Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Charge the Can Cheerily—1813
 
NOW coil up your nonsense ’bout England’s great navy,
  And take in your slack about oak-hearted tars;
For frigates as stout, and as gallant crews have we,
  Or how came her Macedon deck’d with our stars?
Yes, how came her Guerriere, her Peacock, and Java,        5
  All sent, broken ribb’d, to old Davy, of late?
How came it? why, split me, than Britons we’re braver,
  And that they shall feel, too, wherever we meet.
      Then charge the can cheerily,
      Send it round merrily,        10
  Here’s to our country, and captains commanding;
      To all who inherit
      Of Lawrence the spirit,
  Disdaining to strike while a stick is left standing.
 
Nay, if, unawares, we should run (a fresh gale in)        15
  Close in with a squadron, we laugh at ’em all;
We’d tip Master Bull such a sample of sailing,
  As should cause him to fret like a pig in a squall.
We’d show the vain boaster of numbers superior,
  Though he and his slaves at the notion may sneer,        20
In skill, as in courage, to us they’re inferior
  For the longer they chase us, the less we’ve to fear.
      Then charge the can, &c.
 
But should a razee be espied ahead nearly,
  To fetch her we’d crowd every stitch we could make;
Down chests, and up hammocks, would heave away cheerly,        25
  And ready for action would be in a shake.
For her swaggering cut though, and metal not caring,
  Till up with her close, should our fire be withheld,
Then, pour’d in so hot, that her mangled crew, fearing
  A trip to the bottom, should speedily yield.
      Then charge the can, &c.
        30
 
Britannia, although she beleaguers our coast now,
  The dread of our wives and our sweethearts as well,
Of ruling the waves has less reason to boast now,
  As Dacres, and Carden, and Whinyates can tell.
Enroll’d in our annals live Hull and Decatur,        35
  Jones, Lawrence, and Bainbridge, Columbia’s pride—
The pride of our navy, which, sooner or later,
  Shall on the wide ocean triumphantly ride.
      Then charge the can, &c.
 
 
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