Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Lines: ‘Hail! sons of generous valour’
By Joseph Rodman Drake (1795–1820)
Addressed to the defenders of New Orleans, a few days previous to the 8th of January, 1815

HAIL! sons of generous valour
  Who now embattled stand!
To wield the brand of strife and blood,
  For freedom and the land;
And hail to him, your laurell’d chief!        5
  Around whose trophied name
A nation’s gratitude has twined
  The wreath of deathless fame.
Now round that gallant leader,
  Your iron phalanx form;        10
And throw, like ocean’s barrier rocks,
  Your bosoms to the storm;—
Though wild as ocean’s waves it rolls,
  Its fury shall be low;
For Justice guides the warrior’s steel,        15
  And Vengeance strikes the blow.
High o’er the gleaming columns
  The banner’d star appears;
And proud, amid the martial band,
  His crest the eagle rears;—        20
As long as patriot valour’s arm
  Shall win the battle’s prize,
That star shall beam triumphantly,
  That eagle seek the skies.
Then on! ye daring spirits!        25
  To danger’s tumults now!
The bowl is fill’d, and wreath’d the crown,
  To grace the victor’s brow;
And they who for their country die
  Shall fill an honour’d grave;        30
For glory lights the soldier’s tomb,
  And beauty weeps the brave.

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