Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
General Warren; or, the Battle of Bunker Hill—1775
LET others boast of monarchs’ pride,
Surrounded by a sanguine tribe,
A noble theme my muse shall guide,
  ’Tis the deeds of the valiant Warren.
When tyrant George assails our shore,        5
And thousands of his slaves sent o’er,
  With power to kill, afflict us ill,
Our towns to burn that we might mourn,
And make us to his sway return,
  A sway that was slavish and foreign:        10
’Twas then our patriot’s spirit rose,
And they resolved to oppose
The progress of our cruel foes,
  And stop their wicked courses.
Warren was his country’s choice,        15
Call’d to arms by their voice,
  And at the word he draws his sword,
Quit drug and pill, his post to fill,
He takes command on Bunker’s Hill,
  To fight the tyrant’s forces.        20
Howe, he who then had chief command
Of George’s troop within our land,
Addressed thus his hireling band:
  Which was to ours treble,
“Behold!” says he, “yon motley host;        25
We’ll quickly drive them from their post,
  For as ye live, no mercy give,
Don’t mind one prayer, nor yet one spare,
For vengeance we will have that’s rare,
  And destroy every Yankee rebel.”        30
Now Warren, with undaunted breast,
As up the hill his foes they press’d,
With honest pride he thus express’d
  As he view’d the British banners:
“Our stripes unfurled let them be,        35
Whose motto’s death or liberty;
  In freedom’s name, my friends, take aim;
It’s my desire, till they draw nigher,
That no man throw away his fire;
  We’ll teach those red-coats manners.        40
“Remember well the wrongs you bore,
In Boston streets deluged in gore,
And justice banish’d from our shore,
  The minions of corruption:
Remember your wives whose injuries dear,        45
And hear the cries of all the fair;
  Our old men kill’d, our prisons fill’d,
Our houses fired, our trade expired;
Such deeds our patriots’ hearts expired,
  To give them a warm reception.”        50
Then a tremendous cannonade
Was from the British forces play’d,
But when come to our pallisade,
  They received a republican thunder:
Wing’d with death our ballets flew,        55
It seem’d that each its object knew;
  We took good aim, no spot was vain,
The ground was spread with heaps of dead,
The living in a panic fled,
  Which made the British wonder.        60
Then twice again they us attack’d,
And twice again we drove them back,
Too soon for powder we did lack,
  Or we’d have killed all the soldiers of Nero.
At length a cursed unlucky shot        65
Struck Warren in a vital spot:
  “I fall” cries he,” for liberty;
I freely bleed if we succeed,
O may my country soon be freed!”
  Thus died a republican hero.        70

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