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^^ A PAPER READ BEFORE THE
GENERAL DAVID HUMPHREYS
BRANCH OF THE CONNECTICUT
SOCIETY OF THE _SpNS OF THE
By General David Humphreys Branch of the Connecticut
Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
^rom ^€ |>rintin0 Pxcbb of
Unttle, il>orebou0e S, Ua^lor, Tiew 1)aven» Conn,
At the annual meeting of the " General David Humpbrejs Braneb
of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution"
held in New Haven , May 29th, 1898, the committee upon the Songa
of the Revolution made a report through its chairman, ex-Judge
Pickett ; and a paper prepared by Mr, Samuel E. Barney was read by
him and, revised and somewhat enlarged by the author, is now pub-
lished at the request, and under the auspices, of the Branch, by its
SONGS OF THE REVOLUTION
Mr. President and Gentlemen:
In behalf of the committee, consisting of Judge Pickett
and myself, appointed at the last meeting of this Society,
to collect and present for your consideration and enter-
tainment what information we could obtain concerning
the songs of the American Revolution, I have prepared
and respectfully present the following paper as the result
of our investigation and correspondence.
A diligent search has brought to light from a variety of
sources, especially from four, Duykincks' "Cyclopedia
of American Literature,*' published in 1855, to which my
attention was directed by a friend, McCarty's " National
Song Book,*' Griswold's " Curiosities of American Liter-
ature," and the " Poems of Philip Freneau," a consider-
able number of songs and ballads written, and some of
them sung, during the revolutionary time; though but
very few of the tunes to which they were sung appear
to be now known, which is to be regretted. Almost the
only one generally known at the present day being the
familiar " Yankee Doodle.**
Many of them are long and rather wearisome — more
interesting as showing the spirit of the time than for
poetic merit — but some are bright, blood-stirring and of
considerable merit poetically, and a few are really fine ;
others are quite amusing. I trust the specimens I shall
present will be found interesting.
Those of you who were present at our last meeting will
remember that our honored president recalled a line or
two of a revolutionary song which he had heard his
mother sing — a song which, no doubt, her father sung
when on that fearful march through the wilderness which
ended with the attack on Quebec and the death of Mont-
gomery. That song has been found in the *' Universal
Songster," published in London in 1832, and also in Duy-
kincks' book, and complete, with the music, is as follows:
HOW STANDS THE GLASS AROUND.
Melody from Musioal Supiilemeiit to the '' Illustrated London Newa,^^ of January 2A, 1862.
Harmonised for the Gteneral David Humphreys Branch of the Oonnectiout Society of the Sons of the
American Bevolution, by William B. Chandler.
Chorus in unison upper notes.
1. How stands the glass a - round 7 For shame 1 ye take no care, my boys, How
stands the glass a - - round? Let mirth and wine
The tram - pets sound: The col -ours they are flying, boys. To fight, kill, or woani
Ghonis in uniflon.
Kay we Btfll be found Oon- tent with our hard &te,ubqri, On the oold ground.
2. Why, soldiers, why,
Should we be melancholy, boys ?
Why, soldiers, why ?
Whose business 'tis to die !
What, sighing ? fie I
Don't fear, drink on, be jolly, boys !
Tis he, you or I !
Cold, hot, wet, or dry.
We're always bound to follow, bojrs,
And scorn to fly !
3. 'Tis but in vain, —
I mean not to upbraid you, boys, —
'Tis but in vain.
For soldiers to complain :
Should next campaign
Send us to Him who made us, boys,
We're free from pain !
But if we remain,
A bottle and a kind landlady w
Cure all again."
The writer and composer of this song are unknown. It
was produced under the title of " Why, Soldiers, Why ?*' at
a small theater in London as far back as 1729. It is usually
called "General Wolfe's Song," and is traditionally
said to have been sung by him the evening before his
attack on Quebec, where he gained a great victory over
Montcalm and lost his life — and is also said to have been
sung by Major John Andre at a complimentary banquet
given to him the evening before his departure on the
expedition which ended so fatally for him and so fortun-
ately for our country. The air to which it was sung is
noble and impressive, and, though originally adapted to
words of a somewhat bacchanalian character, is well cal-
culated to express deep pathos and lamentation, and
appeared in the " Illustrated London News '* for January
24th, 1852, as the " Mother's Lament," for her son slain in
battle, beginning " How mournful is my fate.*'
Here is a good one which was sung to the tune
*• Hearts of Oak," and was written prior to the revolution,
having been published at Philadelphia in the " Pennsyl-
vania Chronicle " July 4th, 1768, when the colonists were
becoming restive under the tyrannical measures of the
British ministry, but were still loyal to the crown and
hoped to obtain justice and remain so. Its authorship
seems to be in doubt, having been attributed to a lady,
Mrs. Mercy Warren, and also to John Dickinson.
Come, join hand and hand, brave Americans, all.
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call.
No tyrannous act shall suppress your just claim.
Or stain with dishonor America's name.
Our worthy forefathers (let's give them a cheer)
To climates unknown did courageously steer ;
Through oceans to deserts for freedom they came.
And, dying, bequeath'd us their freedom and fame.
Their generous bosoms all dangers despised.
So highly, so wisely, their birthright they prized ;
We'll keep what they gave, we will piously keep,
Nor frustrate their toils on the land and the deep.
The tree their own hands had to liberty rear'd,
They lived to behold growing strong and revered.
With transport then cried : " Now our wishes we gain.
For our children shall gather the fruits of our pain."
How sweet are the labors that freemen endure,
That they may enjoy all the profit, secure —
No more such sweet labors Americans know
If Britons shall reap what Americans sow.
Swarms of placemen and pensioners soon will appear
Like locusts deforming the charms of the 3rear ;
Suns vainly will rise, showers vainly descend,
If we are to drudge for what others shall spend.
Then join hand and hand, brave Americans all.
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall ;
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed
For Heaven approves of each generous deed.
All ages shall speak with amaze and applause
Of the courage we'll show in support of our laws.
To die we can bear, but to serve we disdain,
For shame is to freemen more dreadful than pain.
This bumper I crown for our sovereign's health.
And this for Britannia's glory and wealth ;
That wealth and that glory immortal may be,
If she is but just, and if we are but free.
The chorus for each verse is,
"In freedom we're bom, and in freedom we'll live,
Our purses are ready —
Steady, friends, steady ; —
Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we'll give."
In a biographical memoir of Commodore Joshua Barney
of Baltimore, edited by Mary Barney, and published in
1832, which quite unexpectedly came into my hands a
short time since, I found two naval songs of the revolu-
tionary time, written by one who may fairly be called the
poet-laureate of the American Revolution, of whom more
Commodore Barney (who, so far as I know, was not
related to my family), was, as you are aware, one of the
great naval heroes of the revolution — rivalling the cele-
brated Paul Jones in his achievements. He also greatly
distinguished himself during the war of 1812, especially
in the defense of Baltimore, and resistance at Bladensburg
to the British advance on the city of Washington — when^
with less than 500 sailors and marines and only 5 pieces
of artillery he held in check for several hours a well
equipped British army of 5,000 veteran soldiers, losing
only about 50 men while the loss of the enemy was more
than 1,100. Had the soldiers sent to coOperate with his
force been as well commanded and ef&cient the British
would probably not have been able to capture Washington
as they did.
