Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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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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