Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Brilliant Naval Victories
By Henry C. Lewis
An American song to a British tune, viz., “Battle of the Nile”

TO arms, to arms! Republic of the West!
  Assert your rights, avenge your wrongs afar;
To arms, to arms! Republic of the West!
  And show the world what freemen are in war!
This was the voice of chieftains call’d to duty,        5
And freemen, at the word, left country, home, and beauty;
      Resolving to maintain,
      Their rights upon the main:
      Resolving to maintain
      Their rights upon the main:        10
And wave their Eagle flag o’er Lion foes again.
To arms, huzza! to arms, huzza! Columbia!
  Heaven will guard the flag that Justice has unfurl’d:
To arms, huzza! to arms, huzza! Columbia!
  And gun to gun, and man to man, defy the world.        15
The Queen of Ocean, insolent and vain,
  Had long usurp’d the freedom of the seas;
And with her thousand ships upon the main,
  Call’d on the world to bow to her decrees;
Orders in council—British legislation        20
Must be obey’d by each and every neutral nation;
      But freemen with disdain
      Opposed her servile chain;
      But freemen with disdain
      Opposed her servile chain,        25
And rose, indignant rose, to meet her on the main.
    To arms, huzza! &c.
Britannia, once so great, with proud disdain,
  Sent thundering to the main her seaborn slaves;
To scourge our daring pride—our vaunting vain—
  And sweep our flag from off the mountain waves!        30
Her Guerriere first sought noble Hull’s surrender,
But Hull return’d her only iron bolts of thunder!
      Which made the enemy
      Soon yield the victory—
      Which made the enemy        35
      Soon yield the victory,
While safely waved our starry flag triumphantly!
    To arms, huzza! &c.
In battle trim, (fit emblem of our fleet,)
  The Wasp and Hornet proudly plough the main;
And soon with Britons bold they fearless meet,        40
  And bravely wage the daring war again.
Free trade and sailor’s rights, the cannon rattles!
And for our Jones and Lawrence soon decide the battles!
      Britannia’s Frolic’s o’er,
      Her Peacock is no more;        45
      Britannia’s Frolic’s o’er,
      Her Peacock is no more,
And every tar proclaim’d the hero of his shore.
    To arms, huzza! &c.
To gain his country laurels and applause,
  Another hero dares the astonish’d foe;        50
And soon in glory to our righteous cause,
  Our Constitution lays the Java low!
The freedom of the seas, each tar maintaining
And commerce, and our rights with loud huzzas proclaiming.
      And Bainbridge read his name,        55
      Bright on the roll of fame;
      And Bainbridge read his name,
      Bright on the roll of fame,
Emblazon’d by the Java bursting into flame!
    To arms, huzza! &c.
The royal Macedonian, Albion’s pride,        60
  Decatur hail’d, a deathless name to gain;
And, proud of such a foe, at once defied
  Her boasted prowess vaunting on the main!
The battle rages godlike! hark! what clashing!
Destruction’s o’er her flag! what dreadful, thundering crashing!        65
      She strikes, she strikes, huzza!
      Exclaims each freeborn tar;
      She strikes, she strikes, huzza!
      Exclaims each freeborn tar,
And brave Decatur hail triumphant through the war!
    To arms, huzza! &c.
Prepare, again prepare your joyful songs,
  The hero of Ontario to greet;
A grateful nation’s praise again belongs
  To Chauncey, who all foemen dread to meet!
Through boasting Yeo’s fleet he sail’d victorious,        75
And now his honour’d name through all the world is glorious.
      The vaunting Briton flies,
      Brave Chauncey “victory” cries!
      The vaunting Briton flies,
      Brave Chauncey “victory” cries!        80
And in the flying fight full many a foeman dies!
    To arms, huzza! &c.
Sound, sound for him the martial trump of Fame,
  Who on our foes complete destruction hurl’d!
Sound louder still the gallant hero’s name,
  Who spread our glory through the warring world.        85
Led on to fame by great immortal Perry,
Victorious rode our ships o’er British-blood-stain’d Erie!
      Their fleet of hostile powers,
      “He met, and they were ours!”
      Their fleet of hostile powers,        90
      “He met, and they were ours!”
And Albion wept that day o’er all her fading flowers!
    To arms, huzza! &c.
The voice of sacred praise be justly due,
  To sainted Lawrence, Freedom’s favourite son!
Lamented Burrows claims our honours too—        95
  His country’s laurels he too dearly won!
Though lost for evermore, they’re still our glory,
And both shall ever live in many a naval story!
      Their dying minstrelsy
      Was loud artillery;        100
      Their dying minstrelsy
      Was loud artillery,
And Britain honour’d such true sons of liberty.
    To arms, huzza! &c.
Brethren in arms! with honest pride, behold
  Our naval columns rising to your fame;        105
Blazing on high with characters of gold,
  In brilliant glory to his honour’d name!
And without number lighted windows flaming,
In tribute to the brave each gallant action naming!
      Which shall immortal be,        110
      In grateful memory;
      Which shall immortal be,
      In grateful memory,
And sung in choral strains by all posterity!
  To arms, huzza! to arms, huzza! Columbia!        115
    Revenge your injured flag, protect your rights and laws;
  To arms, huzza! to arms, huzza! Columbia!
    And bear the olive home with honour and applause.

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