, The first of these songs was written in 1782 while Barney
was preparing for sea, by the authority of the State of
Pennsylvania — the general government being unable to
afford the needed protection — a small ship named the
" Hyder-Ally " (Ali) of 16 guns and no men to protect the
commerce and shores of Delaware Bay and river from the
depredations of tory barges and privateers, and was sung
through the streets of Philadelphia ; and no doubt had a
powerful influence in enabling him to speedily fill up his
crew and get to sea, which he did in thirteen days. It is
Come all ye lads that know no fear,
To wealth and honor we will steer
In the Hyder-Ally privateer,
Commanded by bold Barney.
She's new and true, and tight and sound,
Well rigged aloft and all well found —
Come and be with laurel crown 'd —
Away and leave your lasses !
Accept our terms without delay.
And make your fortunes while you may,
Such offers are not every day
In the power of the jolly sailor.
— II —
Success and fame attend the brave»
But death the coward and die slave —
Who fears to plough the Atlantic wave
To seek out bold invaders ?
Come then and take a cruising bout —
Our ship sails well, there is no doubt ;
She has been tried both in and out,
And answers expectation.
Let no proud foes that Britain bore
Distress our trade, insult our shore —
Teach them to know their reign is o'er,
Bold Philadelphia sailors !
Well teach them not to sail so near.
Or venture on the Delaware,
When we in war-like trim appear,
And cruise without Henlopen.
Who cannot wounds and battle dare.
Shall never clasp the blooming fair ;
The brave alone their charms shall share.
The brave, and their protectors !
With hand and heart united all
Prepared to conquer or to fall.
Attend ray lads to honor's call —
Embark in our Hyder-Ally !
From an Eastern Prince she takes her name.
Who smit with freedom's sacred flame.
Usurping Britons brought to shame.
His country's wrongs avenging.
See on her stem the brilliant stars —
Inured to blood, inured to wars.
Come, enter quick, my jolly tars.
To scourge these haughty Britons.
Here's grog enough ! then drink a bout !
I know your hearts are firm and stout,
American blood will ne'er give out —
And often we have proved it !
— 12 —
Though stormy oceans round us roll,
We'll keep a firm undaunted soul,
Befriended by the cheering bowl.
Sworn foes to melancholy !
While timorous landsmen lurk on shore
'Tis ours to go where cannons roar-
On a coasting cruise we'll go once more,
Despisers of all danger.
And fortune still that crowns the brave
Shall guard us o'er the gloomy wave —
A fearful heart betrays the knave !
Success to the Hyder-Ally.
The other was written a few days after the battle with
and capture of — in less than thirty minutes and in the face
of a British frigate fast coming up — the British ship, Gen-
eral Monk, carrying 20 much heavier guns and 136 men,
nearly twice the weight of metal and one-fourth more men
than the Hyder-Ally. The battle was fought at close
quarters, was hotly contested, and the victory considered
a very brilliant one. Mr. Cooper, fifty years later, says
in his naval history, " this action has been justly deemed
one of the most brilliant that ever occurred under the
An anecdote will show the sort of men that manned the
American ship. Those doing duty as marines were all
Bucks county men, who had never been on board of a ship
before. Captain Barney, then only twenty-three years
old, conducted the fight, standing on the binnacle, the
most exposed point of his quarter-deck, during the whole
action, and being greatly annoyed by the musketry fire
from the enemy's tops, he ordered his marine officer to
direct the fire of his men into the top from which he suffered
most, which was done so well that every shot brought
down its man. And one of the marksmen, knowing more
about the use of his rifle than the rules of subordination
at sea, called out, " Captain, do you see that fellow with
the white hat ?" and firing as he spoke, the poor fellow
with the white hat sprang up fully three feet and fell to
rise no more, as the marksman continued, ** Captain, that's
the third fellow Tve made hop."
The song which celebrates this victory is as follows :
O'er the waste of waters cruising,
Long the General Monk had lieigned,
All subduing, all reducing —
None her lawless rage restrained !
Many a brave and hearty fellow,
Yielding to his warlike foe,
When her guns began to bellow.
Struck his humbled colors low !
But l^wn bold with long successes.
Leaving the wide wat'ry way.
She a stranger to distresses
Came to cruise within Cape May. —
" Now we soon," (said Captain Rogers),
" Shall the men of commerce meet ;
In our hold we'll have them lodgers.
We shall capture half their fleet."
" Lo ! I sec their van appearing —
Back our topsails to the mast.
They toward us full are steering
With a gentle western blast.
I've a list of all their cargoes,
All their guns, and all their men !
I am sure these modem Argos'
Can't escape us one in ten : — "
" Yonder comes the ' Charming Sally,'
Sailing with the ' General Greene ' —
First we'll fight the Hyder-Ally—
Taking Aer is taking fAem ;
She intends to give us battle !
Bearing down with all her sail !
Now, boys ! let our cannon rattle !
To take her, we cannot fail."
" Our twenty guns, each a nine-pounder.
Soon shall terrify this foe ;
We shall maul her, we shall wound her,
Bringing rebel colors low !"
While he thus anticipated
Conquests that he could not gain,
He in the Cape May channel waited
For the ship that caused his pain.
Captain Barney then preparing.
Thus addressed his gallant crew :
■" Now, brave lads ! be bold and daring !
Let your hearts be firm and true !
This is a proud English cruiser.
Roving up and down the main ;
We must fight her — must reduce her,
Tho* our decks be strewed with slain."
" Let who will be the survivor.
We must conquer or must die —
We must take her up the river,
Whate'er comes of you or I ! —
Tho' she shows most formidable
With her twenty pointed nines,
And her quarters clad in sable —
Let us balk her proud designs."
" We with our sixteen sixes
Will face the proud and daring band ;
Let no dangers damp your courage,
Nothing can the brave withstand I
Fighting for your country's honor,
Now to gallant deeds aspire !
Helmsman ! bear us down upon her,
Gunner ! give the word to fire !"
Then yard-arm and yard-arm meeting.
Straight began the dismal fray ;
Cannon mouths each other greeting,
Belched their smoky flames away ;
Soon the langrage, grape and chain-shot,
That from Barney's cannon flew,
Swept the Monk, and clear'd each round-top.
Killed and wounded half the crew.
Captain Rogers strove to rally
His men, from their quarters fied,
While the roaring Hyder-AUy
Covered o'er his decks with dead !
When from their tops their dead men tumbled,
And the streams of blood did flow,
Then their proudest hopes were humbled
By dieir brave inferior foe.
All aghast, and all confounded,
They beheld their champions fall.
And their Captain sorely wounded
Bade them quick for quarter call.
Then the Monk's proud flag descended,
And his cannon ceased to roar —
By her crew no more defended.
She confessed the conquest o'er.
. Come, brave boys, and fill your glasses !
You have humbled one proud foe ;
No brave action this surpasses I
Fame shall tell the nations so —
Thus be Britain's woes completed !
Thus abridged her cruel reign I
Till she, ever thus defeated.
Yields the sceptre of the main !
