Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
To the Volunteers
SOLDIER, hear that solemn call!
No true heart it can appal;
Honour bids you take the field—
To her dictates only, yield!
Who is he so base to pause        5
In his country’s sacred cause?
’Twas not so your fathers fought,
’Twas not thus their sons they taught!
Hark! your sires,—“Go, go, my son,
Go where glory may be won,        10
Seek it in the embattled plain,
Fight, nay die, the palm to gain.”
By the pride of ancient days—
By the hero’s well-won praise—
By your country’s dearest right—        15
Soldier, soldier, dare the fight.
By the patriots now at rest,
(In their country’s praises blest)
By your Washington’s dread might,
Soldier, soldier, dare the fight!        20
Europe’s tigers red with blood,
Like an overwhelming flood,
On our peaceful, blissful shore,
Would the tide of ruin pour.
’Tis a common cause we try,        25
’Tis Honour, Fame, and Liberty!
’Tis life, ’tis home, and all things dear!
God of Hosts, in mercy hear!
See your western brethren bleed!
British gold has done the deed;        30
Child and mother, son and sire,
Beneath the tomahawk expire.
Soldier, life is but a day,
Transient as the sunny ray;
Would you fill a coward’s grave,        35
This evanescent good to save?
Yet midst battle’s wild alarms,
Midst the clattering din of arms,
Let Pity move—let mercy spare—
’Tis thy brother meets thee there.        40
Nor comes he there thy foe by choice—
Listen, then, to mercy’s voice!
Cherish love’s benignant glow,
Midst the scenes of death and woe.
He who sees a sparrow fall,        45
Sees thee prompt at duty’s call;
He who numbers every hair,
God of Battles, guards thee there;
Till Victory, espousing Peace,
Shall bid contending armies cease!        50

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