Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Truxtun’s Victory
By Susanna Haswell Rowson (1762–1824)
 
WHEN Freedom, fair Freedom her banner display’d,
Defying each foe, whom her rights would invade,
Columbia’s brave sons swore those rights to maintain,
And o’er ocean and earth to establish her reign.
          United, they cry,        5
          While that standard shall fly,
          Resolved, firm, and steady,
          We always are ready
    To fight and to conquer, to conquer or die.
 
Though Gallia through Europe has rush’d like a flood,        10
And deluged the earth with an ocean of blood;
While by faction she’s led, while she’s govern’d by knaves,
We court not her smiles, and will ne’er be her slaves:
          Her threats we defy,
          While our standard shall fly;        15
          Resolved, firm, and steady,
          We always are ready
    To fight and to conquer, to conquer or die.
 
Though France, with caprice, dares our statesmen upbraid,
A tribute demands, or sets bounds to our trade;        20
From our young rising navy our thunders shall roar:
And our commerce extend to the earth’s utmost shore.
          Our cannon we’ll ply,
          While our standard shall fly;
          Resolved, firm, and steady,        25
          We always are ready
    To fight and to conquer, to conquer or die.
 
To know we’re resolved, let them think on the hour,
When Truxtun, brave Truxtun, off Nevis’s shore
His ship mann’d for battle, the standard unfurl’d,        30
And at the Insurgente defiance he hurl’d:
          And his valiant tars cry,
          While our standard shall fly;
          Resolved, firm, and steady,
          We always are ready        35
    To fight and to conquer, to conquer or die.
 
Each heart beat exulting, inspired by the cause;
They fought for their country, their freedom, and laws;
From their cannon loud volleys of vengeance they pour’d,
And the standard of France to Columbia was lower’d.        40
          Huzza! they now cry,
          Let the Eagle wave high;
          Resolved, firm, and steady,
          We always are ready
    To fight and to conquer, to conquer or die.        45
 
Then raise high the strain, pay the tribute that’s due
To the fair Constellation, and all her brave crew;
Be Truxtun revered, and his name be enroll’d
’Mongst the chiefs of the ocean, the heroes of old.
          Each invader defy,        50
          While such heroes are nigh,
          Who always are ready,
          Resolved, firm, and steady,
    To fight and to conquer, to conquer or die.
 
 
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