The General Monk had been an American ship named
the Washington but captured by the British and her
She was now christened anew as the General Washing-
ton and the command given to Barney who made a suc-
cessful cruise in her.
The finding of these two songs furnished me a clue
which led to the discovery in the library of Yale Univer-
sity of a copy of the "Poems of Philip Freneau," re-
printed — ^in London^ strange to say when the spirit which
pervades it is considered — in 1861, from the rare edition
published in Philadelphia in 1786; from which I have
compiled a brief sketch of the history of the man who —
as I have already intimated — seems fairly entitled to be
called the " Poet-Laureate of the American Revolution;"
and have selected a few specimens of his style. Only a
— 16 —
tew, though the book contains a large number of his
poetical productions — many of them written during the
revolutionary war and reflecting vigorously the spirit
of the time. Some of them show much poetical talent.
Philip Freneau, descended from a French protestant
family which sought refuge in America from the persecu-
tions of Louis XIV, was born in New York, January 2,
1752, and graduated at Princeton, N. J., in 1771, in the
same class with James Madison, the future President,
with whom he was on intimate terms. He displayed
poetical talent at an early age — his poem entitled "A
History of the prophet Jonah," written in his 17th year,
would do no discredit to anybody, and is quite remarkable
for one so young.
During the eventful years of 1774 and 1775 he resided
in New York and distinguished himself by the songs
and poetic satires which he wrote against the royalists and
In 1776 he visited the West Indies, .and there composed
some of his longest and most carefully written poems,
" The Jamaica Funeral,*' and others — and a few political
pieces marked by great hostility to Great Britain, and
especially to King George and his ministers. After visit-
ing Bermuda he returned to America, edited at Philadel-
phia the " U. S. Magazine,** produced several short politi-
cal poems and became well known and celebrated as a
patriotic poet and political writer.
In 1780 he went to sea in a ship which was captured by
a British frigate, and was confined in the Scorpion prison
ship which was moored in the Hudson river. There he
was attacked by fever and transferred to the hospital ship.
Hunter, which he says disgraced all hospitals. These ex-
periences he vividly described in a somewhat lengthy but
graphic poem entitled ** The British Prison Ship.*' He
escaped — how is not known — from his confinement there,
and appeared again in Philadelphia where in 1781 he
wrote a ballad on Paul Jones' great victory in the " Bon
Homme Richard," over the Seraphis, Capt. Pearson, within
sight from England's shore ; which I give in full :
O'er the rough main with flowing sheet
The guardian of a numerous fleet,
Seraphis from the Baltic came ;
A ship of less tremendous force
Saird by her side the self-same course,
Countess of Scarb^ro* was her name.
Aiid now their native coasts appear,
Britannia's hills their summits rear
Above the German main ;
Fond to suppose their dangers o'er.
They southward coast along the shore,
Thy waters, gentle Thames, to gain.
Full forty guns the Seraphis bore,
And Scarfo'ro's Countess twenty-four.
Manned with old England's boldest tars^
What flag that rides the Gallic seas
Shall dare attack such piles as these.
Design 'd for tumults and for wars !
Now from the top-mast's giddy height
A seaman cry'd — " Four sail in sight
Approach with favouring gales,"
Pearson, resolv'd to save the fleet,
Stood ofl to sea these ships to meet.
And closely brac'd his shivering sails.
With him advanc'd the Countess bold.
Like a black tar in wars grown old :
And now these floating piles draw nigh ;
But, muse, unfold what chief of fame
In th' other warlike squadron came.
Whose standards at his mast head fly.
*T w^!& Jones, hmvt/ones, to battle led
As bold a crew as ever bled
Upon the sky surrounded main ;
The standards of the Western World
Were to the willing winds unfurled.
Denying Britain's tyrant reign.
The Good Man Richard led the line ;
The Alliance next : with these combine
The Gallic ship they Pallas call :
The Vengeance arm'd with sword and flame.
These to attack the Britons came —
But two accomplish'd all.
Now Phoebus sought his pearly bed ;
But who can tell the scenes of dread,
The horrors of that fatal night !
Close up these floating castles came ;
The Good Man Richard bursts in flame ;
Seraphis trembled at the sight.
She felt the fury of her ball,
Down, prostrate down, the Britons fall ;
The decks were strew'd with slain :
Jones to the foe his vessel lash'd ;
And, while the black artillery flash'd,
Loud thunders shook the main.
Alas ! that mortals should employ
Such murdering engines, to destroy
That frame by Heav'n so nicely join'd ;
Alas ! that e'er the God decreed
That brother should by brother bleed.
And pour'd such madness in the mind.
But thou \ir?N^ Jones no blame shalt bear ;
The rights of men demand thy care :
For these you dare the greedy waves —
No tyrant on destruction bent
Has planned thy conquests — ^thou art sent
To humble tyrants and their slaves.
See I — dread Seraphis flames again —
And art thou, Jones, among the slain.
And sunk to Neptune's caves below —
He lives — ^though crowds around him fall.
Still he, unhurt, survives them all ;
Almost alone he fights the foe.
And can thy ship these strokes sustain ;
Behold thy brave companions slain,
All clasp'd in ocean's dark embrace.
Strike, or be sunk — ^the Briton cries —
Sink if you can — ^the chief replies.
Fierce lightnings blazing in his face.
Then to the side three guns he drew,
(Almost deserted by his crew)
And charg'd them deep with woe ;
By Pearson* 5 flash he aim'd the balls ;
His main-mast totters— down it falls —
Tremendous was the blow.
Pearson as yet disdain'd to yield.
But scarce his secret fears conceal'd,
And thus was heard to cry —
" With hell, not mortals, I contend ;
" What art thou — ^human, or a fiend,
" That dost my force defy ?"
" Return, my lads, the fight renew,"
So call'd bold Pearson to his crew ;
But call'd alas, in vain ;
Some on the decks lay maim'd and dead ;
Some to their deep recesses fled.
And more were bury'd in the main.
Distress'd, forsaken, and alone,
He haul'd his tatter'd standard down.
And yielded to his gallant foe ;
Bold Pallas soon the Countess took.
Thus both their haughty colours struck.
Confessing what the brave can do.
But Jones too dearly didst thou buy
Those ships possest so gloriously.
Too many deaths disgrac'd the fray :
Thy barque that bore the conquering flame,
That the proud Briton overcame.
Even she forsook thee on thy way ;
For when the moon began to shine,
Fatal to her, the ocean brine
Pour'd through each spacious wound ;
Quick in the deep she disappear'd :
But /oms to friendly Belgia steer'd.
With conquest and with glory crown'd.
Go on, great man, to daunt the foe,
And bid the haughty Britons know
They to our Thirteen Stars shall bend ;
Those Stars that, veil'd in dark attire.
Long glimmer'd with a feeble fire.
But radiant now ascend.
Bend to the Stars that flaming rise
In western, not in eastern, skies.
Fair Freedom's reign restor'd —
So when the magi come from far.
Beheld the God-attending star.
They trembled and ador'd.
Later in the same year Freneau commemorated in his
usual vigorous style the success of Washington and the
misfortunes of Cornwallis. In a poem he wrote at this
time addressed to General Washington are these lines :
Accept, great chief, that share of honest praise
A grateful people to your merit pays ;
Verse is too mean your merit to display,
And words too weak our meaning to convey.
