Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Lake Squadrons
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
THE BRILLIANT task to you assign’d
Asks every effort of the mind,
And every energy combined,
          To crush the foe.
Sail where they will, you must be there:        5
Lurk where they can, you will not spare
The blast of death—but all things dare
          To bring them low.
To wield his thunders on Champlain,
Macdonough leads his gallant train,        10
And, his great object to sustain,
          Vermont unites.
Her hardy youths and veterans bold,
From shelter’d vale and mountain cold,
Who fought to guard in days of old        15
          Their country’s rights.
That country’s wrongs are all your own,
And to the world the word is gone—
Her independence must to none
          Be sign’d away.        20
Be to the nation’s standard true,
To Britain, and to Europe, show
That you can fight and conquer too,
          And prostrate lay
That bitter foe, whose thousands rise        25
No more to fight us in disguise,
But count our freedom for their prize,
          If valour fails;
Beneath your feet let fear be cast,
Remember deeds of valour past,        30
And nail your colours to the mast
          And spread your sails.
In all the pride and pomp of war
Let thunders from the cannon roar,
And lightnings flash from shore to shore,        35
          To wing the ball.
Let Huron from his slumbers wake,
Bid Erie to his centre shake,
Till, foundering in Ontario’s lake,
          You swamp them all!        40

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