Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Taxation of America
 
WHILE I relate my story, Americans give ear;
Of Britain’s fading glory, you presently shall hear,
I’ll give you a true relation, attend to what I say,
Concerning the taxation of North America.
 
The cruel lords of Britain, who glory in their shame,        5
The project they have lit on they joyfully proclaim;
’Tis what they’re striving after, our rights to take away,
And rob us of our charter in North America.
 
There are two mighty speakers, who rule in Parliament,
Who always have been seeking some mischief to invent,        10
’Twas North, and Bute, his father, this horrid plan did lay,
A mighty tax to gather in North America.
 
He search’d the gloomy regions of the infernal pit,
To find among those legions one who excell’d in wit,
To ask of him assistance, or tell them how they may        15
Subdue without resistance this North America.
 
Old Satan, the arch traitor, resolved a voyage to take,
Who rules sole navigator on the burning lake;
For the Britannic ocean he launches far away,
To land he had no notion in North America.        20
 
He takes his seat in Britain, it was his soul’s intent,
Great George’s throne to sit on, and rule the Parliament,
His comrades were pursuing a diabolic way,
For to complete the ruin of North America.
 
He tried the art of magic to bring his schemes about,        25
At length the gloomy project he artfully found out;
The plan was long indulged in a clandestine way,
But lately was divulged in North America.
 
Those subtle arch-combiners address’d the British court,
All three were undersigners of this obscene report—        30
There is a pleasant landscape that lieth far away,
Beyond the wide Atlantic in North America.
 
There is a wealthy people, who sojourn in that land;
Their churches all with steeples, most delicately stand;
Their houses, like the gilly, are painted red and gay;        35
They flourish like the lily in North America.
 
Their land with milk and honey continually doth flow,
The want of food or money they seldom ever know:
They heap up golden treasure, they have no debts to pay,
They spend their time in pleasure in North America.        40
 
On turkeys, fowls, and fishes most frequently they dine,
With gold and silver dishes, their tables always shine,
They crown their feasts with butter, they eat and rise to play,
In silks their ladies flutter in North America.
 
With gold and silver laces, they do themselves adorn,        45
The rubies deck their faces, refulgent as the morn!
Wine sparkles in their glasses, they spend each happy day
In merriment and dances, in North America.
 
Let not our suit affront you, when we address your throne,
O king this wealthy country and subjects are your own,        50
And you their rightful sovereign, they truly must obey,
You have a right to govern this North America.
 
O king, you’ve heard the sequel of what we now subscribe,
Is it not just and equal to tax this wealthy tribe?
The question being asked, his majesty did say,        55
My subjects shall be taxed in North America.
 
Invested with a warrant, my publicans shall go,
The tenth of all their current they surely shall bestow,
If they indulge rebellion, or from my precepts stray,
I’ll send my war battalion to North America.        60
 
I’ll rally all my forces by water and by land,
My light dragoons and horses shall go at my command,
I’ll burn both town and city, with smoke becloud the day,
I’ll show no human pity for North America.
 
Go on, my hearty soldiers, you need not fear of ill—        65
There’s Hutchinson and Rogers, their functions will fulfil—
They tell such ample stories, believe them sure we may,
That one half of them are tories in North America.
 
My gallant ships are ready to hoist you o’er the flood,
And in my cause be steady, which is supremely good;        70
Go ravage, steal, and plunder, and you shall have the prey;
They quickly will knock under in North America.
 
The laws I have enacted, I never will revoke,
Although they are neglected, my fury to provoke,
I will forbear to flatter, I’ll rule with mighty sway;        75
I’ll take away the charter from North America.
 
O George! you are distracted, by sad experience find
The laws you have enacted are of the blackest kind.
I’ll make a short digression, and tell you by the way,
We fear not your oppression in North America.        80
 
Our fathers were distressed, while in their native land;
By tyrants were oppressed, as I do understand;
For freedom and religion they were resolved to stray,
And try the desert regions of North America.
 
Heaven was their protector while on the roaring tide,        85
Kind fortune their director, and providence their guide;
If I am not mistaken, about the first of May,
This voyage was undertaken for North America.
 
To sail they were commanded, about the hour of noon,
At Plymouth shore they landed, the twenty-first of June;        90
The savages were nettled, with fear they fled away,
And peaceably they settled in North America.
 
We are their bold descendants, for liberty we’ll fight,
The claim to independence we challenge as our right,
’Tis what kind Heaven gave us, who can take away?        95
Kind Heaven, too, will save us in North America.
 
We never will knock under, O George, we do not fear
The rattling of your thunder, nor lightning of your spear:
Though rebels you declare us, we’re strangers to dismay;
Therefore you can’t scare us in North America.        100
 
To what you have commanded, we never will consent;
Although your troops are landed upon the continent;
We’ll take our swords and muskets, and march in bright array,
And drive the British rustics from North America.
 
We have a bold commander who fears not sword nor gun,        105
The second Alexander, his name is Washington,
His men are all collected, and ready for the fray,
To fight they are directed for North America.
 
We’ve Greene, Gates, and Putnam, to manage in the field,
A gallant train of footmen, who’d rather die than yield;        110
A stately troop of horses train’d in a martial way,
For to augment our forces in North America.
 
Proud George, you are engaged all in a dirty cause,
A cruel war hath raged repugnant to all laws,
Go tell the savage nations you’re crueller than they,        115
To fight your own relations in North America.
 
Ten millions you’ve expended, and twice ten millions more,
Our riches you intended should pay the mighty score,
Who now will stand your sponsor, your charges to defray,
For sure you cannot conquer this North America.        120
 
I’ll tell you, George, in metre, if you attend awhile,
We forced your Sir Peter from Sullivan’s fair isle;
At Monmouth too we gained the honours of the day—
The victory we obtained for North America.
 
Surely we were your betters, hard by the Brandywine;        125
We laid him fast in fetters, whose name was John Burgoyne,
We made your Howe to tremble with terror and dismay,
True heroes we resemble in North America.
 
Confusion to the tories, that black infernal name,
In which Great Britain glories, for ever to her shame;        130
We’ll send each foul revolter to smutty Africa,
Or noose him in a halter in North America.
 
A health to our brave footmen, who handle sword and gun,
To Greene, Gates, and Putman, and conquering Washington;
Their names be wrote in letters which never shall decay        135
While sun and moon doth glitter in North America.
 
Success unto our allies in Holland, France, and Spain,
Who man their ships and gallies, our freedom to maintain,
May they subdue the rangers of proud Britannia,
And drive them from their anchor in North America.        140
 
Success unto the Congress of these United States,
Who glory in the conquest of Washington and Gates;
To all, both land and seamen, who glories in the day,
When we shall all be freemen in North America.
 
Success to the legislation that rules with gentle hand,        145
To trade and navigation, by water and by land;
May all with one opinion our wholesome laws obey,
Throughout this vast dominion of North America.
 
 
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