When first proud Britain raised her heavy hand
With claims unjust to bind your native land,
Transported armies, and her millions spent
To enforce the mandates that her tyrants sent,
** Resist ! resist !" was heard through every State,
You heard the call, and mourned your country's fate.
Then rising fierce her sons in arms arrayed.
And taught to vanquish those who dared invade.
While others kindle into martial rage,
Whom fierce ambition urges to engage,
An iron race by angry heav'n designed
To conquer first and then enslave mankind ;
In him a hero more humane we see.
He ventures life that others may be free.
Rome's boasted chiefs who to their own disgrace.
Proved the worst scourges of the human race,
Pierced by whose darts a thousand nations bled.
Who captive princes at their chariots led ;
Bom to enslave, to ravage and subdue —
Return to nothing when compared to you ;
Throughout the world thy growing fame has spread.
In every country are thy virtues read ;
Late from the world in quiet may'st thou rise.
And mourned by millions reach thy native skies.
And here is one written about the same time to the
memory of the brave Americans who fell at Eutaw
Springs ; which Sir Walter Scott declared to be as fine of
its kind as anything in the language. High praise, indeed,
coming from such a source !
" At Eutaw Springs the valiant died :
Their limbs with dust are covered o'er —
Weep on ye springs your tearful tide ;
How many heroes are no more !
— 21 —
If in this wreck of ruin, they
Can yet be thought to claim a tear
O smite thy gentle breast and say,
The friends of freedom slumber here.
Thou who shalt trace this bloody plain.
If goodness rules thy gentle breast,
Sigh for the wasted rural reign ;
Sigh for the shepherds sunk to rest.
Stranger, their humble graves adorn ;
You too, may fall, and ask a tear :
Tis not the beauty of the mom
That proves the evemng shall be clear.
They saw their injured country's woe ;
The flaming town, the wasted field ;
They rushed to meet the insulting foe ;
They took the spear — but left the shield.
Led by thy conquering standards, Greene,
The Britons they compelled to fly :
None distant viewed the fatal plain.
None grieved in such a cause to die —
But, like the Parthians, famed of old,
Who, flying, still their arrows threw ;
These routed Britons full as bold.
Retreated, and retreating slew.
Now rest in peace our patriot band,
Though far from nature's limits thrown.
We trust they find a happier land,
A brighter Phoebus of their own."
After the final triumph of American independence he
wrote, in 1785, a long address in verse, as from the Tories
who had fled to Nova Scotia when the British had left
them to their fate, from which I take the following :
We Tories, who lately were frightened away.
When you marched into York all in battle array.
Dear Whigs, have something to say.
From the clime of New Scotland we wish you to know
We still are in being — mere spectres of woe.
Our dignity high, but our spirits are low.
— 22 —
The Indians themselves, whom no treaties can bind,
We have reason to think are perversely inclined —
And where we have friends is not easy to find.
From the day we arrived on this desolate shore
We still have been wishing to see you once more,
And your freedom enjoy, now the danger is o'er.
Although we be-rebeled you up hill and down,
It was all for your good — and to honor a crown
Whose splendors have spoiled better eyes than our own.
That villains we are is no more than our due.
And so may remain for a century through.
Unless we return, and be doctored by you.
Although with the dregs of the world we are classed.
We hope your resentmeftt will soften at last,
Now your toils are repaid, and our triumphs are past.
Now if we return, as we're bone of your bone.
We'll renounce all allegiance to George and his throne,
And be the best subjects that ever were known.
So we think it is better to see you by far —
And have hinted our meaning to governor Parr —
The worst that can happen is— feathers and tar.
And here is another, w^ritten by Freneau, vv^hich sarcas-
tically, but no doubt after all pretty fairly, represents the
real spirit with vv^hich the British commanders regarded
and used the tories. It is called
SIR HENRY CLINTON'S INVITATION.
Come gentlemen tories, firm, loyal, and true.
Here are axes and shovels, and something to do ;
For the sake of our king,
Come, labour and sing :
You left all you had for his honor and glory.
And he will remember the suffering tory.
We have, it is true.
Some small work to do ;
But here's for your pay
Twelve coppers a day ;
And never regard what the rebels may say.
But throw off your jerkins and labour away.
To raise up the rampart, and pile up the wall.
To pull down old houses, and dig tlie canal.
To build and destroy,
Be this your employ ;
In the daytime to work at our fortifications,
And steal in the night from the rebels' plantations.
The king wants your aid,
Not empty parade ;
Advance to your places.
Ye men of long faces.
Nor ponder too much on your former disgraces ;
This year, I presume, will quite alter your cases.
Attend at the call of the fifer and drummer ;
The French and the rebels are coming next sumnaer,
And forts we must build.
Though tones are killed ;
Then courage, my jockies, and work for your king,
For if you are taken, no doubt you will swing ;
If York we can hold,
ril have you enrolled ;
And after you're dead.
Your names may be read
As who for their monarch both laboured and bled.
And ventured their necks for their beef and their bread.
*Tis an honour to serve the bravest of nations.
And be left to be hanged in their capitulations ;
Then scour up your mortars,
And stand to your quarters :
*Tis nonsense for tories in battle to run.
They need never fear sword, halberd, or gun ;
Their hearts should not fail 'em,
No balls will assail 'em ;
Forget your disgraces
And shorten your faces.
For 'tis true as the gospel, believe it or not.
Who are bom to be hanged will never be shot.
He also wrote some very fine lines on the death of
General Joseph Reed, the patriot who when approached
by a British commissioner with the offer of ;£'io,ooo
and the most valuable office in the colonies if he would
use his influence, which was great, to reconcile the colo-
nies with Great Britain — ^in other words betray his trust
as Arnold did — ^replied, '' I am not worth so much, but
such as I am the king of Great Britain is not rich enough
to buy me."
These lines to General Reed were written in March ,
1785, and are certainly very fine. Among the best of
Freneau's, I think.
" Swift to the dust descends each honored name
That raised their country to these heights of fame»
Sages that planned, and chiefs that led the way
To freedom's temple — all too soon decay ;
Alike submit to one unalter'd doom,
Their glories closing in perpetual gloom,
Like the dim splendours of the evening, fade.
While night advances to complete the shade.
Reed ! 'tis for thee we shed the unpurchas'd tear,
Bend o'er thy tomb, and plant our laurels here,
Thy own brave deeds the noblest pile transcend.
And virtue, patriot virtue, mourns her friend,
Gone to those realms where worth may claim regard.
And gone where virtue meets her best reward.
No single art engaged his manly mind
In every scene his active genius shin'd.
Nature in him, in honor to our age.
At once compos'd the soldier and the sage ; —
Firm to his purpose, vigilant, and bold.
Detesting traitors, and despising gold.
He scorn 'd all bribes from Britain's hostile throne
For all his country's wrongs were thrice his own.
Reed, rest in peace, for time's impartial page
Shall blast the wrongs of this ungrateful age :
Long in these climes thy name shall flourish fair.
The statesman's pattern, and the poet's care ;
Long on these plains thy memory shall remain,
And still new tributes from new ages gain.
Fair to the eye that injur'd honor rise —
Nor traitors triumph while the patriot dies."
