Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
For the Fourth of July
Tune—“The Exile of Erin”

WHEN first that proud queen, whom the waters environ,
  Who rules without rival the wide-spreading waves,
Strove to stretch o’er our country her sceptre of iron,
  And make her brave sons a base nation of slaves;
Our fathers, relying on Heaven for assistance,        5
Seeking support from allies at a distance,
Resolved to her tyranny manful resistance,
  And their country proclaim’d independent and free.
Seven long years for their rights they contended,
  With merciless myrmidons hired from afar,        10
Thousands were kill’d in the cause they defended,
  Or sunk with the burdens they bore in the war.
Martyrs to Freedom! may the tree long be cherish’d
For which in our soil while yet planting, you perish’d,
Whose roots with your hearts’ blood you joyously nourish’d,        15
  And which to your sons yields such heavenly fruit.
Wisdom in council—in combat cool bravery,
  Marr’d the cunning of tyrants, and courage of slaves;
Our fathers threw off the vile shackles of slavery,
  And spurn’d the dominion of madmen and knaves.        20
Britain, her wiles by our statesmen outwitted,
Her disciplined ranks by raw soldiers defeated,
Disgraced, from our shores with her ruffians retreated,
  And our country confess’d independent and free.
That work which our sires with such labour effected,        25
  Which cost what defies calculation to count;
By ourselves and our sons be forever protected,
  Whatever the danger, the toil, or amount.
And may this proud day, which gave birth to our nation,
Be held by our patriots in high estimation,        30
And receive from republicans glad celebration,
  Till the earth on its axis shall cease to revolve.
To the sages, who guided our grand Revolution,
  To the soldiers, whose swords gave success to the cause;
To the patriots, who founded our free constitution,        35
  Be thanks universal—unbounded applause.
While one spark of freedom our bosoms shall fire,
Their names and their deeds virtuous acts will inspire,
Posterity rival the feats they admire,
  And millions unborn taste the blessings they bought.        40
And now to the pilot our vessel who’s guiding,
  Whose virtues and talents the world o’er have shone,
May the love of the people o’er whom he’s presiding,
  For the toils and the cares of his station atone.
Peace of mind, health of frame, length of days be him given;        45
Through his life may felicity flow pure and even;
And when by his God he is call’d home to Heaven,
  Of his spirit may our rulers a portion retain.

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