Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
II. Freedom
Song of the Western Men
Robert Stephen Hawker (1803–1875)
 
   [After the English Revolution of 1688, all bishops were compelled to swear allegiance to William and Mary. Seven of them, adherents of James II., refused and were imprisoned for treason,—the “Non-Jurors.” Trelawney of Cornwall was one.]

A GOOD sword and a trusty hand,
  A merry heart and true,
King James’s men shall understand
  What Cornish lads can do.
And have they fixed the where and when,        5
  And shall Trelawney die?
Then twenty thousand Cornish men
  Will know the reason why.
What! will they scorn Tre, Pol, and Pen?
  And shall Trelawney die?        10
Then twenty thousand under ground
  Will know the reason why.
 
Out spake the captain brave and bold,
  A merry wight was he:
“Though London’s Tower were Michael’s hold,        15
  We ’ll set Trelawney free.
We ’ll cross the Tamar hand to hand,
  The Exe shall be no stay;
We ’ll side by side from strand to strand,
  And who shall bid us nay?        20
What! will they scorn Tre, Pol, and Pen?
  And shall Trelawney die?
Then twenty thousand Cornish men
  Will know the reason why.
 
“And when we come to London wall        25
  We ’ll shout with it in view,
‘Come forth, come forth, ye cowards all!
  We ’re better men than you!
Trelawney, he ’s in keep and hold,
  Trelawney, he may die;        30
But here ’s twenty thousand Cornish bold
  Will know the reason why!’
What! will they scorn Tre, Pol, and Pen?
  And shall Trelawney die?
Then twenty thousand under ground        35
  Will know the reason why.”
 
 
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