Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
When Our Great Sires
Tune—“Rule, Britannia”

WHEN our great sires this land explored,
  A shelter from tyrannic wrong!
Led on by heaven’s Almighty Lord,
  They sung—and acted well the song,
Rise united! dare be freed!        5
Our sons shall vindicate the deed.
In vain the region they would gain
  Was distant, dreary, undisclosed;
In vain the Atlantic roar’d between;
  And hosts of savages opposed;        10
They rush’d undaunted, Heaven decreed
Their sons should vindicate the deed.
’Twas Freedom led the veterans forth,
  And manly fortitude to bear;
They toil’d, they vanquish’d! such high worth        15
  Is always Heaven’s peculiar care.
Their great example still inspires,
Nor dare we act beneath our sires.
’Tis ours undaunted to defend
  The dear-bought, rich inheritance;        20
And spite of each invading hand,
  We’ll fight, bleed, die, in its defence!
Pursue our fathers’ paths of fame,
And emulate their glorious flame.
As the proud oak inglorious stands,        25
  Till storms and thunder root it fast,
So stood our new, unpractised bands,
  Till Britain roar’d her stormy blast;
Then, see, they vanquish’d! fierce led on
By Freedom and great Washington.        30

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