Freneau went to sea after the war as commander of a
trading ship and was thereafter called Captain Freneau,
but became an editor again in 1790. Later he resumed his
sea-faring life but finally settled permanently in New Jersey
where in 1832 he was still alive, a hale, hearty old man in
his 8oth year, until on the i8th of December in that year,
while returning on foot from Monmouth to his home, two
miles away, he was caught in a violent snow-storm, lost his
way and perished.
As a patriotic political writer in prose and verse during
the stormy times of the revolution he was a power in the
land, and did his country good service. In parting with
him I will read a few stanzas found in Duykincks' book
from his poem of "The Country Printer," a purely
American description of the printing office and editor of
those days, suggestive of his own experience and also of
the republic's neglect at the close of the war of too many
of its brave defenders.
" Here lie the types in curious order rang'd,
Ready alike to imprint your prose or verse ;
Ready to speak, their order only changed,
Creek-Indian, lingo, Dutch, or Highland erse ;
These types have printed Erskine's Gospel Treat,
Tom Durfy's songs, and Bunyan's works, complete.
And of the editor
" He in his time, the patriot of the town,
With press and pen attacked the royal side.
Did what he could to pull their Lion down,
Qipped at his beard, and twitched his sacred hide.
Mimicked his roaring, trod upon his toes.
Pelted young whelps, and tweaked the old one's nose.
Rous'd by his page at church or court house read.
From depths of wood the willing rustics ran.
Now by a priest, and now by some deacon led.
With clubs and spits to guard the rights of man.
Lads from the spade, the pick-axe, or the plough
Marching afar to fight Burgoyne or Howe.
Where are they now ? — the Village asks with grief.
What were their toils, their conquests, or their gains ?
Perhaps, they near some State-House beg relief,
' Perhaps, they sleep on Saratoga's plains ;
Doom'd not to live, their country to reproach
For seven-years pay transferred to Mammon's coach."
In a fine collection by J. Brander Matthews of more
than fifty " Poems of American Patriotism " are only two
which appear to have been written during the revolution-
ary period, one of which is by Freneau, and the other —
also found in Duykincks' book and in McCarty's " Na-
tional Song Book" already mentioned — by somebody
unknown, but who evidently took part in the "Battle
of Trenton," which it thus describes.
"On Christmas day in '76
Our ragged troops with bayonets fixed
For Trenton marched away.
The Delaware see, the boats below,
The light obscured by hail and snow.
But no symptoms of dismayVj
IOmx object was the Hessian band.
That dared to invade fair freedom's land J
And quarter in that place,
Great Washington he led us on.
With ensigns streaming with renown.
Which ne*er had known disgrace.
In silent march we passed the night,
Each soldier panting for the fight.
Though quite benumbed with frost.
Greene on the left at six began.
The right was with brave Sullivan,
Who in battle no time lost.
Their pickets stormed, the alarm was spread,
That rebels risen from the dead
Were marching into town.
Some sc^jnpered here, some scampered there,
And some for action did prepare,
But soon their arms laid downf]
Twelve hundred servile miscreants,
With all their colors, guns, and tents,
Were trophies of the day :
The frolic o'er, the bright canteen,
In center, front, and rear was seen
Driving fatigue away.
I Now brothers of the patriot bands,
Let's sing our safe deliverance
From arbitrary sway.
And as life, you know, is but a span.
Let's touch the tankard while we can,
In memory of the day."
Quite a number of ballads and songs were written to
celebrate the failure and capture of Burgoyne, of which
this, from the "Curiosities of American Literature,"
by R. W. Griswold, printed in 1843, is a very good speci-
THE FATE OF JOHN BURGOYNE.
When Jack, the King's commander,
Was going to his duty,
Through all the crowd he smiled and bowed
To every blooming beauty.
The city rung with feats he'd done
In Portugal and Flanders,
And all the town thought he'd be crowned
The first of Alexanders.
To Hampton Court he first repairs
To kiss great George's hand, sirs ;
Then to harangue on state affairs
Before he left the land, sirs.
The " Lower House " sat mute as mouse
To hear his grand oration ;
And " all the peers," with loudest cheers,
Proclaimed him to the nation.
Then off he went to Canada,
Next to Ticonderc^a,
And quitting those, away he goes.
Straightway to Saratoga.
With great parade his march he made
To gain his wished for station.
While far and wide his minions hied
To spread his " Proclamation."
To such as staid he offers made
" Of pardon on submission ;
But savage bands should waste the lands
Of all in opposition."
But ah, the cruel fates of war !
This boasted son of Britain,
When mounting his triumphal car
With sudden fear was smitten.
The Sons of Freedom gathered round,
His hostile bands confounded,
And when they'd fain have turned their back»
They found themselves surrounded I
In vain they fought, in vain they fled.
Their chief, humane and tender.
To save the rest, soon thought it best,
His forces to surrender.
Brave St. Clair, when he first retired.
Knew what the fates portended ;
And Arnold, and heroic Gates,
His conduct have defended.
Thus may America's brave sons
With honor be rewarded.
And be the fate of all her foes
The same as here recorded.
The following curious account of Burgoyne's overthrow
and capture at Saratoga, October 17th, 1777, which was
probably written soon after that memorable event, is taken
from McCarty's "National Song Book," published in
1842, and is worth presenting, for its oddity and the inform-
ation it contains :
Here followeth the doleful fate
Of Burgoyne and his army great.
Who so proudly did display
The terrors of despotic sway.
His power and pride and many threats
Have been brought low by fortunate Gates,
To bend to the United States.
British prisoners by convention, 2442
Foreigners — by contra-vention, 2, 1 98
Tories sent across the Lake, 1,100
Buig03rne and his suit, in state, 12
Sick and wounded, bruised and pounded, ) ^ g
Ne'er so much before confound^, )
Prisoners of war before convention, 400
Deserters come with kind intention, 300
They lost at Bennington's great battle, )
Where Starke's glorious arms did rattle, )
Killed in September and October, 600
Ta'en by brave Brown,* some drunk, some sober. 413
Slain by high-famed Herkiman,t )
On both flanks, on rear and van, )
Indians, settlers, butchers, drovers.
Enough to crowd large plains all over.
And those whom grim Death did prevent
From fighting against our continent ;
And also those who stole away,
Lest they down their arms should lay,
Abhorring that obnoxious day ;
The whole make fourteen thousand men, )
Who may not with us fight again. )
This is a pretty just account
Of Bui^oyne's legions' whole amount,
Who came across the northern Lakes
To desolate our happy States.
Their brass cannons we have got all —
Fifty-six — both great and small ;
And ten thousand stand of arms,
To prevent all future harms ;
Stores and implements complete,
Of workmanship exceeding neat ;
Qjvered wagons in great plenty.
And proper harness no way scanty.
Among our prisoners there are
Six generals of fame most rare ;
Six members of their Parliament —
Reluctantly they seem content ;
Three British Lords, and Lord Belcarras,
Who came, our country free, to harass.
Two baronets of high extraction
Were sorely wounded in the action.
* Col. John Brown, of Massachuseus.
f Gen. Herkimer, of New York (probably).
