Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Stanzas: ‘Ye honest tars of Yankee mould’
 
Commemorative of some early achievements of the American Navy

Tune—“The wandering sailor ploughs the main”

YE honest tars of Yankee mould,
Whose gallant actions Fame has told,
Permit a brother tar to greet
The flag of our musquito fleet,
That now is proudly floating o’er        5
The flag which ruled the waves before!
 
Our Constitution first began
To assert the equal “rights of man,”
In that domain where Britain’s pride
Those rights to other realms denied;        10
But Hull soon sent her Guerriere’s bones
To seek a birth with “Davy Jones.”
 
Our little Wasp, on dauntless wing,
Had flown abroad to try her sting,
And, being both alert and brave,        15
She took a Frolic on the wave,
But, this so far impair’d her might,
A stronger foeman stopp’d her flight.
 
A happier victory the fates
Decreed for the United States;        20
Decatur, on the brilliant day,
Might “Veni, vidi, vici,” say,
For Britain’s naval empire shook,
When he the Macedonian took.
 
Again the Constitution weigh’d,        25
To distant realms our stars display’d,
When Bainbridge, fired by manly zeal,
Made arrogance his prowess feel;
For there he foil’d his vaunting foe,
And laid the Java’s standard low!        30
 
The Hornet next—and ne’er was seen
So brave a ship; what say you, Green? 1
With fewer guns and fewer men
Blockaded long Bonne Citoyenne,
Which neither vaunts nor threats could bring        35
Within the distance of her sting.
 
At length the gallant Hornet flew.
Compell’d by mighty Montague,
For what are eighteen guns (no more)
’Gainst heavy tiers of sixty-four?        40
But soon she met the boasting foe,
And laid the Peacock’s plumage low.
 
Our ships are stanch, our tars are brave
As ever dared affront the wave:
We wish, when they abroad must roam,        45
To bear the peaceful olive home:
But if insulting foes they meet,
With laurels they will load our fleet.
 
Superior traits of nautic skill
Columbia’s “log-book” oft shall fill:        50
And there each gallant captain’s name
This verse shall consecrate with fame;
“From equal force he’ll never fly,
But conquer or most nobly die!”
 
Note 1. Captain Green, commander of the Bonne Citoyenne. [back]
 
 
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