Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
An Ode for the Brave—1812
 
HARK! the drum—the bugle sounds!
  Rouse to arms, ye spirits brave!
Hark! the warning notes resound!
  See! the signal banners wave!
 
Hearts that feel, and breasts that glow,        5
  ’Tis your country bids you rise:
Yours the glory, yours the foe:
  Raise your eagle to the skies.
 
Yes! no more, by cobwebs bound,
  Shall her wings be vainly spread;        10
She shall scorn to creep the ground;
  She shall now exalt her head.
 
Proudly she ascends the sky,
  In a blaze of wrath renew’d:
Shall her shafts surcease to fly,        15
  Till her foes are all subdued?
 
Freemen! on the briny waves,
  Where we’ve suffer’d much and long—
Where our brethren groan as slaves,
  There will we avenge the wrong!        20
 
Heroes on the bloodstain’d soil,
  Where our fathers fought of old;
There will we renew the toil,
  There erect the standard bold!
 
Lo! its banners now appear!        25
  To that standard then repair;
Far away be dastard fear;
  Form a breasted bulwark there!
 
For our sweethearts—children—wives,
  Let us rally in our might;        30
For our liberty and lives,
  Let us join the glorious fight!
 
Is there one—a milky heart,
  Curdling at the thought of death;
Shrinking from a valiant part,        35
  To prolong a puny breath?
 
Go, then, coward! slave, retire!
  Thou shalt forfeit virtue’s smile;
Cold contempt, unblest desire,
  Shall reward inglorious toil!        40
 
Hearts, that beat at honour’s call,
  Feeling for your country’s wo,
Join the contest, one and all;
  Hurl your thunders on the foe!
 
Like a mighty torrent roll,        45
  Waters which combine their force:
Who shall then the wrath control?
  Can the feeble stem its course?
 
O! the laurels that are spread
  O’er the fallen hero’s grave;        50
And the tears by virtue shed,
  In remembrance of the brave!
 
O! for beauty’s virgin smile,
  Which returning victors meet!
Sacred wreaths for glorious toil—        55
  These are inspirations sweet!
 
Sons of Freedom! march away!
  Valour pants with every breath;
Burns impatient for the fray—
  Now for victory or death!         60
 
 
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