Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
On the Approach of the British to Baltimore—1814
By Margaret Botsford (b. 1790?)
LO! Britain’s haughty sons invade our shore!
Hark the shrill clarion’s sound! the cannons’ roar;
Elate with conquest, rapid their approach,
Say, with impunity shall they encroach?
Arise, Columbians! arm in Freedom’s cause!        5
Repel intruders, who would frame your laws.
Was it for this, O Heaven, our heroes bled,
Our brave forefathers’ sacred blood was shed?
Must freedom, dearly earn’d, at length be lost?
—Forbid it, Heaven! and stop a tyrant’s boast.        10
Ye heirs of Liberty! your rights assert;
The daring foe will soon meet his desert.
Intrepidly go arm! unite with zeal;
Despise his menaces; teach him to feel
How impotent his arm when freemen rise        15
To assert his rights and arrogance despise.
The fatal blow aim at each Briton’s heart,
Who’d force ye with dear liberty to part?
Say, could ye be ignoble? will freemen yield
Grasp firm your swords, ye brave. On to the field!        20
Shade of the great, the godlike Washington,
Thee we invoke! Benignant saint, look down;
Be thou a guardian angel hovering near,
For, next thy God, thy country was most dear.
That patriotic ardour, matchless chief,        25
Which oft impell’d thee, hopeless of relief,
Through toils and dangers to a powerful foe,
Should in the breast of each Columbian glow.
O, hear, bless’d saint; descend and hover near;
O, guard the freedom which was bought so dear.        30
Columbians, rise! the eagle boldly wave;
Gp meet proud Albion’s sons;—rush on, ye brave;
Firmly contend for rights, for liberty;
Let “Victory or death” your motto be.

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