Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Dey of Algiers
 
Carpe Diem.—Seize the Dey.—Doctor C——.

THE DEY OF ALGIERS, not being afraid of his ears,
  Sent to Jonathan once for some tribute;
“Ho! ho!” says the dey, “if the rascal don’t pay,
  A caper or two I’ll exhibit.
 
“I’m the Dey of Algiers, with a beard a yard long,        5
I’m a Mussulman, too, and of course very strong:
For this is my maxim, dispute it who can,
That a man of stout muscle’s a stout Mussulman.
 
“They say,” to himself one day says the dey,
“I may bully him now without reckoning to pay;        10
There’s a kick-up just coming with him and John Bull,
And John will give Jonathan both his hands full.”
 
So he bullied our consul, and captured our men,
Went out through the Straits and came back safe again;
And thought that his cruisers in triumph might ply        15
Wherever they pleased—but he thought a d—d lie.
 
For when Jonathan fairly got John out of his way,
He prepared him to settle accounts with the dey;
Says he, “I will send him an able debater:”
So he sent him a message by Stephen Decatur.        20
 
Away went Decatur to treat with the dey,
But he met the dey’s admiral just in his way;
And by way of a tribute just captured his ship;
But the soul of the admiral gave him the slip.
 
From thence he proceeded to Algesair’s bay,        25
To pay his respects to his highness the dey,
And sent him a message, decided yet civil,
But the dey wish’d both him and his note to the d—l.
 
And when he found out that the admiral’s ship
And the admiral, too, had both given him the slip,        30
The news gave his highness a good deal of pain,
And the dey thought he’d never see daylight again.
 
“Ho! ho!” says the dey, “if this is the way
This Jonathan reckons his tribute to pay,
Who takes it will tickle his fingers with thorns;”        35
So the dey and the crescent both haul’d in their horns.
 
He call’d for a peace, and gave up our men,
And promised he’d never ask tribute again;
Says his highness, the dey, “Here’s the d—l to pay
Instead of a tribute; heigho, well-a-day!”        40
 
And never again will our Jonathan pay
A tribute to potentate, pirate, or dey;
Nor any, but that which forever is given—
The tribute to valour, and virtue, and Heaven.
 
And again if his deyship should bully and fume,        45
Or hereafter his claim to this tribute resume,
We’ll send him Decatur once more to defy him,
And his motto shall be, if you please—Carpe Diem.
 
 
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