Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The American Tar
 
THE GODDESS of Freedom, borne down by oppression,
  In Europe’s famed regions no longer found rest;
She wept at the heart-rending, wide desolation,
  And languishing look’d for relief from the west;
She heard that Columbia was rearing a temple,        5
  Where she would be worshipp’d in peace and in war,
Old Neptune confirm’d it—cried, “Here is a sample,”
  Presenting with pride—an American tar.
 
Cease weeping then, goddess, to thee I’ve consigned him,
  He loves thee, and he thy protector will be;        10
Believe me, a more gallant youth you will find in him,
  Than e’er bore your banners through ocean and sea;
When his galley he trims—firm, resolved for the onset,
  Wo, wo to that foe who his prowess shall dare,
Long will his country lament that he e’er met        15
  And braved the avenging American tar.
 
He boasts not—but firm as the oak of his forest;
  Serene as a calm; but as fierce as a storm,
When wild roars the battle, you’ll see him the foremost,
  When victor, the prostrate protecting from harm;        20
And I have decreed—he’s so gallant a fellow,
  O’er my wide dominion he shall be a star,
To light you in safety o’er every billow,
  His name—listen, nations—American Tar.
 
The proud, turban’d Turk my dominions infested,        25
  And piracy ranged uncontroll’d on the wave;
His courage the tar of Columbia tested,
  And taught him that freemen, though peaceful, are brave;
The power that affects the control of the ocean,
  And unfurls her cross-flag for destruction and war;        30
Who, vaunting her strength, threw the world in commotion,
  The trident resign’d to the American Tar.
 
For the rights of his country he fights—not for plunder:
  No longer injustice shall harass the deep;
I give my trident—and Jove gives his thunder,        35
  And well he the sacred deposits shall keep;
Beneath his mild sway, sailors’ rights well protected
  Shall be, and free trade shed its blessings afar;
The praises of nations shall greet the respected,
  The daring, heroic American Tar.        40
 
 
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