Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
His Captors to Andre
By James William Miller (d. 1829)
LOOK on us, Briton! readest thou
  Aught base or craven here?
On these swart lips and toil-worn brows
  Is stamp’d the sign of fear!
Look, man of courts, for know’st thou not        5
  Rude arms and peasant-vest
Are lightnings in a patriot’s grasp,
  Proof-mail upon his breast?
Go to! we would not wrong the truth
  That fills thy noble eye;        10
That broad, pale forehead’s lift of pride
  Should take no shameful dye;
We would not that a bribe should be
  Clasp’d in a brave man’s hold;
’Tis a base weapon, vainly drawn—        15
  Briton! put up thy gold!
Nor hope thou thus by prayer or threat
  To go hence free and proud;
How faintly falls the speech of man
  When God’s deep voice is loud!        20
God and our country! hallow’d word!
  Breathe it but in thy heart—
Briton! then crave us that we bid
  A mortal foe depart.
Within our souls there is a voice—        25
  Within our eyes a fire—
Leaving to pity’s moan no ear,
  No glance to low desire:
Our country’s wrong—our country’s hope—
  Are written on heaven’s wall;        30
We may but read that lightning scroll—
  Hear but its thunder call.
We may but meet thee as a foe—
  Lead thee but as a slave;
Start’st thou? yet that proud form may bow        35
  To fill a felon’s grave!
Go thou with us—our last resolve—
  Perchance thy doom—is told;
Think’st thou to buy a patriot’s soul!
  Briton! put up thy gold!        40

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.