Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Lawrence’s Death
 
COLUMBIA’S bold seamen, wherever you be,
And you that fight battles abroad on the sea,
Come flock round the standard, and learn the sad fate
Of Lawrence, brave Lawrence, whose death I’ll relate.
 
’Twas on board the Hornet he triumphantly soar’d,        5
The eagle of conquest had perch’d on his sword;
For ’twas the proud Peacock to the bottom did go,
He lost more in saving than conquering his foe.
 
All clad in bright laurel, to Boston he came,
Where the full flowing bumpers were drank to his name,        10
With the pride of this country of sailors, they boast
No party or faction, but Lawrence we’ll toast.
 
And when from our harbour our foes we did spy,
We then gave three cheers, vow’d to conquer or die;
Then quickly weigh’d anchor, and set sail away,        15
And alongside the Shannon our frigate soon lay.
 
By the first broadside wounded, he firmly did stand,
And each gallant hero did await his command;
Till an ill-fated ball pierced Lawrence’s breast,
And sent, much lamented, our hero to rest.        20
 
Our captain being slain, brave Ludlow likewise,
No one to command us, or yet to advise,
So our ship soon foul of the Shannon she fell,
We were boarded and taken, alas! I must tell.
 
But now we’ll return to brave Lawrence, the slain,        25
His actions in history their place shall retain,
Though his death from our bosoms shall wring a sad tear,
The cause that we fight in is render’d more dear.
 
In Britain this hero respected we find,
Around his sad bier they in anguish reclined;        30
His colours now o’er his remains they bestow,
Which will ne’er cease to remember that he was their foe.
 
O, weep not, Columbia, though Lawrence is slain;
Let us pattern by his virtues, and reverence his name;
While a ship of the ocean shall sail the salt sea,        35
Like Lawrence we’ll die, or like heroes be free.
 
May his soul on swift pinions to heaven ascend,
And there may bright angels his virtues attend,
Where foes can no longer approach or molest,
All clad in bright armour from Jesus’s breast.        40
 
 
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