A long ballad entitled " American Taxation," was writ-
ten during the revolutionary contest, but evidently after
Burgoyne's surrender, by a Connecticut schoolmaster
named St. John, which closes with these two stanzas :
Success unto the Congress
Of these United States,
Who glory in the conquests
Of Washington and of Gates ;
To all, both land and seamen,
Who usher in the day.
When we shall all be freemen
In North America.
Success to legislation
That rules with gentle hand.
To trade and navigation.
By water and by land ;
May all with one opinion
Our wholesome laws obey.
Throughout the vast dominion
Of North America.
From a sketch of the life of General Anthony Wayne —
Mad Anthony, as he was called, for his reckless daring,
as you will remember — I have taken three verses of a long
and rather wearisome ballad called the " Cow Chase,"
written by Major Andre, and published in a tory news-
paper, ridiculing Wayne's attempt to storm a British
work on the Hudson near Bull's Ferry, opposite New
York, and drive into the American lines the cattle col-
lected there. He was repulsed at the fort, but drove off
Wayne's occupation had been that of a tanner.
" To drive the kine one summer's mom
The tanner took his way.
The calf shall rue that is unborn
The jumbling of that day.
And Wayne descending steers shall know,
And tauntingly deride,
And call to mind in ev'ry low,
The tanning of his hide.
And now I've closed my epic strain,
I tremble as I show it,
Lest this same warrior-drover Wayne,
Should ever catch the poet."
You observe that a wholesome respect for Wayne's well
known fiery spirit appears in the last verse.
From a famous song written in 1777 at West Point by
the first President Dwight, of Yale College, while he was
a chaplain in the army, I give you two stanzas which
are certainly very fine — as is the entire song : —
Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise.
The queen of the world and child of the skies
Thy genius commands thee : with rapture behold.
While ages on ages thy splendours unfold.
Thy reign is the last, and the noblest of time.
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime.
Let the crimes of the east ne'er crimson thy name.
Be freedom, and science, and virtue, thy fame.
To conquest and slaughter let Europe aspire :
Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire :
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend.
And triumph pursue them and glory attend.
A world is thy realm : for a world be thy laws,
Enlarg'd as thine empire and just as thy cause.
On Freedom's broad basis, that empire shall rise.
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies."
The mention of President Dwight brings to mind an
amusing anecdote of Joel Barlow, a close friend of his in
the college, and afterwards a man of prominence as a
Congregational chaplain, lawyer, poet and statesman.
Early in the war he served in the American army, and late
in life became United States Minister to France. He was
employed in 1785, shortly after the war, by the " General
Association ** of Connecticut, to adapt Dr. Watt^' version of
the Psalms for church singing, and took much pride in
the way he had done it ; which was, however, considera-
bly upset one day when he met, at a bookseller's here in
New Haven, a person named Oliver Arnold — a cousin of
Benedict of infamous memory — who was noted for his
knack at rhyming, and when asked by Barlow to give him
a specimen of his talent immediately did so in this fashion :
You've proved yourself a sinful creetur ;
You've murdered Watts and spoiled the metre ;
You've tried the word of God to alter,
And for your pains deserve a halter.
In an old volume of the •' Miscellaneous Works of David
Humphreys, late Minister Plenipotentiary from the United
States of America to the Court of Madrid," which was
printed in 1804, and presented by the author to the library
of the ** Brothers in Unity,*' of Yale College, I have found,
in his epilogue to the tragedy of the " Widow of Malabar,"
the following lines — which were recited in a theatre at
Philadelphia in 1790 by a lady, Mrs. Henry— that hit ofiE
very neatly the times, and the men who had been and
were then making American history. They run thus :
" Your victories won — ^your revolution ended —
Your constitution newly made — and mended —
Your fund of wit — ^your intellectual riches —
Plans in the closet — in the senate speeches —
Will mark this age of heroes, wits and sages,
The first in story to the latest ages I —
Go on — and prosper with your projects blest.
Till your millennium rises in the west : —
We wish success to your politic scheming,
Rule ye the world ! — ^and then^^^ rul'd
by women! — "
General Humphreys while abroad soon after the war
as Secretary of Legation wrote a long poem on the
"Happiness of America, addressed to the Citizens of
the United States/' In this poem of nearly 700 lines he
puts "Washington's Farewell to the Army" in verse
and speaks of the men of the old Continental Congress,
Ye rev'rend fathers 1 props of freedom's cause.
Who rear'd an empire by your sapient laws.
With blest example give this lesson weight.
That toil and virtue make a nation great !"
Then shall your names reach earth's remotest climes,
Rise high as heav'n, and brave the rage of time —
His list'ning sons the sire shall oft remind.
What parent sages first in Q>ngress join'd ;
The faithful Hancock grac'd that early scene.
Great Washington appear'd in godlike mien.
Jay, Laurens, Qinton, skill'd in ruling men.
And he who earlier held the farmer's pen.
'Twas Lee, illustrious at the father's head,
The daring way to independence led.
The self-taught Sherman urged his reasons clear.
And all the Livingstons to freedom dear ;
What countless names in fair procession throng.
With Rutledge, Johnson, Nash, demand the song.
Among the •* Recommendatory Extracts " published
with the volume of General Humphreys' works already
mentioned, is the following poetical tribute by Joel
Barlow to the accomplished gentleman, soldier, diplomat
and poet, after whom our local society is named :
" While freedom's cause his patriot bosom warms,
In lore of nations skill'd, and brave in arms.
See Humphreys glorious from the field retire.
Sheath the glad sword and string the sounding lyn
That lyre, which erst, in hours of dark despair,
Rous'd the sad realms to urge th' unHnish'd war :
O'er fallen friends, with all tiie strength of woe.
His heartfelt sighs in moving numbers flow.
His country's wrongs, her duties, dangers, praise.
Fire his full soul, and animate his lays.
Immortal Washington with joy shall own
So fond a fav'rite and so great a son."
It would hardly be fair to close this paper without one
or more of the many versions set to the sprightly and
familiar tune of Yankee Doodle — and here is a good one
which is new to me and has a bit of history in it. It was
written in 1788 when John Hancock, in the face of great
opposition, had succeeded in procuring the adoption of
the Federal constitution by the Massachusetts convention
assembled to consider it :
Then Squire Hancock like a man
Who dearly loved the nation,
By a conciliatory plan,
Prevented much vexation.
He made a woundy Fed'ral speech,
With sense and elocution,
And then the 'Vention did beseech
T' adopt the constitution.
" The question being outright put
(Each voter independent).
The Fed'ralists agreed to adopt.
And then propose amendment.
The other party seeing then
The people were against 'em,
Agreed like honest faithful men,
To mix in peace amongst 'em.
Yankee Doodle keep it up !
Yankee doodle, dandy !
Mind the music and the step.
And with the girls be handy.
There were thirteen verses of this, one for each state —
but these are all I have found.
The tories no doubt made some use of the tune against
the patriots, for here are three verses, evidently composed
by a tory, which were repeated to me from memory by a
Union soldier, who says he learned them from his grand-
Yankee Doodle took a saw,
With a patriot's devotion,
To trim the tree of liberty
According to his notion.
He set himself upon a limb,
Just like some other noodle,
He cut between the tree and him,
And down came Yankee Doodle.
