Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
WHEN Guerriere, Dacres, from Halifax sail’d,
  He boasted that he the ocean would sweep,
And to his mast-head some canvass he nail’d
  To scare every Yankee that furrow’d the deep.
    American seamen, as well as our yeomen,        5
    Will fight for the flag of their nation,
    And old Johnny Bull may yet have his full,
    When he visits his Yankee relation—
    With his Little-bull-ero little-bull-a.
Near the banks of Newfoundland the British fell in        10
  With a brave little crew of American tars,
Both frigates well found, both crews with hearts swelling,
  None shrunk from the conflict, none dreaded their scars.
                American seamen, &c.
The high sounding threats, flying at the mast-head,
  Appall’d not the hearts of a newly-shipp’d crew;        15
Each man to his gun advanced without dread,
  Like heroes they fought, to America true.
                American seamen, &c.
The British had boasted for twenty long years
  By force nearly equal they never were beat,
That the French seldom met them without many fears,        20
  “And always take care to secure a retreat.”
                American seamen, &c.
The good Constitution, commanded by Hull,
  Away threw no powder or wasted no ball;
Each shot that she fired spoke loud to John Bull,
  “Ship to ship, my brave messmates, our foe must soon fall.”
                American seamen, &c.
The laurel which Britain so nobly had won,
  Achieved by her Nelsons, St. Vincents, and Blakes,
From her brows in a moment was gallantly torn,
  By the brave Captain Hull in this game of sweepstakes.
                American seamen, &c.
Long life to our valiant defenders at sea,        30
  Success to the soldiers who guard our frontiers;
May Quebec feel the shock of men born to be free,
  And Canada tremble before our three cheers.
                American seamen, &c.
Political squabbles may each other provoke,
  I hate their damn’d jargon; give me but the lads        35
Who will stand to their quarters amid fire and smoke,
  Though surrounded by foes, who will never look sad.
                American seamen, &c.
Since war is the word, let us strain every nerve
  To humble the lion, our greatness increase,
Then shoulder your firelocks, your country preserve,        40
  Since the hotter the war, boys, the sooner comes peace.
                American seamen, &c.

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