Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
American Tribute
 
  IN Washington’s time,
  It was reckon’d no crime
(Though now we such measures prohibit)
  To tickle the paws
  Of the Barbary bashaws        5
With a snug little handful of tribute.
 
  So a smart Yankee ship
  Now and then they’d equip,
Whatever might cost them to rig it;
  And our good-natured folks        10
  Sent our fine native oaks
Abroad in an Algerine frigate!
 
  Thus, instead of the stars
  That should wave from our spars,
Her peak bore the infidel crescent;        15
  But they soon thought that one,
  Fraught with ballast alone,
Was no satisfactory present.
 
  So, while we fought Britain,
  That moment they hit on        20
To attack us with wonderful bravery;
  And by way of broad hint,
  To show what they meant,
They carried our tars into slavery.
 
  And now we have leisure        25
  To study their pleasure,
And something to spare of our lumber;
  Since one ship in ballast,
  Won’t soften their malice,
For peace sake, we send them a number:        30
 
  A good store of guns,
  To try if, for once,
To gratitude we can awake ’em;
  And men in abundance,
  Strong fellows, and sound ones,        35
They have nothing to do but to take ’em!
 
  Our prisoners to ransom
  We send something handsome,
In mettle undoubtedly current;
  And powder in potions,        40
  And similar notions,
That will cure their distemper, we warrant.
 
  John Bull, once unruly,
  Can certify truly,
Of our powder and pills, in the papers;        45
  For their power, he affirms,
  Cured his boys of the worms,
And relieved him from megrims and vapours!
 
  Already the dey
  Is much better, they say,        50
Having voided a couple of vermin!
  And the doctor supposes
  A few more such doses
His obstinate case will determine.
 
  Such, such is the tribute        55
  We Yankees exhibit,
On every such trying occasion;
  If this don’t convince
  The Barbarian prince,
He is past all the art of persuasion!        60
 
 
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