Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Tenth of September
 
O’ER the mountains the sun of our fame was declining,
  And on Thetis’ billowy breast
The cold orb had reposed, all his splendour resigning,
  Bedimm’d by the mists of the West.
The prospect that rose to the patriot’s sight        5
  Was cheerless, and hopeless, and dreary!
But a bolt burst the cloud, and illumined the night
  That enveloped the waters of Erie.
 
The gray god of the lake, in his palace of coral,
  And moving sublime o’er the wave,        10
From the bank where it bloom’d pluck’d a chaplet of laurel,
  And the garland to Victory gave.
By the goddess ’twas held o’er each thundering deck,
  Till with doubts grown distracted and weary;
And when each gun was silent, each vessel a wreck,        15
  ’Twas snatch’d by the Hero of Erie.
 
For the brave who have bled, why indulge a vain sorrow?
  They were wreck’d on no enemy’s coast;
And some one of us may be welcomed to-morrow,
  To Elysium, by Lawrence’s ghost;        20
Who, when call’d by Charon to take a short trip,
  With him in his crazy old wherry,
Saw his own dying orders, “Don’t give up the ship!”
  On the flag proudly floating o’er Perry.
 
Let each man round the board bid his children remember,        25
  With a generous expansion of soul,
The glory that plays round the tenth of September,
  And crown its return with a bowl;
Then the goblet shall foam, blow the wind high or low;
  And the heart be it mournful or merry;        30
And the purest of wine to the memory shall flow
  Of the virtues and valour of Perry.
 
 
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