Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Tripolitan Captive
 
Tune—“When pensive I thought on my love”

THE MOON silver’d o’er the rough surge
  That broke on the Barbary shore;
Where Tripoli’s castle emerge,
  And frowns while the hoarse billows roar.
On a rock that look’d over the flood,        5
  While the clank of his chains pierced the air,
A son of Columbia stood,
  A statue of wo and despair.
 
His eyes in distraction were roll’d,
  His countenance hollow and pale;        10
His sighs would his sorrows have told,
  But their murmurs were lost in the gale.
“O, my country!” heart-broken he cried,
  “Where now is thy liberty gone?
Independence, thy boast and thy pride,        15
  Did once at captivity spurn.
 
“Ah! why then this cruel delay,
  While your children in slavery you see?
Where’s the gold that you lavish away,
  Where’s the valour that once made you free?        20
At a distance you hear not our cries,
  You know not the anguish we bear,
Or else, when our death-shrieks arise,
  Columbia would sure drop a tear.
 
“But adieu every lisp of reproach,        25
  My tears, ye no longer shall flow;
Death rapidly makes his approach,
  To relieve the poor captive of wo.
What means this renewal of grief?
  O my parents! thy sorrows are vain;        30
Adieu! ye can give no relief,
  Adieu! we shall soon meet again.”
 
His knees were now bent to the ground,
  His eyes in distraction were raised,
When suddenly glaring around,        35
  On the scenery wildly he gazed;
Then quickly the poignard he drew,
  And plunging it deep in his side,
Like a lily depress’d with the dew,
  He sunk on his mantle and died.        40
 
 
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