Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Battle of North Point
Tune—“Anacreon in Heaven”

HARK, hark! was the cry, when Baltimore town
  Was besieged by the plundering Cockburn and Co.;
Hear you not the great guns, hear ye not the trump sound?
  Haste, haste! was the cry; let us meet the proud foe,
Let us march heart and hand, let us make a bold stand,        5
And teach those invaders to cautiously land;
For this ground our fathers declared should be free,
And, as dutiful sons, we’ll enforce their decree.
Our general gave orders for the troops to march down,
  To meet the proud Ross, and to check his ambition,        10
To inform him that we have decreed in our town,
  That here he can’t enter without our permission;
And if life he regards, he will not press too hard,
For Baltimore freemen are ever prepared
To check the presumptuous, whoever they be,        15
That may rashly attempt to evade our decree.
Brave General Stricker commands our brigade:
  This patriot and soldier of old Revolution
Expects every man will afford him his aid,
  To meet and repulse these mad slaves of delusion;        20
His commands are to form—says our work will be warm,
And exhorts every man to prepare for the storm;
Shall we basely submit, my brave soldiers, says he,
Or fly to the standard, there fight to be free?
Brave Sterett of yore, with the Fifth 1 led the van,        25
  And his cry was, Old Bladensburg, boys, now remember,
We have fought them before, we must fight them again;
  Our city, my boys, we can never surrender;
March, march! was his cry; haste forward! we fly;
Fear not, my brave men, we for freedom can die;        30
Our forefathers died to enforce this decree,
That we should enjoy both the land and the sea.
The brave Twenty-Seventh, 2 commanded by Long—
  Long life and long health to our brave old commander!
His cry was, Boys, forward! we’ll meet this great don,        35
  By Wellington taught; ay, this great Alexander,
This hero from Spain, this monster of fame;
Sure, Washington city records, to his shame;
He has sworn, in our city to-morrow he’ll dine,
So forward! boys, forward! and balk his design.        40
We march’d for North Point, and encamp’d for the night,
  Prepared for attack by the light of the morning;
Near hand to Bear Creek we prepared for the fight,
  The fatigues of the field and the danger still scorning,
As this was the day great Ross was heard say        45
He would dine in our town, he’d no longer delay;
So we formed our line in the old Yankee style,
To wait for this lord from the fast-anchor’d isle.
Our worthy, brave patriot remember’d shall be,
  The statesman, the soldier, our brave Donaldson;        50
His address to our soldiers was, Men, we are free!
  God will protect us; fear not; we’ll fight on:
Our God is our shield, we never can yield
What our forefathers earn’d by their blood in the field.
These slaves of Old England repulsed must be;        55
We must curtail this pride of the royal grandee.
Scarce had he spoke, when express brought the news
  That Ross was in sight, on his foaming steed prancing:
Then part of the Bladensburg heroes were chose 3
  To wait on his lordship, then boldly advancing;        60
When, lo, their first fire brought down great Goliath;
He went down to dine with his aged grandsire.
To dine in our city determined was he,
Or else dine in hell, 4 so there let him be.
Now their columns advance in majestic array,        65
  Threw rockets and shells, with a view to confound us,
Manœuvred some time, their columns display,
  Manœuvred again, with intent to surround us,
While Montgomery’s guns, well charged by his sons,
Cut lanes through the columns of those haughty dons,        70
While the sons of brave Fowler, of Sterett and Long,
Fired double-quick-time, and their powder was strong.
Our twelve hundred freemen, collected by chance,
  Were opposed to this well-chosen band of old Nero’s,
Who had long in old Spain fought the armies of France,        75
  And long had been called Lord Wellington’s heroes.
They sent us, by spells, shots, rockets, and shells,
Which sent many brave fellows down to their cells;
So we gave them twelve rounds, it was true Yankee fire,
But being outflank’d, we were forced to retire.        80
But with old commodore we soon rallied again;
  On the right, with his jolly brave tars took his station;
On our left General Winder manœuvred his men,
  With intent to surround these dread foes of the nation,
Who faintly pursue, took a telescope view—        85
But, Halt! cries old Brock, this manœuvre won’t do;
About face, my boys! march, march for the fleet,
Ere this d—d Yankee general cuts off our retreat.
Sixteen hundred bombs, by old Cockburn’s command,
  At our fort were discharged by his famed sons of plunder,        90
While unmoved stood brave Armistead, and well-chosen band,
  Sending back their full change in red-hot Yankee thunder.
’Board the ships that drew nigh was a dreadful outcry;
’Bout ship! was the word; we from danger must fly;
This d——d Yankee powder’s too strong, you may see,        95
For his majesty’s ships; so, boys, “helm’s a-lee.”
Hail, sons of Hibernia! who deserve our applause;
  Hail, hail, sons of freedom! of each state and nation,
Who flew to our standard, defended our cause,
  You merit our thanks, you have our approbation;        100
May our daughters so fair reward with their care
All foreigners who to our standard repair;
Defend our freedom, our laws and our land,
You deserve your reward; take our daughters’ fair hand.
To conclude, here’s a health to our chief men and Co.;        105
  Their judicious plan was our city’s salvation;
To our officers, generals, rich, poor, high or low,
  Our soldiers, our sailors, our friends, and our nation.
Now pause, for the slain, who died to maintain
Columbia’s rights on the land and the main;        110
Peace, peace to their shades! to their memory a tear!
Of their sons may the great God of battles take care!
Note 1. This regiment was at Bladensburg, and crowned itself with glory. [back]
Note 2. This regiment received the enemy’s fire with the firmness of veterans. The officers were obliged to compel them by force to leave the ground. Their adjutant, Donaldson, was killed; their first major, Moore, was wounded; Captain Edes received several balls through his clothes; many men killed, and some taken prisoners. [back]
Note 3. Two companies of the fifth regiment, led by the brave Major Heath, who had two horses shot under him. [back]
Note 4. Ross said he would dine in Baltimore on the 12th of September, or in hell; he cared not if it rained militia. [back]

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