Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Perry’s Victory
WHEN late Columbia’s patriot brave
Sail’d forth on Erie’s tranquil wave,
No hero yet had found a grave
          Within her watery cemetry.
But soon that wave was stain’d with gore,        5
And soon did every concave shore
Re-echo with the dreadful roar
          Of thundering artillery.
Behold! two hostile fleets appear,
The eager shouts of battle hear,        10
No heart is there appall’d by fear,
          All pant for glorious victory.
His torch the God of battles lights,
For naval glory Britain fights,
For “Freedom and the sailor’s rights”        15
          Columbia combats gallantly.
The Lawrence’s decks are strew’d with dead,
And many a gallant spirit fled,
And many a hero’s nobly bled,
          To win a wreath of victory.        20
Alas! and can no prowess save
Our ship, a wreck upon the wave,
And snatch the corses of the brave
          From an impious conqueror?
Ah, yes! that youth with eagle eye,        25
Though heaps of slain around him lie,
Through death and carnage will descry
          The path that leads to victory.
A soul like his no danger fears;
His pendant from the mast he tears,        30
And in his gallant bosom bears,
          To grace the bold Niagara.
See! see he quits the Lawrence’s side,
And trusts him to the foaming tide,
Where thundering navies round him ride,        35
          And flash their red artillery.
His oar each sturdy seaman plies;
He gains the deck! his pendant flies,
Triumphant shouts ascend the skies,
          And rend the vaulted canopy.        40
“The combat deepens! on, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave,”
Columbia’s rights upon the wave
          Protect from proud Britannia.
Huzza! the tide of battle turns!        45
Lo! every hero’s bosom burns!—
’Tis done:—again Britannia learns
          To strike to great Columbia.
Barclay, thy deeds of glory done,
Thy laurels at Trafalgar won,        50
Shall now adorn our gallant son,
          And signalize the victory.
His country shall with glory crown
His deeds of empire and renown,
And history shall hand them down        55
          To endless posterity.

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