Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
An Ode: ‘Ye sons of Freedom! to the field repair’
To the Volunteers of 1812

“Arm, arm and out.”—Shakespeare.

YE sons of Freedom! to the field repair,
And all the dangers of the tempest dare;
  Bright from the scabbard bid the sabre leap!
From north to south thy banners broad unfurl;
O’er Abra’ms plains re-echoing thunders hurl,        5
  And flash thy volley’d lightning on the deep.
Arm, freemen, arm! will you, who from your shore
Exiled the Saxon satellite before;
Will you, again, his influences own,
And bend obeisant at a tyrant’s throne;        10
Vassals to him! shall this become your lot,
And Freedom’s sacred charter be forgot?
I’d rather, torn from competence and home,
  Eat the vile scrap solicitude obtains;
Cold, through Kamtschatka’s frozen regions roam,        15
  Where, veil’d in night, eternal winter reigns,
Than see my country to injustice cower,
And own the mandate of a despot’s power.
Arm, freemen, arm! Delusion’s veil is rent;
Ho! every gallant spirit to his tent!        20
  Ho! from the vale, the mountain and the brake!
Let none from duty’s impositions swerve:
Brace to its firmest tension every nerve!
  Bid all thy slumbering energies awake!
Basks there a man in Freedom’s light,        25
Who would refuse for Liberty to fight,
  Her country, fame, and character at stake?
Place me amid Siberian deserts, where
  Carved in eternal snow, Samoides dwell;
Mid Afric’s scorching sand and fetid air,        30
  Or where dread Upas darts her venom fell,
Yet would my heart, in patriotism true,
Breathe its last sigh, O, Liberty, for you!
Arm, freemen, arm! loud sounds the trump of war;
  The clang of conflict rends your eastern sky;        35
Lo! Bella hither plies her crimson car!
  Lo! heroes press, to conquer or to die;
“Arm, arm and out!” obtain yourselves a name,
And live immortal on the rolls of Fame!
So, when of old the tyrant Xerxes rose,        40
And press’d Athenæ with unnumber’d foes,
Elate, to arms her generous children flew!
The burnish’d spear and ponderous truncheon drew;
The host barbaric sought, with eager eye,
Alone intent to conquer, or to die;        45
While the pale despot, struck with terror, fled!
And left his legions number’d with the dead.

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