Yankee Doodle broke his neck,
And every bone about him.
And then the tree of liberty
Did very well without him.
The time when the following well known verses, sung
to the tune of Yankee Doodle, first appeared, seems to be
uncertain, but is believed to have been the year 1775. By
whom written does not appear, but they were probably
put forth by some Briton or tory, to ridicule the so-called
THE YANKEE'S RETURN FROM CAMP.
Father and I went down to camp.
Along with Captain Gooding,
And there we see the men and boys
As thick as hasty pudding.
Chorus — ^Yankee Doodle, keep it up,
Yankee Doodle, dandy,
Mind the music and the step.
And with the girls be handy.
And there we see a thousand men.
As rich as 'Squire David ;
And what they wasted every day
I wish it could be saved.
And there we see a swamping gun,
Large as a log of maple,
Upon a deuced little cart,
A load for father's cattle.
And every time they shoot it off,
It takes a horn of powder,
And makes a noise like father's gun.
Only a nation louder.
I went as nigh to one myself
As 'Siah's underpinning ;
And father went as nigh again,
I thought the deuce was in him.
Cousin Simon grew so bold,
I thought he would have cock'd it ;
It scared me so, I shrinked it off.
And hung by father's pocket.
And Captain Davis had a gun,
He kind of clapt his hand on't,
And stuck a crooked stabbing iron
On the little end on't.
And there I see a pumpkin shell
As big as mother's bason ;
And every time they touched it off.
They scampered like the nation.
I see a little barrel, too,
The heads were made of leather.
They knocked upon't with little clubs.
And called the folks together.
And there was Captain Washington
Upon a slapping stallion,
A giving orders to his men —
I guess there was a million.
And then the feathers on his hat.
They looked so tamal fina,
I wanted pockily to get
To give to my Jemima.
The troopers too would gallop up,
And fire right into our faces ;
It scar'd me almost half to death.
To see them run such races.
I see another snarl of men
A digging graves, they told me,
So tamal long, so tamal deep.
They tended they should hold me.
It scar'd me so, I hook'd it off
Nor stop'd as I remember
Nor tum'd about till I got home,
Lock'd up in mother's chamber.
From a careful examination of the various accounts
g^ven of the origin of Yankee Doodle, it appears that the
air or tune is undoubtedly much older than the time of the
American Revolution ; substantially the same having been
sung in England in the days of Charles I. to the nursery
" Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it ;
Nothing in it, nothing on it,
But the binding round it."
and also — probably in the following words — in derision
of Oliver Cromwell, who, it was said, rode into Oxford
on a small horse wearing a plume fastened into a kind of
knot called a " macaroni."
*' Nankee doodle rode to town
Upon a Kentish pony.
With a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni.'
There appears to be some reason too for believing it to
have originated long before that among the mountains of
the Pyrenees, and to have been known in the south of
France as an old vintage song. And it is also said to have
been sung in Holland as a sort of chorus at harvest time
by the reapers.
There seems to be no doubt that its first appearance on
this side of the Atlantic was at the time of the ** old
French war," and is due to a surgeon in the British army,
a Doctor Shackburg, a good musician and something of a
wag, who, when the colonial soldiers were assembling at
Albany, in 1755, ^o join the British troops in an expedition
against the French posts of Niagara and Frontenac, was so
greatly amused at their antiquated and queer equipments,
appearance and music, that he somewhat re-modeled, and
wrote out to suit the case, the notes and words of the old
Cromwell-deriding song and gave them to the provincial
band as the latest English martial music. They soon be-
gan to play and march to their new tune, amid the laugh-
ter of the British soldiers, and it becanae widely known
and popular in the colonies. When the British heard it
played— and retreated before it, or marched as prisoners
to it — later on, it probably sounded less amusing to them.
" He laughs best who laughs last."
From an article in McCarty's " National Song Book,"
of 1842, taken from the "Musical Almanac" pu.blished
in Boston that same year, it appears that one set of
words sung in England in Cromwell's time to the familiar
air was known as *'Nankee Doodle;" and that the name
" Yankee Doodle " was first applied by Doctor Shackburg
when he presented the music and words to the " Yankee "
soldiers as already related. This doubtless is the true
origin of ** Yankee Doodle " as an American tune.
A Vermont song of 1779, author unknown — perhaps
written at a somewhat later date — is so spirited and fine
that I cannot refrain from giving the greater part of it.
It sets forth admirably the spirit of the people at a time
when not only were they in danger from the common
enemy, the British, but their territory was being persis-
tently claimed by New York and New Hampshire and
also by Massachusetts.
THE SONG OF THE VERMONTERS— 1779.
Ho— all to the borders I Vermonters, come down,
With your breeches of deer-skin, and jackets of brown ;
With your red woolen caps, and your moccasins, come,
To the gathering summons of trumpet and drum.
Come down with your rifles I — ^let grey wolf and fox
Howl on the shade of their primitive rocks ;
Let the bear feed securely from pig-pen and stall ;
Here's a two-l^;ged game for your powder and ball.
Does the " old bay State " threaten ? Does Congress complain ?
Swarms Hampshire in arms on our borders again ?
Bark the war-dogs of Britain aloud on the lake ?
Let 'em come ; — ^what they can, they are welcome to take.
What seek they among us ? The pride of our wealth
Is comfort, contentment, and labor and health,
And lands which, as Freemen, we only have trod.
Independent of all save the mercies of God.
Yet we owe no allegiance ; we bow to no throne ;
0\ir ruler is law, and the law is our own ;
Our leaders themselves are our own fellow-men.
Who can handle the sword, or the sc3rthe, or the pen.
Our wives are all true, and our daughters are fair.
With their blue eyes of smiles, and their light flowing hair ;
All brisk at their wheels till the dark even-fall.
Then blythe at the sleigh-ride, the husking, and ball.
We've sheep on the hill sides ; we've cows on the plain ;
And gay-tasseled cornfields, and rank-growing grain ;
There are deer on the mountains ; and wood-pigeons fly
From the crack of our muskets, like clouds on the sky.
And there's fish in our streamlets and rivers, which take
Their course from the hills to our broad-bosomed lake ;
Through rock-arched Winooski the salmon leaps free.
And the portly shad follows all fresh from the sea.
Like a sun-beam the pickerel glides through his pool ;
And the spotted trout sleeps where the water is cool ;
Or darts from his shelter of rock and of root
At the beaver's quick plunge, or the angler's pursuit.
— ^o —
And ours are the mountains which awfully rise
Till they rest their green heads on the blue of the skies,
And ours are the forests unwashed, unshorn,
Save where the wild path of the tempest is torn.
And though savage and wild be this climate of ours,
And brief be our season of fruits and of flowers.
Far dearer the blast round our mountains which raves
Than the sweet summer zephyr, which breathes over slaves.
Hurrah for Vermont ! for the land which we till
Must have sons to defend her from valley and hill ;
Leave the harvest to rot on the field where it grows.
And the reaping of wheat for the reaping of foes.
Come York or come Hampshire — come traitors and knaves
If ye rule o'er our land, ye shall rule o'er owr graves ;
Our vow is recorded — our banner unfurled ;
In the name of Vermont we defy all the world !
