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Lift your lamp beside the golden door, Break not the golden rule, avoid well the golden calf, know; not all that glitters is gold, and laissez faire et laissez passer [let do and let pass] but as a shining sentinel, hesitate not to ring the bell, defend the gates, and man the wall

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poetry and Song of the 1700s


The Liberty Song by John Dickinson 1768
The tune is the English air, Heart of Oak. These American words were written by John Dickinson and published in 1768. Dickinson was one of the leaders of the American Revolution, a famous lawyer and Governor of Delaware and Pennsylvania.The music to Heart of Oak was by Dr. William Boyce (1711-1779). The English words were by David Garrick.
Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all,
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call;
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim,
Or stain with dishonor America's name.

In Freedom we're born and in Freedom we'll live.
Our purses are ready. Steady, friends, steady;
Not as slaves, but as Freemen our money we'll give.
Our worthy forefathers, let's give them a cheer,
To climates unknown did courageously steer;
Thro' oceans to deserts for Freedom they came,
And dying, bequeath'd us their freedom and fame.

The tree their own hands had to Liberty rear'd,
They lived to behold growing strong and revered;
With transport they cried, Now our wishes we gain,
For our children shall gather the fruits of our pain.

Then join hand in 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.

In Freedom we're born and in Freedom we'll live.
 Our purses are ready. Steady, friends, steady;
Not as slaves, but as Freemen our money we'll give.


The American Hero, Bunker Hill by Reverend Nathaniel Niles 1775
(Sylvanus Ripley, Likely Composer of the Shape Note Song)

Why should vain mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and destruction in the field of battle,
Where blood and carnage clothe the ground in crimson,
Sounding with death-groans?

Death will invade us by the means appointed,
And we must all bow to the King of Terrors;
Nor am I anxious, if I am prepar-ed, What shape he comes in.

Then to the wisdom of my Lord and Master,
I will commit all that I have or wish for;
Sweetly as babes sleep will I give my life up When called to yield it.

-Alternate Verse-

Why should vain Mortals tremble at the sight of
Death and Destruction in the field of battle,
Where Blood and Carnage, where Blood and Carnage,
Clothe the Ground in Crimson,
Sounding with Death-Groans?

Death will invade us by the means appointed,
And we must all bow to the King of Terrors;
Nor am I anxious, nor am I anxious,
If I am prepared, what shape he comes in.

Still shall the Banner of the King of Heaven
Never advance where I'm afraid to follow;
While that precedes me, while that precedes me
With an open Bosom, War, I defy thee.

Life, for my Country and the Cause of Freedom,
Is but a Trifle for a Worm to part with;
And if preserved, and if preserved
In so great a Contest, Life is redoubled.



CHESTER by William Billings 1778

Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slav'ry clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God,
New England's God forever reigns.

Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton too,
With Prescot and Cornwallis join'd,
Together plot our Overthrow,
In one Infernal league combin'd.

When God inspir'd us for the fight,
Their ranks were broke, their lines were forc'd,
Their ships were Shatter'd in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our Coast.

The Foe comes on with haughty Stride;
Our troops advance with martial noise,
Their Vet'rans flee before our Youth,
And Gen'rals yield to beardless Boys.

What grateful Off'ring shall we bring?
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud Halleluiahs let us Sing,
And praise his name on ev'ry Chord.

Let the high heav'ns your songs invite,
These spacious fields of brilliant light,
Where sun and moon and planets roll,
And stars that glow from pole to pole.

Sun, moon, and stars convey Thy praise,
'Round the whole earth and never stand,
So when Thy truth began its race,
It touched and glanced on ev'ry hand.

Beneath this poem Blake inscribed an excerpt from the Bible

"Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets"
Numbers XI. Ch 29. v.'[4] (Book_of_Numbers 11:29)[5].

[Alternate Verse]

Sons of Albion, do you sleep?
Your brothers die, do you not weep?
Nor raise a hand to right these wrongs,
Forgetful of the ancient songs?
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
But foes dwell here within our land!
Sons of Arthur, arise, I pray,
And keep this eastern blight at? bay,
While strength remains to fight the fight
And keep ablaze our kingdoms light.
 

Milton A Poem by William Blake 1778
[Blake Archive.org - Watercolors]

http://www.archive.org/details/milton_0908_librivox


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