Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
On a Succession of Our Naval Victories
By William Ray (1771–1827)
 
AGAIN the voice of Victory cheers
  The nation with its sound!
Death-struck the British host appears,
Whose flag has waved “a thousand years,”
  And ne’er an equal found.        5
 
Neptune, astonish’d at the sight,
  Now looming from the main,
Beholds the equal-balanced fight,
And sees the British put to flight,
  Again! again! again!        10
 
Convulsive through the blood-mix’d wave
  He writhes his monster-form;
His voice to ocean’s deepest cave,
Where sleep the bodies of the brave,
  Comes thundering like a storm!        15
 
“Convene, convene, ye ocean-powers!
  And let us trace the cause
Why Fortune on Britannia lowers,
And why upon Columbia showers
  Such triumph and applause!”        20
 
But ere the councils of the king
  Had solved their deep surprise,
Ere loud huzzas had ceased to ring,
A blood-stain’d form, on lightning wing,
  Came darting from the skies.        25
 
’Twas Mars, the potent god of war,
  Commission’d from above
To bear the mandate wide and far
As evening from the morning-star,
  Of great, almighty Jove.        30
 
“Too long has proud Britannia reign’d
  The tyrant of the sea,
With guiltless blood her banners stain’d,
Ten thousand by impressment chain’d,
  Whom God created free.        35
 
“Injustice, violence, and blood
  Hath marr’d her naval sway;
Her perpetrations on the flood,
Abhorr’d by all the great and good,
  Heaven’s vengeance will repay.        40
 
“Then take your trident from her hand,”
  (Mars thus to Neptune spoke;)
“’Tis Heaven’s—’tis Jove’s supreme command,
The God of ocean and the land,
  Which fate can ne’er revoke.        45
 
“Columbia with that sceptre rest,
  In whom the gods confide.
For she, great empress of the west,
By all the nations ’tis confess’d,
  Hath Justice on her side.”        50
 
 
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