Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Ode: ‘Britannia’s gallant streamers’
By L. M. Sargeant
 
          Sung at the dinner given to the officers of the United States frigate Constitution, after the victory over the British frigate Guerriere
  
Tune—“Ye Mariners of England”

BRITANNIA’S gallant streamers
  Float proudly o’er the tide;
And fairly wave Columbia’s stripes,
  In battle, side by side:
And ne’er did bolder foemen meet        5
  Where ocean’s surges pour.
O’er the tide now they ride,
  While the bellowing thunders roar,
While the cannon’s fire is flashing fast,
  And the bellowing thunders roar.        10
 
When Yankee meets the Briton,
  Whose blood congenial flows,
By heaven created to be friends,
  By fortune render’d foes;
Hard then must be the battle fray,        15
  Ere well the fight is o’er;
Now they ride, side by side,
  While the bellowing thunders roar;
While the cannon’s fire is flashing fast,
  And the bellowing thunders roar;        20
 
Still, still for noble England,
  Bold Dacres’ streamers fly;
And, for Columbia, gallant Hull’s
  As proudly and as high.
Now louder rings the battle din,        25
  More thick the volumes pour;
Still they ride, side by side,
  While the bellowing thunders roar;
While the cannon’s fire is flashing fast,
  And the bellowing thunders roar.        30
 
Why lulls Britannia’s thunder,
  That waked the watery war?
Why stays that gallant Guerriere,
  Whose streamers waved so fair?
That streamer drinks the ocean wave!        35
  That warrior’s fight is o’er!
Still they ride, side by side,
  While Columbia’s thunders roar;
While her cannons fire is flashing fast,
  And her Yankee thunders roar.        40
 
Hark, ’tis the Briton’s lee-gun!
  Ne’er bolder warrior kneel’d!
And ne’er to gallant mariners
  Did braver seamen yield.
Proud be the sires, whose hardy boys        45
  Then fell to fight no more;
With the brave, ’mid the wave,
  When the cannon’s thunders roar;
Their spirits then shall trim the blast,
  And swell the thunder’s roar.        50
 
Vain were the cheers of Britons,
  Their hearts did vainly swell,
Where virtue, skill, and bravery,
  With gallant Morris fell.
That heart, so well in battle tried,        55
  Along the Moorish shore,
Yet again, o’er the main,
  When Columbia’s thunders roar,
Shall prove its Yankee spirit true,
  When Columbia’s thunders roar.        60
 
Hence be our floating bulwarks
  Those oaks our mountains yield;
’Tis mighty Heaven’s plain decree;
  Then take the watery field!
To ocean’s farthest barrier, then,        65
  Your whitening sails shall pour:
Safe they’ll ride o’er the tide,
  While Columbia’s thunders roar,
While her cannon’s fire is flashing fast,
  And her Yankee thunders roar.        70
 
 
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