Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Battle of Orleans
By Charles Mead
WHEN Britain’s proud legions invaded our shore,
  For valour and conquest exulting so high;
The heavens were rent with their cannon’s loud roar,
  And war’s flaming torches illumined the sky.
Columbia’s fair genius, with eagle-eyed gaze,        5
  The contest beheld from her evergreen throne,
Saw blood-cover’d plains and our cities’ bright blaze,
  And call’d to the contest her favourite son.
Then Jackson, who long, both in council and war,
  Had labour’d with wisdom, with prudence, and zeal,        10
For the good of his country, her glory, and power,
  Repair’d to the field with his veterans of steel.
Britannia’s loud thunders awaken’d the land,
  Bellona rode swiftly around in her car;
As the boasted invincible, conquering band        15
  Exultingly gain’d Mississippi’s fair shore.
The rocket’s bright glare hail’d the dawn of the day,
  Of which in a sorrowful strain they must tell,
When their choicest battalions, so valiant and gay,
  Before the American yeomanry fell.        20
For, met by the valorous sons of the west,
  They found that their boasting and threats were in vain;
A tempest of lead put their leaders to rest,
  And cover’d the ground with the heaps of the slain.
The Britons beheld, with affright and despair,        25
  Our ensigns in triumph so splendidly wave;
The sun shone like blood, through the thick smoke of war,
  But honour’s bright haloes encircled the brave.
And now let a thrill of warm gratitude rise,
  While joyously sounding the accents of praise;        30
Our songs shall proclaim to the earth and the skies,
  The contest was ended in glory’s bright blaze.
Our banners that wave o’er old Neptune’s domain,
  Protect, uninsulted, our subjects who roam,
In blessings their forefathers died to obtain,        35
  To rights on the ocean, a country and home.
Let joyous emotions now cheer every soul,
  And freedom’s pure incense to heaven ascend;
For ne’er will we yield to a foreign control,
  While earth yields support to the children of men.        40

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