Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
To the Pennsylvania Ship of the Line
By William Bingham Tappan (1794–1849)
 
“LEAP forth to the careering seas,”
  O, ship of lofty name!
And toss upon thy native breeze
  The stars and stripes of Fame!
And bear thy thunders o’er the deep        5
  Where vaunting navies ride!
Thou hast a nation’s gems to keep—
  Her honour and her pride!
O! holy is the covenant made
  With thee and us to-day;        10
None from the compact shrinks afraid,
  No traitor utters, Nay!
We pledge our fervent love, and thou
  Thy glorious ribs of oak,
Alive with men who cannot bow        15
  To kings, nor kiss the yoke!
 
Speed lightnings o’er the Carib sea,
  Which deeds of hell deform;
And look her hands are spread to thee
  Where Afric’s robbers swarm.        20
Go! lie upon the Ægean’s breast,
  Where sparkles emerald isles—
Go! seek the lawless Suliote’s nest,
  And spoil his cruel wiles.
And keep where sail the merchant ships,        25
  Stern watch on their highway,
And promptly, through thine iron lips,
  When urged, our tribute pay;
Yea, show thy bristling teeth of power,
  Wherever tyrants bind,        30
In pride of their own little hour,
  A freeborn, noble mind.
 
Spread out those ample wings of thine!—
  While crime doth govern men,
’Tis fit such bulwark of the brine        35
  Should leave the shores of Penn;
For hid within thy giant strength
  Are germs of welcome peace,
And such as thou, shall cause at length
  Man’s feverish strife to cease.        40
From every vale, from every crag,
  Word of thy beauty’s past,
And joy we that our country’s flag
  Streams from thy towering mast—
Assured that in thy prowess, thou        45
  For her wilt win renown,
Whose sons can die, but know not how
  To strike that pennon down.
 
 
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