Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Impressed American
O! WHO can conceive how acute are my pains,
  How my bosom with anguish is torn,
When I think, with regret, on those dear native plains,
  Where none but a freeman is born?
O! curse on those fiends, having power to oppress,        5
  Who wolf-like can prey on the weak;
Who deny the unfortunate man a redress,
  And permit not the poor man to speak.
Fell Tyranny’s chains now unfetter my soul,
  As rudely I’m toss’d on the main;        10
Fell Tyranny’s mandate, with lawless control,
  Plies the lash—dare her victims complain?
With a quick-beating heart, while constrained I toil,
  For my friends and my country I mourn;
And in retrospect trace all the scenes in that soil,        15
  Where perhaps I shall never return.
When I think on my home, on my wife, and my child,
  That would cherub-like spring on my knee;
My brain is on fire, my thoughts are as wild
  As the storm-enraged waves of the sea.        20
Away, maddening thoughts, and begone, dark Despair!
  There’s a Providence ruling on high,
Who the widow and orphan takes under his care,
  And notes each oppress’d man’s sigh.

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