he plugg’d up the boat,
  And through fire and sulphur away he did steer.        40
 
The famed Niagara, now proud of her Perry,
  Display’d all her banners in gallant array;
And twenty-five guns on her deck she did carry,
  Which soon put an end to this bloody affray.
The rear of our fleet was brought up complete,        45
  The signal was given to break through the line;
While starboard and larboard, and from every quarter,
  The lamps of Columbia did gloriously shine.
 
The bold British Lion roar’d out his last thunder,
  When Perry attacked him close in the rear;        50
Columbia’s eagle soon made him crouch under,
  And roar out for quarter, as soon you shall hear.
O, had you been there, I now do declare,
  Such a sight as you never had seen before;
Six red bloody flags, that no longer could wag,        55
  All lay at the feet of our brave commodore.
 
Brave Elliot, whose valour must now be recorded,
  On board the Niagara so well play’d his part,
His gallant assistance to Perry afforded,
  We’ll place him the second on Lake Erie’s chart.        60
In the midst of the battle, when guns they did rattle,
  The Lawrence a wreck, and the men ’most all slain;
Away he did steer, and brought up the rear,
  And by this manœuvre the victory was gain’d.
 
O, had you but seen those noble commanders        65
  Embracing each other when the conflict was o’er;
And viewing all those invincible standards,
  That never had yielded to any before.
Says Perry, “Brave Elliot, give me your hand, sir;
  This day we have gain’d an immortal renown;        70
So long as Columbia Lake Erie commands, sir,
  Let brave Captain Elliot with laurels be crown’d.”
 
Great Britain may boast of her conquering heroes,
  Her Rodneys, her Nelsons, and all the whole crew;
But none in their glory have told such a story,        75
  Nor boasted such feats as Columbians do.
The whole British fleet was captured complete,
  Not one single vessel from us got away;
And prisoners some hundreds, Columbians wondered,
  To see them all anchor’d and moor’d in our bay.        80
 
May Heaven still smile on the shades of our heroes
  Who fought in that conflict, their country to save.
And check the proud spirit of those murdering bravoes,
  That wish to divide us and make us all slaves.
Columbians sing, and make the woods ring,        85
  We’ll toast those brave heroes by sea and by land;
While Britains drink Cherry, Columbians, Perry,
  We’ll toast him about with full glass in hand.
 
 
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