Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Columbia’s Naval Heroes—1815
By Francis Arden
 
Sung at the dinner given to Captain Biddle, by the citizens of New York

Tune—“Anacreon in Heaven”

WHILE Europe, displaying her fame-claiming page,
  And vaunting the proofs of her high elevation,
Exultingly shows us, just once in an age,
  Some patriot-soul’d chieftain, the prop of his nation;
Columbia can boast, of her heroes a host,        5
The foremost at duty’s and danger’s proud post,
Who full often have won upon ocean’s rough wave,
The brightest leaved laurel that e’er deck’d the brave.
 
By Freedom inspired and with bosoms of flame,
  They hurl’d on the foe all the battle’s dread thunder,        10
Till, vanquish’d and humbled, he shook at their name,
  O’erwhelm’d with confusion, with fear, and with wonder;
No age that has flown such a band e’er has known,
Who made firmness and skill and mild manners their own,
And each trait of the warrior so closely entwined        15
With the virtues that grace and ennoble the mind.
 
Their kindness the hearts of their captives subdued,
  Who sunk ’neath their arms, when the life-streams were flowing,
And their conquest-wove wreaths not a tear has bedew’d,
  But that which Humanity smiles in bestowing;        20
The world with one voice bids their country rejoice,
As with blushes it owns that these sons of her choice
For valour and feeling have gain’d the rich prize,
And stand first midst the first that live under the skies.
 
Their splendid achievements shall long string the nerves        25
  Of all who the blessings of freemen inherit;
And theirs be the honours such merit deserves,
  And dear to each bosom their death-daring spirit;
The poet’s best strain shall their memories maintain,
And affection embalm them to Time’s latest reign,        30
While, roused by their praises, our sons shall aspire
To rival their actions and glow with their fire.
 
 
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