Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Fourth of July Song: ‘When America first, at Heaven’s command’
Tune—“Rule Britannia”

WHEN America first, at Heaven’s command,
  Arose to curb old Britain’s pride,
Drive tyranny from out the land,
  Fair Freedom echo’d far and wide,
    “Rouse, America! rouse, be free,        5
    For nature’s God gave liberty.”
To thee belongs the peaceful reign;
  Thy cities shall with commerce flow;
Thy ships explore the boundless main,
  And plenty laugh at every foe,        10
    Hail, America! thou art free,
    The universe shall trade with thee.
The nations not so blest as we
  Shall in their turn to tyrants fall,
Whilst thou shalt rise triumphantly,        15
  The glory and the joy of all.
    Hail, America! thou art free,
    Slavish Britons envy thee.
Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
  Upheld by France’s friendly wing,        20
And view thy commerce—swift it flies
  As Neptune’s car—old ocean’s king.
    Hail, America! thou art free,
    The sea-gods all are friends to thee.
Each haughty tyrant’s sordid yoke,        25
  Their vain attempts to bend thee down,
Shall fall beneath thy manly stroke,
  With broken sceptre and lost crown!
    Hail, America! thou art free,
    Thou’st fought and bled for liberty.        30
The muses on seraphic wing,
  Shall to thy happy coasts repair
With laurel crown’d, and chant and sing,
  To manly hearts, who guard the free,
    Smile, America! thou art fair,        35
    The muses all are friends to thee.
Congratulating bowls go round
  To Washington, and never cease;
In shouts of triumph, with music crown’d,
  To Safety, Liberty, and Peace.        40
    Smile, America! thou art free,
    In spite of George and tyranny.
For Freedom hearts and hands we’ll join,
  Blest Independence, hope and joy!
The theme how noble, how divine!        45
  Join, join the annual feu-de-joye.
    Smile, America! thou art free,
    A race of heroes springs from thee.

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