Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Song: ‘When first, by Heaven’s inspiring skill’
          Sung at the tenth anniversary of the Palmetto Society (1786), in Charleston, in commemoration of the defence of Fort Moultrie, 28th June, 1776

WHEN first, by Heaven’s inspiring skill,
  Columbus cross’d the western sea;
The fates proclaim’d their sovereign will,
  “This continent shall e’er be free.”
    Hail! Americans, your ancient rights defend,        5
    Let freedom to your sons descend.
Though foreign mercenary bands
  With British tyranny combine;
Yet bold and firm our country stands,
      Her choicest sons to save her join,
                Hail! &c.
We’ve seen her host repulsed with shame;
  We’ve seen her haughty fleet retire;
Whilst our brave troops gained a name,
  Which unborn ages shall admire.
                Hail! &c.
Our conquering youths, with zeal inspired,        15
  Wide o’er the globe shall be renown’d,
With more than Roman virtue fired,
  With more than Roman glory crown’d,
                Hail! &c.
Our empire, fraught with youthful rage,
  Its vigorous branches wide displays:        20
Whilst pale Britannia, worn with age,
  And vice, and luxury, decays.
                Hail! &c.
Let annual joys their fame prolong,
  Let infants lisp the wondrous tale;
Record them in the social song,        25
  Let history’s page their deeds reveal.
                Hail! &c.
Come, all ye friends of freedom, join
  To solemnize this festive day;
While mirth, and joy, and generous wine
  More vigour to the mind convey.
                Hail! &c.

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