Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Ode: ‘From Britain’s sea-girt isle’
Sung in Boston, June 1, 1789, at the artillery election

FROM Britain’s sea-girt isle,
Where Flora’s richest smile
    Luxuriant glows,
To this, then, desert waste,
By savages possess’d,        5
To be with freedom blest,
    In calm repose,
Our enterprising sires,
Warm’d with fair Freedom’s fires,
    Adventurous came.        10
Here they their dwelling made,
Their standard here display’d;
Beneath the wide woods’ shade,
    Set up their claim.
By faithless foes compell’d        15
To tread the sanguine field,
    Unskill’d in war,
This institution made
To teach its martial trade,
To wield the shining blade,        20
    The foe to dare.
While the same martial fire
That did their breasts inspire,
    Our bosoms warms,
May we, with equal zeal        25
Pursue the public weal,
Nor fear the bloody steel,
    If call’d to arms!
Illustrious founders, hail!
This day your patriot zeal        30
    Your sons proclaim.
Your names we venerate;
Your glory emulate;
And tell our sons how great
    Their grandsires’ fame.        35
Hark! the loud trumps proclaim
Washington’s glorious name,
    Charge! fill again,
Fill the bowl—fill it high,
First-born son of the sky,        40
May his glory never die!
    Heaven shout, amen.

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