Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
A New Song: ‘Come, all you lads of courage bold’
 
On Commodore Perry’s victory

Tune—“The Constellation”

COME, all you lads of courage bold,
A story true as e’er was told
To your attention I’ll unfold,
    ’Tis of the Niagara;
Of cannons rattling round the shore—        5
Of heroes weltering in their gore—
Of widows, orphans grieving sore,
      Where grape and ball
      In showers did fall,
And many a valuable tar did fall        10
    In the battle of Lake Erie.
 
September the tenth, full well I ween,
In eighteen hundred and thirteen,
The weather mild, the sky serene,
    Commanded by bold Perry.        15
Our saucy fleet at anchor lay,
In safety moor’d at Put-in-bay;
’Twixt sunrise and the break of day,
      The British fleet
      We chanced to meet,        20
Our admiral thought he would them greet
    With a welcome on Lake Erie.
 
Our boatswains piped their crews with speed,
Of souls who never fear’d to bleed
Or die to see their country freed—        25
    Of British thraldom weary:
Our Yankee boys were wide awake,
All eager, for their freedom’s sake,
To gain the title of the lake,
      From those base slaves,        30
      Who dyed the waves
Of ocean with their brothers’ graves,
    Of those who fought on Erie.
 
’Twas nearly grog-time of the day,
Our fleet bore up and put away,        35
The Lawrence cheerly led the way,
    Commanded by brave Perry;
She first sustain’d the dreadful shock,
Till useless as a floating log,
Each brace and bowling, stay and block,        40
      Were shot away,
      No gun could play,—
Till all her crew but nine that day
    Were slain upon Lake Erie.
 
Brave Elliott sped to our relief,        45
And took on board our gallant chief,
Nor did we take a single reef
    On board the Niagara.
The children yet unborn will say,
There ne’er was fought a greater day,        50
On ocean’s bosom, lake, or sea.
      Our Yankee shot
      Were play’d so hot,
That now a rag those brags have not
    To hoist upon Lake Erie.        55
 
Huzza, my friends! the can, boys, bring;
The fight is o’er, let’s drink and sing;
To Madison the toast shall ring,
    And also Elbridge Gerry.
Long live the Congress and our laws,        60
And those who, hearty in the cause,
Have lent a hand, without a pause,
      To crush our foes;
      Who still oppose
Our rights where nations’ highway flows,        65
    As well as on Lake Erie.
 
The memory of the brave let’s toast,
Who clear’d the long disputed coast,
And left us free to rule the roast
    Of celebrated Erie.        70
Let Perry’s name, with loud applause,
Be sounded far beyond the stars;
For he who rules the fate of wars,
      This great design,
      That Power Divine,        75
In agency he did consign
    To brave and gallant Perry.
 
 
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