From ** The Rallying Song *' — probably written in Ver-
mont, not long after the determination of the French
government of Louis XVI to assist the struggling
Americans became known in this country — these inspirit-
ing stanzas, printed in Griswold's " Curiosities of Ameri-
can Literature/* are taken :
Freedom's Sons who wish to shine
Bright in future story,
Haste to arms and join the line
Marching on to glory.
Leave the scythe and seize the sword,
Brave the worst of dangers !
Freedom is the only word —
We to fear are strangers.
From your mountains quick advance.
Hearts of oak and iron arms-r-
Lo ! the cheering sounds from France
Spread amid the foe alarms !
Leave the scythe and seize the sword.
Brave the worst of dangers !
Freedom is the only word —
Come and join the Rangers!
In the Pennsylvania Journal of May 31, 1775, the fol-
lowing spirited song to the tune of " The Echoing Horn/'
was published :
Hark ! 'tis Freedom that calls, come, patriots, awake I
To arms, my brave bo3r8, and away :
Tis Honour, 'tis Virtue, 'tis Liberty calls,
And upbraids the too tedious delay.
What pleasure we find in pursuing our foes.
Thro' blood and thro' carnage we'll fly ;
Then follow, well soon overtake them, htizza !
The t3rrants are seized on, they die.
Triumphant returning with Freedom secured,
Like men, we'll be joyful and gay —
With our wives and our friends, we'll sport, love, and drink.
And lose the fatigues of the day.
'Tis freedom alone gives a relish to mirth,
But oppression all happiness sours ;
It will smooth life's dull passage, 'twill slope the descent.
And strew the way over with flowers.
The following ballad, written by a Newport sailor, is
presented because of the amusing circumstances under
which it is said to have been sung during the revolution,
by a Yankee boy about 1 3 years old, before a company of
British officers, including General Prescott, the victim of
the daring exploit which it celebrates. Prescott com-
manded the British troops at Newport, . Rhode Island,
and had made himself so obnoxious by his tyranny that
Lieutenant-Colonel Barton, of Providence, determined
to take him prisoner, and with a small party of
picked men from among the Americans, made a
sudden descent at night upon his head-quarters in the
house of a Quaker several miles from the town, captured
him in his bed, and carried him off without waiting for
him to dress. He was taken to Washington's head-quar-
ters on the Hudson and remained a prisoner until ex-
changed for General Charles Lee, when he returned to his
post in Rhode Island. Not long after his exchange he
was dining on board the admiral's ship at Newport, with
other officers of high rank, and as the wine circulated^
and toast and song were called for, a lieutenant observed
that there was a Yankee lad on board (a prisoner) wha
could put to shame all the singing ; upon which Prescott
called for him to be brought into the cabin, which was
done, and the admiral told him to give them a song.
The little fellow, somewhat intimidated by the display
of gorgeous uniforms, said he couldn't sing any but Yan-
kee songs, and the admiral told him to sing one of them,,
while Prescott in his usual imperious manner called him a
young rebel and threatened to ** give him a dozen " if he
didn't give them a song. The admiral, however, inter-
fered and promised the boy his liberty the next day if he
would give them any song he could recollect. Where-
upon he sung this doggerel, amid the shouts of the com-
I'Twas on a dark and stormy night,
The wind and waves did roar.
Bold Barton then, with twenty men,
Went down upon the shorei
And in a whale-boat they set off
To Rhode Island fair,
To-catah^^ redTCpat general
Who then resided there j
Through British fleets and guard-boats strong
They held their dangerous way,
Till they arrived unto their port.
And then did not delay.
A tawny son of Afric's race
Them through the ravine led,
And entering then the Overing House,
They found him in his bed.
But to get in they had no means
Except poor Cuffee's head,
Who beat the door down then rush'd in.
And seized him in his bed.
! " Stop ! let me put my breeches on,"
^ The general then did pray :
" Your breeches, massa, I will take,
For dress we cannot stay."
(Then through rye-stubble him they led,
' With shoes and breeches none.
And placed him in their boat quite snug,
And from the shore were gone, y
Soon the alarm was sounded loud,
" The Yankees they have come.
And stolen Prescott from his bed.
And him they've carried • hum.' "
The drums were beat, skyrockets flew.
The soldiers shoulder'd arms.
And march'd around the ground they knew,
Fill'd with most dire alarms.
But through the fleet with muffled oars
They held their devious way,
And landed him on 'Gransett shore
Where Britain held no sway.
' When unto land they came.
Where rescue there was none,
•' A d— -d bold push," the general cried.
Of prisoners I am one."^
It is related that one who was prisoner on board at the
time said he thought "the deck would come through
with the stamping and cheering/' while the song was
being sung. General Prescott joined heartily in the mer-
riment and handed the boy — who was set at liberty next
morning — a guinea.
The following fine song — a just tribute to Washington —
was printed in the New Hampshire Gazette^ October 12th,
1 779, and is well worth preserving :
Let venal poets praise a King
For virtues unpossess'd,
A volunteer, unbrib'd I sing
The Hero of the West.
When Graul came on with rapid stride,
And vict'ry was the word,
First shone his country's future pride.
And flesh 'd his maiden sword.
With conquest crown 'd, from war's alarms,
To study bent his mind ; —
" Equal to both, to arts or arms
Elate with fancied pow'r and pride,
Impell'd by angry Jove ;
Nor fates nor justice on their side.
The British legions move.
With them a tribe of foreign slaves,
A mercenary band,
For plunder bold, inur'd to blood.
Invade his native land.
His country calls, to arms, he flies.
Nor fears a tyrant's frown ;
Leads heroes favour'd by the skies.
To glory and renown.
In vain the British tyrant storms.
His thunders fright no more, —
His hardy vet'rans, vainly brave.
Shall fly the happy shore.
The willing Chiefs around him throng.
Impatient of delay ;
Their noble ardour he restrains.
And points the surer way.
Pursue, Great Chief, the glorious race —
Thy country's sword and shield ; —
Thrice happy ! bom alike to grace
The senate and the field.
One more war song of 1776 (by whom written I know
not), which has the right ring to it, and is I think one of
the best, and I will trespass on jour time no longer :
/7;< ^Harkl hark! the sound of jfhx io heard,
' An dwe must a lt attend ;
Take up our arms and go with speed,
Our country to defend.
Our parent state has turned our foe,
Which fills our land with pain ;
Her gallant ships manned out for war.
Come thundering o'er the main, j
.There's Carlton, Howe and Clinton too.
And many thougi^nd more,
May crc^s.the seaju but all in vain, ,
Ourrights we'll ne'er give'o'er^ ''
Our pleasant homes they do invade.
Our property devour ;
And all because we won't submit
To their despotic power.
Then let us go against our foe.
We'd better die than yield :
We and our sons are all undone.
If Britannia wins the field. X
, Tories may dream of future joys,
But I am bold to say.
They'll find themselves bound fast in chains,
; If Britannia wins the day. )
.^Husbands must leave their loving wives,
And sprightly youths attend,
Leave their sweethearts and risk their lives,
Their country to defend.
V May they be heroes in the field,
• Have heroes' fame in store ;
We_pray_theLoxd-tai>e. their -shield,.
Where thundeiing cannons roar. '^.
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