Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Battle of Princeton
STERN winter scowl’d along the plain,
And ruthless Boreas urged amain
  His fierce, impetuous course;
In ice the watery regions bound,
The torrent’s foaming rage confound        5
  And stop its boisterous force.
While hostile bands their rights invade,
Columbia’s sons in tents were laid,
  And winter’s blasts defied:
No foes appal, no dangers fright,        10
Whilst Freedom’s sacred cause they fight,
  And Washington’s their guide.
While slumbers seal’d the hero’s eyes,
He saw a godlike form arise,
  Like martial Pallas drest;        15
’Twas Liberty! celestial maid!
In all her golden charms array’d,
  The goddess stood confess’d.
“My son,” she cried, “the gods above,
Thy country’s sacred cause approve,        20
  And on thy virtues smile;
Though proud oppression waste the land,
Yet freedom purchased by thy hand
  Shall soon reward thy toil.
Lo! where Britannia’s banners rise        25
In awful pomp, and brave the skies;
  Exulting o’er the land;
Her haughty legions soon shall feel
The force of thine avenging steel,
  And this thy chosen band.        30
Though veterans compose their train,
And tenfold legions fill the plain,
  To martial deeds inured;
Undaunted rise and take the field,
For Liberty shall lend her shield        35
  And Victory her sword.”
Up rose the chief, at the command,
And straight convened his faithful band,
  Inspired by freedom’s lore;
Egyptian darkness veil’d the night,        40
But Liberty’s celestial light
  Their footsteps went before.
Where Princeton rears the muse’s seat,
In arms the hostile legions met,
  And fate upheld the scale;        45
Forth rush’d the blazing orb of light
To add new glories to the sight,
  When Freedom’s sons assail.
Like Mars, Columbia’s hero stood;
Her haughty foes were drench’d in blood,        50
  Or shunn’d the doubtful fight;
Whilst Britons shame and grief confound,
Fair Liberty the victors crown’d
  With honours ever bright.
Henceforth the grateful muse shall twine        55
Her annual wreath at Freedom’s shrine,
  The hero’s brow to grace;
By whose victorious arm restored,
No more she flies the hostile sword,
  But hails her native place.        60
And still with the revolving year,
A garland shall the muse prepare,
  To deck her Mercer’s urn;
While Freedom fills the trump of fame,
Columbia shall revere his name,        65
  His fate her sons shall mourn.

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